BERLIN: Bayern Munich yesterday said it will impose “a heavy fine” on Franck Ribery over an obscenity-laced outburst on social media, after the French striker became embroiled in controversy for eating a gold-coated steak. The punishment comes after Ribery lashed out at critics in a string of angry posts on Twitter and Instagram on Saturday. It is the latest scandal to engulf the 35-year-old, who is deeply unpopular in his native France but revered by German fans.
“I had a long talk with Franck and I let him know that we would impose a heavy fine on him and he accepted it,” the club’s sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic told journalists in Qatar, where the club is on a training camp.
“He used words that we, FC Bayern, cannot accept and that Franck does not have the right to use, as a role-model and player of FC Bayern,” added Salihamidzic.
On Thursday, Ribery posted a video on social media showing him in a Dubai steak house owned by celebrity Turkish restauranteur Salt Bae and rubbing his hands before tucking into a huge chop coated in gold. That ostentatious luxury, and the reported cost of the meal, drew ferocious criticism before Ribery — who earns an estimated eight million euros a year with the German champions — hit back.
“Let’s start with the envious, the angry, surely born because of a broken condom,” read the first of the posts on Ribery’s Twitter account. Salihamidzic made clear that Ribery did not pay the bill himself because he had been invited to the restaurant. —Agencies