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France projected to win Euro 2016

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Karim Benzema authorised to meet Mathieu Valbuena in blackmail case

The two France internationals are now free to contact each other.

The investigating judge in the blackmail case affecting the France team has lifted the order preventing Karim Benzema from getting in touch with Mathieu Valbuena.

Real Madrid striker Benzema is facing preliminary charges of conspiracy to blackmail relating to an extortion scam over a sex tape involving France teammate Valbuena.

He is accused of being approached by a childhood friend to act as an intermediary between the blackmailers and Lyon midfielder Valbuena.

Benzema has denied any wrongdoing, but has been suspended from the French national team indefinitely until the case is resolved.

The Madrid man can now meet with Valbuena but remains banned from contacting the other people who have been handed preliminary charges in the case. The prosecutor is appealing.

Preliminary charges under French law mean magistrates have strong reason to believe a crime was committed and allow time for further investigation.

With Benzema currently suspended from the French national team until the case has been resolved, he could miss out on Euro 2016, which is to be held in France from June 10.

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