Real Madrid and France star Karim Benzema, has been arrested over a plot to blackmail a fellow player about a sex tape.
Since July, prosecutors have been investigating a plot to blackmail the Lyon midfielder Mathieu Valbuena.
Karim Benzema, who has played 81 matches for France, was arrested by appointment at a police station in Versailles earlier. The Versailles prosecutor has placed him under formal criminal investigation.
An anonymous police source, quoted by the news agency Reuters, said the striker’s name came up during phone taps conducted by investigating officers.
Karim Benzema hid behind a white hoodie as he arrived at the police station this morning. It is not known how long he will be questioned.
He is the second high-profile French footballer to be arrested over the affair. In October, the ex-Liverpool striker Djibril Cissé was one of four people taken in and questioned as part of the investigation.
Mr Cissé, who played alongside the alleged victim at Olympique de Marseille, denies the allegations. After his arrest, he used a live interview with a French TV chat show to issue a vehement denial of involvement.
Karim Benzema’s lawyer is yet to make a public comment on the arrest.