Karim Benzema can now play for France alongside Mathieu Valbuena
By Reuters Sport
Last Updated: 18/02/16 5:15pm
France striker Karim Benzema could now feature on the same team as Mathieu Valbuena after a magistrate lifted a ban on the two competing together.
Real Madrid's Benzema is suspected of trying to blackmail Valbuena over a sex video, which has meant the two have not been able to play on the same side.
The public prosecutor appealed, but dropped an earlier statement that the ban would have to stay in place until the appeal was heard.
The magistrate separately upheld a ban on Benzema contacting other people linked to the investigation.
Real Madrid forward Benzema, who denies any wrongdoing, has been suspended indefinitely from the France team because of suspicion of involvement in a scam to blackmail Valbuena over a video sex tape.
Being allowed to meet Lyon midfielder Valbuena could, at least in theory, enable the two to play for the same team, although French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has said the 27-year-old should not play for his country before being cleared.
The French national soccer federation (FFF) has indicated Benzema, who has scored 27 goals in 81 appearances for his country, cannot be called up by the national team until he is convicted or cleared of the alleged offence.
Similar cases in France have dragged on for months and there is no guarantee this investigation will be completed before the country hosts Euro 2016 in June.