France, Hollande denies political pressure in the sidelining of Karim Benzema

The former President of the Republic returned to the sidelining of Karim Benzema at the Blues in 2016.

The former President of the Republic, François Hollande was the guest of L'Equipe this Monday evening. The latter mentioned several subjects, one of which dates back to the time of his mandate, namely the Karim Benzema affair. Involved in the sex-tape affair, the Real Madrid striker had not been summoned by Didier Deschamps for Euro 2016 in France. The former OL striker had little taste for this decision, accusing the coach in particular of giving in to pressure from the French and implying the intervention of the government.

But François Hollande was keen to shed light on this event. The former President of the Republic insisted on the fact that the political world did not intervene in the decision of Didier Deschamps: "Political pressure? In any way, not more than of the Minister of Sports or Manuel Valls at the 'time. Nobody made this intervention. I made a reminder by saying to the members of the government: you can have your point of view, but the only possible line, it is with the coach to decide.

"And it is Deschamps who chose other players, not to retain Benzema, not simply on sporting criteria, it is true. It is better to keep these principles in mind, to express the exemplary nature that it is a must-have, but let the manager decide. Besides, Benzema is a very great football player, look at what he does at Real Madrid. I am not going into this story. Anyway, the procedure is not over What I must say is that Benzema is a very great football player, "added the former President of the Republic.

Holland sees Lille champion of France

François Hollande gave his point of view on the title race in Ligue 1: "I think Lille will win. Yes, first of all, because Lille has a great team, Lille has a good audience. even if today it is not used much. And then because the PSG will be mobilized with good reason by the Champions League. Monaco still has difficulties. We have seen it again against Lille, precisely. And Lyon, a great team too, but it's hard to conclude? So here it is, I say Lille ".

The former President of the Republic returned to the crisis experienced by French football: "If there are no football rights, there are clubs that will file for bankruptcy. And if there are clubs that file for bankruptcy, that's why it's also a national interest, almost sovereignty, what do we realize, there are foreign investors who buy football clubs including football clubs that are in Ligue 2, by saying: "We are going to finance this and we are going to penetrate French football. Well, I think that French football must, of course, have foreign investors, but also French investors".

François Hollande does not want to boycott the 2022 World Cup in Qatar but regrets the choice that it takes place there: "No, I do not think that we should boycott the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. I will not pronounce, it's too simple to say, the President of the Republic must not go there when we have diplomatic relations with Qatar. But it's still a problem, if you want my point of view, for organizing the World Cup in Qatar ".