February 29, 2024

Saudi club Al-Ittihad striker Karim Benzema recently filed a complaint for defamation against French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin.

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According to the Gulf News, on Tuesday, the former Real Madrid star has taken the top French minister Gerald Darmanin to court after the latter linked the footballer to the “Muslim brotherhood.”

Last year, French Minister Darmanin claimed that the Muslim football player had “notorious” links with the Muslim Brotherhood after the former France striker posted on X, formerly Twitter about the Israel- Hamas war.

In mid-October, the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner in support of the civilians of the Gaza Strip reportedly wrote that they are the victims of “unjust bombardments” carried out by Israel in retaliation for the October 7, 2023, attack by Hamas.

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin who is a tough-talking right-winger with designs on the French presidency criticized the Al Ittihad footballer by reacting to his post and alleging that the football player has a “notorious link with the Muslim Brotherhood”, which is a Sunni Muslim Islamist group founded in Egypt.

Benzema’s complaint was lodged by lawyer Hugues Vigier. The complaint said that these remarks “undermine” the footballer’s honour and reputation.

In his complaint, the 36-year-old player said he has never had the “slightest link” with the Muslim Brotherhood organization, “nor to (his) knowledge” with anyone who claims to be a member of the same.

“I am aware of the extent to which, because of my notoriety, I am being used in political games,” Karim added to his complaint, “which are all the more scandalous given that the dramatic events since October 7 deserve something quite different from this type of statement.”

The complaint has been reportedly lodged with the Cour de justice which is the only French court empowered to prosecute members of the government for offenses committed while exercising their duties.

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Cover image source: Twitter