France striker Karim Benzema has slammed Didier Deschamps for what he perceives as him ‘bowing to the pressure of a racist part of France’.
The Real Madrid star will play no part in Euro 2016 this summer, with his exclusion related to him being charged with conspiracy to blackmail last year in an incident involving Mathieu Valbuena.
However, the situation took an ugly turn earlier this week with Eric Cantona accusing Deschamps of being racist after snubbing the likes of Benzema and Hatem Ben Arfa due to their ethnicity, as reported by The Guardian.
Benzema has added to that argument by insisting that he agrees with Cantona’s assertion, with the influence of an extremist political party part of the reason behind Deschamps’ decision to leave him out of his squad.
“He has bowed to the pressure of a racist part of France,” Benzema told Marca.
“He has to know that in France the extremist party reached the second round in the last two elections.
“I do not know, therefore, whether it is a decision only for Didier because I’ve gotten along with him, with the president, everyone.”
In addition, Benzema argued that there is no sporting reason that justifies his exclusion, given that he has performed well for Real again this season, and so it merely comes down to matters off the pitch.
While Deschamps will naturally refute his claims, given that the French Football Federation confirmed in April that Benzema would not be selected for the European Championship because of his alleged actions in the situation involving Valbuena, the reasons behind the snub are clear.
However, that is seemingly not good enough for either Benzema or Cantona, who are adamant that the reasons are more deep rooted and that the French FA and those concerned are merely using the former’s controversy as a valid reason to exclude him.