Real Madrid’s forward Karim Benzema will stand trial over an attempted blackmail.
According to French prosecutors, the players is involved in a case linked to a sex tape featuring his former France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena.
The trial was ordered against the player for complicity in attempting to pressure Valbuena with the publication of the video, The public prosecutor’s office in Versailles, France said on Thursday.
Valbuena was allegedly threatened in a phone call in June 2015.
The French international will stand trial on the charge of conspiracy to attempt blackmail, the prosecutor’s office said.
A date for the trial has yet to be set.
Benzema has been banned from the national team since November 2015 because of his suspected involvement in the scandal, despite consistently performing well with Spanish giants Real Madrid.
The investigators who charged Benzema believe he was approached by a childhood friend that year to act as an intermediary and convince Valbuena to deal directly with the blackmailers.
Instead, Valbuena informed the police.
Four other people will also stand trial in the case.
Denies any wrongdoing
“This decision is as much absurd as it was predictable,” Benzema lawyer, Sylvain Cormier, told The Associated Press news agency, denouncing perceived “persecution” against the player.
When the story broke, Benzema faced a deluge of criticism and then-Prime Minister Manuel Valls said the former Lyon player had “no place” in the national team.