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Karim Benzema loses bid to meet Mathieu Valbuena in sex-tape scandal

PARIS --The investigating judge in charge of the blackmail case rattling France's football team has denied Karim Benzema's request for a face-to-face meeting with Mathieu Valbuena.

Real Madrid striker Benzema, who has scored 27 goals in 81 international matches, is facing preliminary charges of conspiracy to blackmail relating to an extortion scam over a sex tape involving France teammate Valbuena.

Judge Nathalie Boutard ruled that Benzema has no right to meet the Lyon midfielder, the Versailles prosecutor's office said on Monday.

Benzema's lawyers hoped a meeting would ease tensions between the two players after Valbuena spoke directly about the striker's attempts to pressure him.

Benzema has been suspended from the national team until the case has been resolved.

France hosts the European Championship, starting June 10.

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