Karim Benzema, France and Real Madrid forward, has been handed a one-year suspended jail sentence and €75,000 fine after being found guilty in a sex tape blackmail case.
Benzema was found guilty of being involved in an attempt in 2015 to blackmail France teammate Mathieu Valbuena, with a sex tape.
The allegations against Benzema, which date to 2015, led to him being cast out of the French squad for five years before being brought back into the fold in May in time to play in Euro 2020.
The 33-year-old’s lawyers have confirmed he will appeal against the verdict.The court decision is unlikely to affect Benzema’s immediate sporting future.
The forward is regarded as one of the favorites to win the Ballon d’Or award later this month following an impressive season with Madrid.
French federation president Noel Le Great has already said Benzema would be allowed to keep playing with France even if found guilty.
Benzema, who denied wrongdoing, didn’t attend the trial in Versailles last month and was absent for the verdict.
The four other defendants were also found guilty and did not appear at the court on Wednesday November 24.