Benzema denies under-age sex scandal reports

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The Independent Football

Karim Benzema's lawyer has denied allegations the Real Madrid forward had sexual relations with an under-age prostitute as reports continue to rage over a sex scandal concerning several France internationals.

Benzema and his former Lyon team-mate Sidney Govou have been named by the media as two of the four members of the France team who could be questioned by the vice squad in an investigation into a prostitution ring.

Benzema allegedly met the girl in question in the exclusive Zaman Cafe nightclub on the Champs Elysee in Paris and while his lawyer admits the pair know each other, Sylvain Cormier claims his client never had sexual relations with the young prostitute.

Cormier told Press Association Sport: "He remembers very well who she is and remembers crossing her path several times on nights out but he has never had sexual relations or anything with her.

"He also has nothing to do with Zaman Cafe and its owners."

Prostitution is legal in France so long as the person is over the age of 18.

But the girl at the centre of the allegations was reportedly only 16 at the time of the events allegedly at the centre of the police investigation.

Reports in France claim Benzema has been summoned to appear before the authorities at the beginning of May but, although Cormier admits it could be a possibility, he insists the former Lyon striker has not been called in for questioning.

He continued: "Reports appeared in the newspapers that he has been summoned by the police authorities but we have not received any summons.

"All this paper talk is of course annoying. I have asked the authorities for news and like everyone else I see what the newspapers are writing but to be honest we don't really know if he will be summoned or not.

"I think it's a very serious possibility but that's it."

Cormier revealed that they are studying the possibility of suing certain sections of the press.

"It's a real possibility, a real eventuality for us," he said. "But it's still too early to say.

"We have to study things before doing it but it's more than likely in any case.

"We have to look at how thinks develop. There have been lies in the media and things haven't been very reliable, but we're waiting for the time being.

"But if we do so it will be just to make a point."

Benzema was included in the Madrid squad to face Real Zaragoza on Saturday and came off the bench six minutes into the second half to help his side to a 2-1 victory.

And Cormier is confident the 22-year-old is not allowing himself to be affected too much by the reports.

He said: "It's quite difficult for Benzema because of the way he's being presented in the press. They're saying that he has been summoned.

"These are situations which aren't very clear, not very easy to live through. But he's managing to focus.

"He's in an environment which is very demanding mentally and I think it's an environment where he feels quite at ease so when people have a go at him he's able to to concentrate on his team."

Lyon released a statement last week denying Govou is involved in the matter.

It read: "Olympique Lyonnais would like to publicly give their support to their player Sidney Govou, whose name has been unfairly mentioned in a judicial affair.

"The club would like to highlight the comments of his lawyer Thierry Braillard who affirmed that Sidney Govou is not implicated, neither directly nor indirectly, in this affair.

"Olympique Lyonnais reaffirm their support and confidence in Sidney Govou with whom they mean to continue to prepare in the best conditions Wednesday's semi-final against Bayern Munich."

The French Football Federation also came out in support of the players last week, with a statement insisting the quartet are innocent until proven otherwise.