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.