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News in brief

Robben facing long lay-off

In a big blow to Bayern with the climax to the season on the horizon, Arjen Robben will be sidelined for several weeks after sustaining torn stomach muscles in the Bundesliga meeting with Gladbach. The winger was substituted in the first half and reported to chief medical officer Dr Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt for an examination and diagnosis. “It wasn’t a pleasant evening for us. But the even more unpleasant news is that Arjen is injured,” stated chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge after the 2-0 home defeat to the Foals. “That’s at least as bad as the defeat.”

Thiago makes comeback

Thiago resumed team training this week, and returned to the Bayern matchday squad for the first time in a year for Sunday evening’s meeting with Gladbach. The Spaniard, who has been troubled by injury for eighteen months, was an unused sub at the Allianz Arena. Thiago’s last competitive appearance was the 3-3 draw with Hoffenheim on Matchday 28 last term.

Down Syndrome kids escort FCB and BMG

The Bayern and Borussia stars took the field on Sunday hand in hand with 24 kids, youths and young adults born with Down Syndrome. “Down Syndrome kids are wonderful people, emotional, joyful and loveable. We want to show everyone that they’re important and valued members of the community,” said FCB captain Philipp Lahm. Saturday 21 March was World Down Syndrome Day.

Porto held

Bayern’s Champions League quarter-final opponents FC Porto were held to a 1-1 draw away to Nacional Funchal in the Portuguese league on Saturday. Spanish hitman Christian Tello opened for the visitors on the stroke of half-time, but Wagner equalised for the Madeira-based home team after 62 minutes. The second-placed Dragons still cut the gap to leaders Benfica by a point after the Lisbon outfit fell 2-1 to FC Rio Ave: Porto are now three off the lead with a trip to Benfica still to come.

Integration Day in German football

The first and second Bundesliga clubs sent out an important message promoting diversity and respect this weekend. Matchday 26 was declared Integration Day in German football under the motto “Mach einen Strich durch Vorurteile” (Draw a line through prejudice). FC Bayern firmly supports peaceful coexistence between cultures, on the field and in the stands, where there can be no place for prejudice, discrimination and exclusion. Prior to the home meeting with Borussia M’Gladbach, the teams gathered behind a banner calling for an end to xenophobia and in favour of mutual respect.