FRANCE and Real Madrid FC forward, Karim Benzema was on Wednesday sentenced to a one-year suspended jail term.
He was found guilty of complicity in the attempted blackmail of a former international teammate over a sex tape.
The Versailles court also fined him 75,000 euros ($84,170) and ordered him to pay former team mate, Mathieu Valbuena 80,000 euros to cover legal costs and 150,000 euros in damages together with his three other co-accused.
Benzema’s lawyer said he would appeal against the verdict.
Benzema, who had denied any wrongdoing, was not in court. He is due to play for Real Madrid against Moldovan side Sheriff Tiraspol later in the day.
“This outcome in no way corresponds with the reality of events,” lawyer Antoine Vey told reporters afterwards.
Real Madrid declined to comment.
Earlier this month, President of French Football Federation, Noel Le Graet, said Benzema would not be excluded from the national team if he was convicted and given suspended sentence prosecutors wanted.
“The coach will always be responsible for his selection and Benzema will not be left out because of an eventual judicial sanction,” Le Graet told Le Parisien.