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Ribéry grateful for effort on his behalf

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Ribéry grateful for effort on his behalf

Postby FCBayernNews » Tue May 18, 2010 4:30 pm

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.

Chairman optimistic

Missing the biggest match in European club football is naturally a severe blow to the player. "Franck is sad and disappointed about not being able to play in Saturday's game," reported Rummenigge, revealing that Ribéry had thanked the club in a conversation on the flight back to Munich "for fighting hard on his behalf."

Rummenigge feels the club's efforts could tip the scales Bayern's way in the looming battle for Ribery's services. "It's not been easy for him recently, and I think he appreciates the quality and loyalty within the Bayern family," the chairman said, declaring himself "thoroughly optimistic that Franck will be at Bayern not just next season, but beyond that as well."

The club is keen to extend Ribéry's contract, which expires on 30 June 2011. Negotiations would begin soon, Rummenigge said. And Ribéry could reach other finals with FCB: "I'm certain this won't be the last time Bayern make it to a final. And next time, he'll be in the team and can achieve his greatest target."
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