Bayern’s blues: Van Gaal axed, Robben sees red

German champions Bayern Munich have sacked coach Louis van Gaal on Sunday in the wake of their 1-1 draw with Nuremberg, according to reports in the media here. Star player Arjen Robben also received a red card after the final whistle.

Bayern's blues: Van Gaal axed, Robben sees red
Outgoing Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal. Photo: DPA

The result means Bayern have dropped to fourth in the Bundesliga and must finish at least second in the table to be sure of a Champions League place next season, with five games remaining.

Bayern are 14 points behind Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund.

According to both German daily Bild and football magazine Kicker, the

decision was made by Bayern’s board.Van Gaal’s assistant Andries Jonker will take over as caretaker head coach, with Hermann Gerland as his assistant.

Bayer Leverkusen’s coach Jupp Heynckes has already been announced as Bayern’s head coach for next season.

Van Gaal, 59, was told last month his contract, which was due to expire in 2012, would be terminated at the end of the season.

Meanwhile, Bayern Munich’s Dutch star Arjen Robben apologised to his teammates and fans for receiving a red card following his side’s 1-1 draw with Nuremberg.

Bayern’s playmaker is now suspended for a crunch Bundesliga clash with second-placed Bayer Leverkusen next weekend, having been sent off at Nuremberg by referee Knut Kircher on Saturday.

Robben was furious after his team conceded a late equaliser which saw them drop to fourth in the German league and slip further behind in their bid to finish second in the table to secure a Champions League place next season.

The Dutchman admitted he lost his head after exchanging heated words with Kircher, despite the game being over.

“I don’t know what I said any more,” admitted the 27-year-old after the second red card of his career.

“I was very angry, very disappointed, but I should be sorting that out with my teammates and not with the referee. I want to apologise to the fans and the team. I shouldn’t have done that.”

Robben is reported to have apologised to Kircher at the Nuremberg stadium. His last dismissal was in March 2006 while playing for Premier League side Chelsea against West Bromwich Albion.

Robben will now appear before the German Football Federation (DFB) disciplinary committee next week which will determine the exact length of his ban.

“Hopefully it won’t be too bad,” he said.


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Four injured as WWII bomb explodes near Munich train station

Four people were injured, one of them seriously, when a World War II bomb exploded at a building site near Munich's main train station on Wednesday, emergency services said.

Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich.
Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Privat

Construction workers had been drilling into the ground when the bomb exploded, a spokesman for the fire department said in a statement.

The blast was heard several kilometres away and scattered debris hundreds of metres, according to local media reports.

Images showed a plume of smoke rising directly next to the train tracks.

Bavaria interior minister Joachim Herrmann told Bild that the whole area was being searched.

Deutsche Bahn suspended its services on the affected lines in the afternoon.

Although trains started up again from 3pm, the rail operator said there would still be delays and cancellations to long-distance and local travel in the Munich area until evening. 

According to the fire service, the explosion happened near a bridge that must be passed by all trains travelling to or from the station.

The exact cause of the explosion is unclear, police said. So far, there are no indications of a criminal act.

WWII bombs are common in Germany

Some 75 years after the war, Germany remains littered with unexploded ordnance, often uncovered during construction work.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany

However, most bombs are defused by experts before they explode.

Last year, seven World War II bombs were found on the future location of Tesla’s first European factory, just outside Berlin.

Sizeable bombs were also defused in Cologne and Dortmund last year.

In 2017, the discovery of a 1.4-tonne bomb in Frankfurt prompted the evacuation of 65,000 people — the largest such operation since the end of the war in Europe in 1945.