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‘He’s sad and disappointed’

Ribéry grateful for effort on his behalf

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge personally supervised and directed the club’s exhaustive appeal against Franck Ribery’s Champions League final suspension. On Monday, the former striker and club lawyer Dr. Gerlinger travelled personally to Lausanne to present Munich’s case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), but all the effort was ultimately in vain.

“It was an extensive and, in my opinion, very fair hearing, which lasted almost three hours. The verdict is well-known,” Rummenigge reported at Bayern’s Säbener Strasse headquarters on Tuesday morning. The CAS turned down the appeal the previous evening on jurisdictional grounds, arguing it was not in a position to assess Ribéry’s foul on Lisandro Lopez in the semi-final first leg against Lyon, so UEFA’s assessment was correspondingly valid.

Time to move on

The outcome is that Ribéry’s three-match ban remains in place, and the France superstar will play no part in the showdown with Inter Milan. “In all three instances, the first two with UEFA and now with CAS, we strongly represented Bayern Munich’s interests. We owed it to Franck, the fans and the club. However, we have to respect and also accept the fact that we failed to achieve our target,” commented Rummenigge.

The Bayern boss emphasised that the club would refrain entirely from criticism after the CAS verdict. “Nor will we waste time lamenting the loss of Franck, a very important player for the club, on Saturday.” The winger rates as one of the stars in the FCB line-up, but Hamit Altintop proved an excellent stand-in for the return leg in Lyon. The Turkey midfielder is likely to deputise for Ribéry in Madrid, coach Louis van Gaal has already indicated.