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Aug 9, 2010

Bayern fuming as Franck Ribery is ordered to Paris

Bayern Munich have refused to allow Franck Ribery to attend a meeting with the French Football Federation in Paris about the country's World Cup debacle.

Ribery, along with the other 22 members of the France squad in South Africa, is serving a one-match FA suspension for Wednesday's international friendly in Norway and will not be travelling to Oslo for the game.

Now he has been summoned to Paris for the hearing as the reasons for the France squad's embarrassing performances and behaviour, including their refusal to train ahead of the final group game against hosts South Africa, are investigated.

Bayern insist any request for the player to travel will be denied and he will continue to train with the club ahead of their Bundesliga opener against Vfl Wolfsburg on August 20.

"It is not on that the French Federation randomly remove Franck Ribery from his responsibilities with FC Bayern,'' said Bayern's chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in a press release. "The preparations for the new Bundesliga season have priority over the World Cup debriefing of the French Federation.''

Bayern claim that Ribery's invitation, or "summons'' has "not been made in agreement with FC Bayern''.

"According to FIFA statutes, clubs must only release their players for fixed dates as laid out by the international football calendar, and that is not the case here,'' continued the statement. "For this reason, FC Bayern Munich will not release Frank Ribery for this hearing.''

Ribery made his first appearance in a Bayern shirt this season during a friendly match at the Allianz Arena on Sunday, when he scored two goals. He is likely to be fit for the start of the Bundsliga season after recovering from a groin operation, but Bayern are keen for him not to miss any scheduled training sessions on his road to recovery.

Meanwhile, Patrice Evra insists he is "surprised'' that he and four France team-mates have been singled out. Evra, Ribery, Eric Abidal, Nicolas Anelka and Jeremy Toulalan have been called to the hearing. Other squad members may be called before the committee "if deemed appropriate''.

Evra, who was named captain before the World Cup began but was dropped for the final group game, told Le Figaro: "I am surprised, because I thought everyone wanted to turn the page after the World Cup. We must think about the future.

"Why punish us more than others? It's over now. The penalty of not selecting the 23 players from the World Cup for the friendly with Norway is consistent. That showed that there were not five or six 'ringleaders', as had been written.''

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