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Aug, 26, 2008

Van Bommel may lose Bayern Munich captaincy

Bayern Munich have told Mark van Bommel that he could be stripped of the captain's armband unless he becomes a more responsible leader on the pitch after notching his third red card in his last 10 matches.

Van Bommel inherited the captaincy this summer following the retirement of Oliver Kahn but was sent off after just 23 minutes on Saturday during Bayern's 1-1 draw with Borussia Dortmund.

The 31-year-old Dutch midfielder was dismissed after being shown two yellow cards in as many minutes; the first for a dangerous foul and the second for an act of violent conduct spotted by the linesman.

While Bayern's management, principally head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, will now remind Van Bommel of his responsibilities as club captain, club president Franz Beckenbauer does not anticipate any radical change.

'Van Bommel is a short-tempered character who does not have control over himself and, therefore, does not do himself nor the team any favours,' he told Premiere television. 'He must learn to control himself.'

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told Germany's Bild newspaper: 'The first yellow card is acceptable, but you should never get a second yellow card like that and Mark has got to learn that. It is for his own good and for the good of the team (that he learns).

'The important thing is that he realises that he has made an error, but I think he knows himself that he has left the rest of the team in the lurch.'

However, rather than being contrite and accepting his punishment van Bommel instead vented his frustrations claiming to have become a marked man for referees.

'There is a saying in Holland that the bigger trees catch more wind,' explained van Bommel. 'Maybe I have an image problem. When other players do that, then the game is allowed to play on. It is possible that I am being watched particularly closely.'

Regardless of Van Bommel's complaints, Rummenigge was in doubt that the referee made the correct decision.

'I have seen the scene several times in TV, even in the super-slow-motion, and I have to say that, unfortunately, both yellow cards are correct. The referee has made the right decision,' said Rummenigge.

As a result of the red card, Van Bommel will automatically miss next Sunday's Bundesliga clash with Hertha Berlin when either Lucio or Philipp Lahm expected to deputise as skipper.

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