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  • Karim Benzema

    Karim Benzema | Photo: AFP

Published 7 December 2016

French soccer players of African origins are repeatedly subjected to racist attacks questioning their "assimilation" within the French culture.

Usually called a “miscreant,” representing the “failed integration” of North African immigrants living in France, soccer player Karim Benzema who is French with Algerian origins, is often criticized, including from Prime Minister Manuel Valls who said a year ago that a great athlete had "no place" in a French national team if his record was not "exemplary."

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Benzema has faced many racists attacks for refusing to sing the French national anthem and earlier this year, Benzema was criticized after suggesting that he wasn't selected for the French national team for the Euro Cup because of his Algerian origins.

Yet documents leaked Wednesday by Mediapart found Benzema was paying his taxes in France instead of declaring his revenues in other tax havens like other players in Real Madrid, or like some French politicians.

Benzema has not even tried to optimize his tax deductions. For instance, he could have declared his home as based in Spain, where he has been playing since 2009, but instead, he chose to pay the legal 33.3 percent in France.

The documents came from the Football Leaks issued by the European Investigative Collaborations, which reveals murky financial transactions in the world of European professional soccer and exposes the tax tricks employed by some of the continent's biggest stars.

In April 2011, a leak of a meeting of French Federation of Football officials exposed how they planned to secretly impose quotas on French players with African origins in training centers, officially in order to prevent the players from choosing to play for another country.


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