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Apr 21, 2012

Heynckes tight-lipped over brawl

Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes has refused to confirm reports of a dressing room punch-up between star duo Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben.

• Ribery accused of punch
• Bayern 2-1 Madrid

An argument is said to have taken place during Tuesday's Champions League semi-final win against Real Madrid at the Allianz Arena, with Robben apparently instructing Ribery to let Toni Kroos take a free-kick in first-half injury time.

The row then reportedly escalated in the dressing room, with Sport Bild magazine claiming Ribery punched Robben in the face and pictures appeared after the game with latter sporting a cut under his right eye.

On Saturday, the Bild newspaper reported Ribery had been fined €50,000 for the incident while the pair rarely exchanged glances, let alone passes, in Friday's final training session ahead of their Bundesliga match against Werder Bremen.

Bayern have closed ranks regarding the alleged incident, with media director Markus Horwick saying "whatever happens in the dressing room stays in the dressing room" and Heynckes neither confirming nor denying the incident.

"There are taboo zones within a football team," Heynckes is quoted as saying by Bild.

"Given the huge media presence, that is also necessary. I believe that internal matters must remain internal, whether that is here at our training ground or in the dressing room.

"Everything else is speculation and I will not respond to that."

Both Ribery and Robben are set to occupy the bench Saturday as Heynckes rests his key players in view of the Champions League semi-final second leg in Madrid next Wednesday.

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