French footballer Karim Benzema isolated after racism claims

Paris: Karim Benzema found himself isolated yesterday a day after his sensational claims that Didier Deschamps had "bowed to pressure from a racist part of France" by keeping him out of the Euro 2016 squad.

Karim Benzema and Didier Deschamps
Karim Benzema and Didier Deschamps

Political and sporting figures condemned the accusations of the Real Madrid player, but stressed that racism did still exist in France. "Racism is a good excuse," said Labour Minister Myriam El Khomri, herself of Moroccan origin. "Of course ...there is racial discrimination in our country. I've been a victim, I'm not going to tell you otherwise. "But when one wears the France jersey, there is a duty to act in an exemplary fashion," she added.

Earlier this year, Benzema was charged for an attempt to blackmail France teammate Mathieu Valbuena over a sextape. Former France defender Lilian Thuram said Benzema was not taking responsibility for his own actions.

"If he's not selected, it's because of the Mathieu Valbuena affair. Racism exists in France, Benzema could have done a lot, it would have been extraordinary for him to be captain of the France team, but he would have had to be irreproachable," said Thuram.

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