French parliamentarian Valérie Pouilly called for the withdrawal of French citizenship from the international football player of Algerian origin, Karim Benzema, after he sympathized with the residents of the Palestinian city of Gaza.
It is noteworthy that Benzema published on social networks a message in which he expressed his sympathy for the residents of Gaza City, in which he wrote: “All our prayers for the victims of Gaza against the unjust bombing which does not spare women or children.”
The parliamentarian belonging to the right-wing Republican Party wrote: “If, as the Interior Minister confirmed, Benzema has relations with the Muslim Brotherhood, then I demand sanctions against him, specifically the withdrawal of French citizenship. We must take action against those who continually threaten our country.”
She added: “We cannot allow a French citizen, who is a well-known international player, to insult or betray our country in this way.”
Pouilley’s request was not limited to withdrawing Benzema’s French citizenship, but also to strip the player of the Ballon d’Or that he won last year, in addition to stripping him of all special awards with France.
Representative Valérie Pouilly filed a request before Parliament to withdraw French citizenship from Karim Benzema, but her request is considered individual and there is no approval yet within the French Parliament.
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin had said in press statements, “Mr. Benzema has a notorious relationship, as we all know, with the Muslim Brotherhood.”
For his part, Karim Benzema’s lawyer responded to the demands to strip the international player of French citizenship, stressing that this matter is completely illegal, pointing out that the player does not hold any other nationality, and therefore his citizenship cannot be stripped from him.
A spokeswoman for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on October 19 that the death toll from France since the beginning of the events in the Gaza Strip had risen to 28 people.
Anne-Claire Lugendre said, “France regrets the tragic death of more French citizens, and added that seven French nationals are also still missing, some of whom are hostages of Hamas.”
Benzema was born in Lyon to parents of Algerian origins from Oran. He began his football career with his hometown club Olympique Lyonnais in 2005, and contributed intermittently to three French League titles. In 2008, he was named UEFA Player of the Year and was named in the Team of the Year, finishing the season as top scorer in the league and winning his fourth title and first French Cup. In 2009, Benzema was the subject of a football transfer from the then French Federation when he signed for Real Madrid in a deal worth €35 million.
Benzema moved at the beginning of the current season from Real Madrid to the Saudi Jeddah club.