L'Affaire Kurzawa: Another video blackmail scandal rocks French national team

After the infamous "L'Affaire Sextape" that likely ended the French national team careers of Mathieu Valbuena and Karim Benzema and also implicated former French international Djibril Cisse, there's been a second blackmail attempt against a French soccer star involving a stolen tape.

This one involves Paris St. Germain left back Layvin Kurzawa, who was caught on video recorded on a cell phone complaining about French national team coach Didier Deschamps to friends. The tape found its way to five men, who demanded 200,000 euros ($240,000) from Kurzawa for them not to distribute the tape.

Little did they know, Kurzawa went straight to the police. Police tapped their phones and arrested three of the blackmailers as they were headed to a rendez-vous to supposedly pick up their money and hand over the tape. The wiretap revealed they planned on robbing Kurzawa of the money and keeping the tape. The two other men were separately arrested.

Before France's World Cup qualifiers against the Netherlands and Luxembourg, Kurzawa had also gone to Deschamps, explaining what happened. France beat the Dutch, 4-0, but three days later only managed to tie tiny Luxembourg.

Kurzawa, who started both games, was singled out for the French ineptitude against Luxembourg with heavy criticism in the French press. He'll face stiff competition for his job on the national team from Benjamin Mendy, who has excelled since his move from Monaco to Manchester City.

Kurzawa will get little sympathy for his actions. This wasn't the first time a PSG player was discovered to have criticized his coach.

In 2016, Ivorian star Serge Aurier criticized his then-coach at PSG, Laurent Blanc, with homophobic slurs on the Twitter app Periscope. Aurier was suspended and has since moved to Tottenham, for which he debuted last week.

Former national team coach Raymond Domenech told Europe 1 radio that today's players don't understand the power of smart phones and social media tools or what or what not to say about their coaches.

(Domenech was at the center of the French strike during the 2010 World Cup that followed the decision of the French federation to kick Nicolas Anelka off the team when the sports newspaper L'Equipe revealed Anelka's foul-mouthed outburst at Domenech during the halftime of the France-Mexico game.)

Deschamps reportedly told Kurzawa to be careful about what he said to friends -- and by extension the company he kept.

L'Equipe reported that Kurzawa knew one of the men from soccer circles and another was wearing a PSG jersey Kurzawa had given him earlier in the summer.
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