PARIS (AP) France coach Didier Deschamps left out winger Mathieu Valbuena for friendly matches against Germany and England amid an ongoing police investigation involving international teammate Karim Benzema.
Benzema was charged Thursday with conspiracy to blackmail and participating in a criminal group as part of an investigation over a sex tape involving Valbuena – a regular in Deschamps’ side.
Benzema was also placed under judicial supervision, meaning he cannot meet with the victim or other people charged in the case.
That precluded Deschamps from using both players at the same time while the investigation goes on.
With Benzema recovering from injury, Deschamps could have picked Valbuena but said Thursday that he prefers to ”give him a breather” considering the media scrutiny.
France plays Germany next Friday and then England at Wembley on Nov. 17.