[QODLink]
Sport
Bayern fine dissenting stars
Out-of-form Bayern Munich punish Lahm and Toni for breaking the rules.
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2009 12:29 GMT

Luca Toni and Philipp Lahm share thoughts at Bayern training [GALLO/GETTY]
Troubled Bundesliga side Bayern Munich have fined defender Philipp Lahm and striker Luca Toni for disciplinary violations before and during their weekend match against Schalke 04.

Lahm had spoken out about Bayern's buying plan in a newspaper interview, criticising the team for their transfer moves and the coach for his constant switches in formation.

Toni left the stadium and drove home at half-time after being substituted in their 1-1 draw against Schalke.

Bayern were hoping for quiet - and successful - time when they signed experienced Dutch coach Louis van Gaal after a turbulent season under novice Juergen Klinsmann, who was fired with five games to go.

Van Gaal came with a pedigree that includes the Champions League title but a third into the season his position looks more tenuous by the day.

After losing 2-0 to Bordeaux last week, Bayern have only an outside chance of advancing to the knockout stage of the Champions league.

Their draw with Schalke dropped van Gaal's team six points behind the leaders, Bayer Leverkusen.

Outspoken

On the day of the match, Munich's biggest newspaper, the Sueddeutsche,
published a full-page interview Lahm, a respected Germany defender and Bayern's deputy captain.

While Bayern's managers were still coming to grips with the public ripples triggered by Lahm's interview, Italy striker Luca Toni caused more friction by walking out of the stadium at half-time and driving away without returning to watch the rest of the game.

General manager Uli Hoeness was livid after the game, saying the content and the timing of Lahm's interview was "not clever'' and promising that Lahm was "going to regret it.''

"You can talk about everything with us, but at home behind (closed) doors. He definitely broke the rules,'' Hoeness said.

Hoeness appeared to back van Gaal despite recent setbacks.

"We are going to wait calmly until Christmas and look at the situation then,'' he said.

Loius van Gaal has not had the impact that Bayern had hoped for [AFP] 
'Disappointed'

"We are disappointed because as a substitute captain (Lahm) has a special responsibility for the team and club," said general director Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

"So Philipp Lahm is fined a record amount never seen before at Bayern."

Rummenigge said Lahm broke club rules by not submitting the interview for approval and for criticising the club in public.

"Philipp broke both specific rules," Rummenigge said.

Italian Toni, unhappy with his treatment under coach Louis van Gaal, has been fighting for a starting spot hoping to get matches under his belt and make the Italy squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

"By leaving without any permission, Luca Toni showed an unacceptable loss of discipline," the club said in a statement.

Bayern have been in a crisis for weeks having failed to hit top form this season, lying in eighth place in the league after 12 matches.

They are also all but out of the Champions League.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps have been released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.