Giroud: Benzema affair ‘can pollute spirit’

Giroud, who scored in Friday’s 3-2 friendly win over the Netherlands in Amsterdam, shrugged off the implications of possibly seeing both Benzema and Valbuena in the Euro 2016 squad.

Benzema has been accused of complicity in the attempt and remains excluded from national team duty until a decision over his place in the national team is made on April 15.   -  AP

France and Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud admitted that the Karim Benzema sex tape scandal is something “that can pollute the spirit” of the Euro 2016 hosts.

Real Madrid star Benzema was indefinitely suspended from the France team in December after he was placed under investigation over an attempt to blackmail France teammate Mathieu Valbuena for a sex-tape.

Benzema has been accused of complicity in the attempt and remains excluded from national team duty until a decision over his place in the national team is made on April 15.

“It is something that can pollute our spirit. I try not to think about it as it prevents us from concentrating on matters on the pitch. It is the pitch which is the most important,” said Giroud.

Giroud, who scored in Friday’s 3-2 friendly win over the Netherlands in Amsterdam, shrugged off the implications of possibly seeing both Benzema and Valbuena in the Euro 2016 squad.

“The question does not come up. The objective is to have strikers who complement each other the best,” said Giroud.

“I don’t ask myself the question of Karim or ‘Valbu’. The most important thing today is the team.”

France coach Didier Deschamps will unveil his 23-man squad for the June 10-July 10 European championships on May 12.