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Pogba signs fan's Man United shirt

The Toe Poke
By ESPN Staff

Bayern woes all FIFA's fault, claims Rummenigge

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says FIFA are to blame for his side's poor start to the season.

Bayern have won only one of their first three Bundesliga matches and were held to a 0-0 draw by Werder Bremen at the weekend, leaving them already five points off the pace at the top of the table.

Rummenigge says it is inevitable that his club is struggling, given the pressures and strains on their players, and he says football's world governing body are the culprits.

"It is no wonder that we have not found our rhythm yet," he told German newspaper Bild. "From the 14 players who (coach) Louis van Gaal fielded, 12 of them have spent the last fortnight with their national teams. We will not accept this anymore in future. It is pure cheek on the part of FIFA. I appeal to FIFA to show more respect and solidarity with coaches."

Due to the performances of Germany and Holland at the World Cup, Bayern had 13 players involved in the tournament until the final weekend. This meant the lion's share of Van Gaal's squad only started pre-season training after a short summer holiday a fortnight before the season started. And after just two matches, they spent another two weeks away from the Bavarians' training ground.

"It is neither good for the clubs nor for the players that the league starts so soon after the World Cup and then we are straight back with our national teams," said Bayern captain Mark van Bommel. "We have got to talk about this."

Yet Bayern don't have much time to catch up since they face Roma in the Champions League on Wednesday and then entertain Cologne in the Bundesliga next weekend before a midweek round of Bundesliga matches.

Bayern will play a total of six games in 17 days, and then the players will head off on international duty once again.


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