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EURO 2016

Benzema business can “pollute team spirit” warns Giroud

France and Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud admitted that the Karim Benzema sex tape scandal is something 'that can pollute the spirit' of the EURO 2016 hosts.

Benzema business can “pollute team spirit” warns Giroud
FRANCK FIFE AFP

France and Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud admitted that the Karim Benzema sex tape scandal is something 'that can pollute the spirit' of the EURO 2016 hosts.

Real Madrid star Benzema was indefinitely suspended from the France team in December after he was placed under investigation over an attempt to blackmail France teammate Mathieu Valbuena by announcing the existence of a sex-tape featuring his international team mate.

Benzema has been accused of complicity in the attempt and remains excluded from national team duty until a decision over his place in the national team is made on 15 April. “It is something that can pollute our spirit. I try not to think about it as it prevents us from concentrating on matters on the pitch. It is the pitch which is the most important,” said Giroud.

Giroud, who scored in Friday's 3-2 friendly win over Holland in Amsterdam, shrugged off the implications of possibly seeing both Benzema and Valbuena in the Euro 2016 squad. “The question does not come up. The objective is to have strikers who complement each other the best,” Giroud continued. “I don't ask myself the question of Karim or 'Valbu'. The most important thing today is the team.”

France coach Didier Deschamps will unveil his 23-man squad for the month-long EURO 2016 tournament on 12 May.