Preliminary charge for Djibril Cisse in Mathieu Valbuena sex tape probe

Former France and Liverpool forward Djibril Cisse says in a statement released by his lawyer that he has been handed a preliminary charge in an alleged extortion scam over a sex tape involving Lyon midfielder Mathieu Valbuena.

The statement said the charge was filed on Feb. 24 and called it "a non-event." It did not specify the allegation he faces.

The story broke in November 2015 when Real Madrid's Karim Benzema was charged with conspiracy to blackmail as part of the investigation. Benzema is suspected of a role in pressuring Valbuena to deal directly with the blackmailers.

Cisse's statement, released by lawyer Arnaud Pericard, denied his involvement in the alleged blackmail. It said the same people alleged to have blackmailed Valbuena also sought to extort Cisse in similar circumstances in 2008.

"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," Pericard told Le Parisien, which first reported the story.