Bayern’s Van Bommel to fight three-match ban

Bayern Munich's Dutch midfielder Mark van Bommel will contest the three-match suspension handed to him for making an obscene gesture to the referee in a Bundesliga game, it was revealed Thursday.

The Dutchman was booked late in last Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Hamburg for time-wasting which earned him a yellow card, but he was shown a second yellow – and the compulsorily red – when he made an obscene gesture to the referee.

The German Football Association (DFB) gave him a three-match ban for his action, but the 30-year-old insists he was responding to Hamburg fans in the Allianz Arena crowd.

He will now appear in front of a DFB disciplinary committee in Frankfurt to explain his side of the story. The committee’s chairman will then make a final ruling on the matter. But the evidence against van Bommel is concrete – television cameras clearly showed him making the gesture while staring at the referee Lutz Wagner who saw what was happening as he turned round.

Van Bommel, known for his fiery temperament on the pitch, will definitely miss Saturday’s clash with Schalke 04 in Gelsenkirchen as a red card automatically carries a minimum one-match ban.


German football club ends partnership with Russia’s Gazprom

German football club Schalke 04 announced Monday it had prematurely ended its partnership with Russian gas giant Gazprom following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

German football club ends partnership with Russia's Gazprom

The deal between the second-tier German club and Gazprom had been due to run until 2025 with Schalke receiving around €9 million ($10 million) per year in sponsorship.

Had the Gelsenkirchen-based club won promotion back to the Bundesliga at the end of this season, the sponsorship figure would have risen to €15 million annually.

Schalke had already removed the Gazprom logo from their shirts for Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Karlsruhe.

In a statement, Schalke said their finances were “unaffected by this decision”.

“The club’s management is confident that it will be able to present a new partner in the near future.”

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Gazprom representative Matthias Warnig resigned from the club’s supervisory board last Thursday.

Hans-Joachim Watzke, interim president of the German Football Association (DFB), had already hinted there could be financial aid for Schalke if they split from Gazprom.

“If this requires the solidarity of other clubs in Germany to get them out of this situation, then we have to discuss how we can manage that,” Watzke told ZDF.

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