Karim Benzema may have endured a long exile from the French national team in the past, but it has now been revealed that he will not be left out again even if he is found guilty in the Mathieu Valbuena sex tape trial, at least from the Federation's point of view.

French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet spoke about the Real Madrid forward's fate which will be decided this month. Last month, the trial took place over his alleged involvement in a blackmail scheme on former France teammate Mathieu Valbuena, who was being extorted due to a sex tape.

The case has long been drawn out, with Benzema having been in exile from the national team since 2015 when the issue first came to light. However, national team manager Didier Deschamps made a U-turn earlier this year, and brought Benzema back ahead of Euro 2020. Benzema immediately became a regular starter, and left no doubt that he deserved to be called up.

Benzema also played a key role in the French side's victory in the UEFA Nations League earlier this year. Now a Ballon d'Or contender due to his exceptional form both with France and Real Madrid on the club level, Le Graet says that he won't be dropped regardless of the outcome of the case.

"Sanction Benzema with the national team? No. The coach will always be responsible for calling him up and he will not be excluded over any possible judicial sentence," Le Graet confirmed, making it clear that even a guilty verdict will not see Benzema getting exiled again.

"Even if he receives a suspended prison sentence, he has the right to appeal against it. So whether he is called up or not in the coming months will not be linked to the judicial process," he added, as quoted by AS.

However, despite the fact that the Federation won't impose sanctions, the decision will lie with Deschamps. The manager may still leave him out of course, but it will be based on performance. "It is up to Deschamps to consider whether, from a sporting point of view, he is fit to be called up with Les Bleus," he said.

Deschamps himself is currently weighing his options with France. Le Graet revealed that the manager has no plans to go on beyond the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. However, if the team does well and he decides to continue, then the Federation will likely renew his deal. If not, former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is being touted as a possible replacement.

Karim Benzema, Kylian Mbappe
Karim Benzema, Kylian Mbappe AFP / FRANCK FIFE