France's Cisse placed under investigation in attempted sex tape blackmail

French striker Djibril Cisse attends a news conference in Marseille, France, in this July 12, 2006 file photo. REUTERS/Philippe Laurenson/Files

PARIS (Reuters) - Former French soccer international Djibril Cisse has been placed under formal investigation for his involvement in an alleged attempt to blackmail fellow player Mathieu Valbuena using a sex video, Le Parisien newspaper reported on Thursday.

The paper said Cisse was placed under formal investigation in February by a magistrate at a court in Versailles for complicity in the attempted blackmail in February, two months after the judge sent the case back to prosecutors.

The court was not immediately available to comment.

The blackmail attempt allegedly took place in 2015, prosecutors say.

"Mr Cisse takes note of this indictment, which will now enable him to prove that he was not in anyway involved, something he could not do up to now," his lawyer Arnaud Pericard said, quoted by the newspaper.

The scandal, in which Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema was also implicated, saw Benzema indefinitely banned from the France team after being charged. The ban was lifted last September and Benzema has denied any wrongdoing.

(Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Richard Lough)

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