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Kahn verdict delayed until eve of Milan clash

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Kahn verdict delayed until eve of Milan clash

Postby FCBayernNews » Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:45 pm

29.03.2007

Bayern are due in Milan for an eagerly-awaited Champions League quarter-final first leg clash next Tuesday, but coach Ottmar Hitzfeld will not know his goalkeeping options until a day before hostilities commence at the Giuseppe Meazza stadium.

The reason is a decision by European football's governing body UEFA not to convene an appeals tribunal to consider the case of Oliver Kahn until Monday. The 37-year-old Bayern captain was banned for the match in Milan last week after being found guilty of inappropriate conduct at the post-match doping control following his club's Round of 16 return against Real Madrid.

<b>Hitzfeld unhappy with date</b>

In a further complication, Kahn has been summoned to make a personal appearance at the tribunal. While his team-mates are on the plane from Munich to northern Italy, the 37-year-old will join Bayern lawyer Dr Michael Gerlinger at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. "I'm very unhappy with the date. Kahn is our leader. The team needs to know whether he's playing as early as possible," Hitzfeld told the <i>Bild</i> tabloid.

Kahn deputy Michael Rensing would also have preferred an earlier decision. "I've spoken to him a couple of times in training and told him he should look forward to the match. An appearance would be a reward for his dedicated work in training," Hitzfeld reflected, although the focus would be on lifting Kahn's suspension: "We'll battle on his behalf."

<b>Irreplaceable Van Bommel</b>

The problem is exacerbated by the absence of influential midfielder Mark van Bommel with a one-match ban. "We have to get by," the Bayern coach remarked, "but there's no way we can totally compensate for losing him." Martin Demichelis and Andreas Ottl are the lead candidates for the central midfield role.

Bayern had contacted UEFA with a potential solution to the scheduling snarl-up, the club has revealed. Officials suggested lifting Kahn's ban for the match in Milan and delaying the appeals procedure until later in the week. If that resulted in the suspension being confirmed, the player would have sat out the return on 11 April in Munich, but the governing body rejected the idea.
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