PARIS • Former Liverpool and France striker Djibril Cisse and three other people were arrested yesterday in a blackmail investigation that allegedly involves a sex tape featuring international midfielder Mathieu Valbuena.
Cisse, a former team-mate of Valbuena's at Marseille, "should soon be removed from the investigation", a source in the case said.
He was apprehended early yesterday by police in Versailles near Paris because he knew the others involved but is not suspected of being an instigator.
The three other people being held are believed to have attempted to blackmail Lyon player Valbuena, and claim they are in possession of a sex tape that he is said to have made with his partner.
The source in the investigation said the existence of the tape "has yet to be proven".
Lawyers for Valbuena, 31, said they would not comment while the investigation was under way.
Cisse himself made a complaint to police in 2008 after claiming he was the target of a blackmail attempt involving a sex tape while he was playing for Marseille.
Cisse, 34, who won the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005, has also played for other clubs, including Auxerre, Sunderland, Lazio and Panathinaikos.
He is currently appearing as a contestant on France's version of Strictly Come Dancing.