Bayern won’t release Ribery for France hearing

Bayern Munich won’t release winger Franck Ribery for an upcoming
hearing by the French soccer federation on the national team’s
World Cup debacle.

The club complained Monday that it ”had to learn from the
media” of plans by the federation to summon Ribery and others to
Paris for a hearing Aug. 17.

The German champion said that FIFA rules oblige it only to
release players for competitive matches on the international soccer
calendar.

Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge informed French federation
president Fernand Duchaussoy of the decision in writing, Bayern
said in a statement.

”It cannot be the case that the French federation arbitrarily
hauls Franck Ribery out of his commitments at Bayern Munich,”
Rummenigge said. ”The club’s preparations for the new Bundesliga
season now have priority over the French federation’s processing of
the World Cup.”

The club said Ribery would be playing a German Cup match against
Germania Windeck on Aug. 16 and would start preparing the following
day for the season’s first Bundesliga match, against 2009 champion
Wolfsburg on Aug. 20.

The French federation opened a disciplinary case last Friday
against Ribery and four others who went on strike at the World Cup
– Nicolas Anelka, Eric Abidal, Jeremy Toulalan and captain Patrice
Evra.