Created on 30-05-2013 at 00:00 AM
Two days prior to the DFB Cup final, Bayern have been dealt a blow with the news that Dante and Luiz Gustavo will not be available for Saturday's clash with VfB Stuttgart, as Munich have been ordered to release their players to the Brazil national team. The FCB pair must report for international duty in Rio de Janeiro by 4 pm local time on Saturday to meet the official deadline for preparations for the Confederations Cup.
“We're releasing the players. They'll travel to Rio this evening," chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said in a statement on Thursday. FIFA statutes stipulate that nominated players must be released 14 days in advance of their national team's first match in a recognised international tournament. Brazil face Japan in Brasilia on 15 June in the opening match of the traditional curtain raiser to the World Cup.
Bitter disappointment for duo
In “very comprehensive" talks with the players on Thursday, coach Jupp Heynckes and board member for sport Matthias Sammer consented to release the players for the Selecao in order not to jeopardise their future international careers. Brazil sporting director Carlos Alberto Parreira had threatened to eject the FCB men from the squad if they failed to report on time.
“You have a clear impression that a form of psychological terror is being used against the two players," Rummenigge declared, “I find the pressure being applied inhumane and unscrupulous. More than anything else, I think it's very unfair, because the players are being forced into a position that I believe is unacceptable." Both Dante and Luiz Gustavo are “very unhappy with the whole situation," the FCB chairman reported.
Talks prove unproductive
The club had “tried everything" on a number of occasions in recent days, involving the German FA (DFB), world governing body FIFA and the Brazilian association “in the search for a mutually acceptable, friendly solution," continued Rummenigge. However, the South Americans were insisting on a rigid application of the statutes. “We've been forced to accept that neither player will be able to take part in the DFB Cup final," Rummenigge stated.
Rummenigge rejected claims made by Parreira that Dante had been making daily calls and applying pressure on the club. “This isn't correct. Neither Luiz Gustavo nor Dante have put us under any pressure, quite the opposite in fact. The Brazilians are shifting the blame onto the pair. It's exactly this which constitutes the psycho terror that I hate. If the consequence of not reporting in time had been the end of their national team careers, it would have been inhumane."
FCB doubly determined
If Bayern had refused to release the players, the 2014 World Cup hosts would have lodged an official complaint with the world governing body, leading inevitably to legal proceedings. As Rummenigge pointed out, the most severe penalty available in such cases would be to strip FCB of a potential cup triumph, with the game awarded 2-0 or 3-0 to their opponents. “We find ourselves in a very uncomfortable situation," the chairman said.
Rummenigge was at pains to emphasise that the delicate situation had arisen in the first place due to a “planning error by the DFB. But we're not going to sit here lamenting our fate, we'll make the best of the situation. We'll go to Berlin with enormous desire, and try to win the treble. We'll throw everything we have at it for the pair of them, and bring it off despite it all."