In a recent testimony before the French National Assembly’s commission of inquiry into issues within sports federations, Didier Deschamps shed light on his handling of the Karim Benzema’s exit from the France squad during the 2022 World Cup. The following was reported by RMC Sport.
Nearly a year later, Deschamps faced questions from the commission regarding the disruptions within sports federations and, in particular, his management of the Karim Benzema case during the 2022 World Cup.
To recap, Karim Benzema had to withdraw from the competition just three days before the French national team’s debut in the tournament. However, he had returned to training in mid-December, leading to various speculations about his departure from the squad.
Several months later, in March 2023, Benzema responded sharply to Deschamps, who had revisited his withdrawal. “But what audacity,” the former Lyon striker had reacted on his social media platforms, clearly unimpressed by the French national team manager’s explanation.
“I have no need to invent stories,” Deschamps emphasised during his testimony before the National Assembly’s commission of inquiry. “My choices are based on sporting decisions. I’m willing to delve into the details, but I’m not sure if this is the place to revisit the events that took place in Doha during the World Cup. I have spoken about it, and you have quoted some of my statements. Yes, in every situation, there is only one truth, but there are multiple versions. I won’t provide you with additional information to confirm that what I said is the truth. But it’s factual.”
He continued, “I said what happened. The situation unfolded exactly as I described it. If you want more details, I can provide you with text message exchanges. However, I don’t believe it will advance matters. For your information, if you are unaware, I am currently involved in legal proceedings against a journalist who dared to make certain claims. The legal process is underway, and the verdict will be rendered by the justice system. I have no need to invent stories. Whom will you believe between what you read or hear and what actually occurred? I’m not here to entertain. I’m stating what happened. With an ongoing legal procedure, I cannot provide detailed information.”
GFFN | George Boxall