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By ESPN Staff

Heldt slams paper over Boateng picture

Schalke sporting director Horst Heldt has slammed the timing of a picture published by Bild showing Kevin-Prince Boateng smoking a cigarette, while the control board of the German Football Association (DFB) is investigating how the photo made it to the German tabloid.

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On Tuesday, Bild published a picture showing Schalke midfielder Boateng smoking a cigarette and drinking a beer while waiting for the doping test following Schalke’s recent 2-1 victory at Bayer Leverkusen.

Bild published it as a part of their ‘1414’ series. Readers of the paper are urged to mail or text pictures of celebrities and others to Bild, and, should their picture be published, earn up to 250 euros.

The “reader-reporter” concept has been widely criticised in German media, but has survived for over eight years now -- and Heldt questioned the timing of publishing the photo with Schalke facing an important Champions League last-16 tie against Real Madrid on Wednesday.

“That’s not acceptable, and will have consequences,” WAZ quotes Heldt as saying at the side of the Champions League news conference ahead of his side’s match against Carlo Ancelotti's men on Wednesday.

“We already know who has taken the picture and who has passed it on to Bild. The DFB control board is already investigating the incident,” Heldt said. “We will use this as a warning for the 1414 format,” he raged.

Kicker quotes Heldt as saying that the picture is “invading the player’s privacy” and blasted the timing of Bild.

“That’s a convenient time,” Heldt said, with Schalke’s European match against Los Blancos in mind. “But those irrelevancies don’t bother me. I don’t give a damn! We will try everything to give Madrid a good fight!”

Heldt also said that Boateng smoking a cigarette does not bother him too much: “I’ve also done that,” the former VfB Stuttgart player said.

In October 2013, Arsene Wenger pubicly admonished Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere for being photographed smoking a cigarette outside a London nightclub.

“I disagree completely with that behaviour,” Wenger said at that time, and Wilshere admitted that “players make mistakes” and said that he “is not a smoker.”


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