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France Football Federation President Noel Le Graet Backs Karim Benzema For France Comeback

Noel Le Graet believes Benzema has been punished enough.

Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

According to, France Football Federation (FFP) president Noel Le Graet apparently has no intentions of punishing Benzema further for his recent comments claiming Deschamp had "bowed to racists." Instead, he hopes to bring Benzema back into the fold of the international side sooner rather than later.

"Benzema is suspended. I do not want to kick someone who's already down. I do not like to punish people. I think missing Euro 2016 is already enough of a punishment for Benzema," Le Graet told RMC.

"I have no interest in creating an anti-Benzema atmosphere. I have always held him in high esteem. He must be upset to have missed out on Euro 2016. But I hope he will one day return to the national team. I don't believe in punishing people for life.

"I have already said before that I think his interview was not very clever and that he owes a lot to Deschamps. France are not to blame on this one.

"We all know there is racism in France, we cannot deny that. There are people out there who are intolerant. But Karim is not in the squad for Euro 2016 because of his ongoing case. Karim has been the most selected player under Deschamps.

"But I would shake Karim's hand right away. There are sanctions, but it is useless to punish someone twice. He has already had his punishment. The case is ongoing and we will see what happens. He is suspended now, but the coach can do as he pleases after this."

It is unclear whether the president is reacting to Benzema's comments in order to assure the public that the FFP are not racist, or whether the president just understands how Benzema would contribute in footballing terms. Regardless, it looks like Benzema might not have long to wait before he can play for his country again.

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