BERLIN (AP) – Bayern Munich has fined winger Franck Ribery for posting expletives and insults on social media after receiving criticism online for posting a video of being served a gold-leaf steak.
“He used words that we as Bayern Munich cannot accept and that Franck as a role model, as a player of Bayern, should never use. I spoke with Franck for a long time yesterday and I informed him that he would receive a large fine. He accepted this fine,” Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said at the club’s winter training camp in Doha, Qatar on Sunday.
Salihamidzic did not divulge the amount of the fine.
Later Sunday, Ribery reacted on Twitter and Instagram: “Don’t worry, I’m fine . and now back to serious business, we have a lot of work to do . great atmosphere in the team here in Doha, that’s how it should be!”
On Thursday, Ribery posted a video on both social networks of being served a golden rib-eye steak by Turkish celebrity chef Nusret Gokce – better known by his nickname Salt Bae – at the Nusr-Et steakhouse in Dubai, saying in English, “No better way to start the year than with a dash of salt and a visit to my Turkish brother.”
Gokce, clad in his trademark dark aviator glasses and a bicep-busting T-shirt, cut the steak in slices with a long knife, then stuck the knife in the wooden board before posing for a thumbs-up from Ribery.
Salihamidzic said Ribery had been invited for the gilded steak and that he didn’t pay for it himself. But it was assumed from the social media video that the French player had paid 1,200 euros ($1,365) for it.
“Because this was misrepresented, Franck was abused and insulted. Not just him, but also his pregnant wife, his child, and his mother, who is in hospital for an operation,” said Salihamidzic, who said he understood the player’s reaction to defend his family. “He had every right to do so. I support the player there, too.”
However, Salihamidzic said, “On one point he totally left the rails,” referring to the language that Ribery had used on Twitter.
Ribery said in French, “Let’s start with the envious, the hateful, who have surely come through a condom with a hole. (Expletive) your mothers, your grandmothers and even your ancestors. I don’t owe you anything. My success is down to God, myself and those close to me who believed in me. For the others, you are just pebbles in my socks.”
Ribery said in another follow-up tweet: “To the pseudo-journalists who always criticized me, whenever I spend something (because I have learned to give when I earn a lot.) why is this not spread by one of the big national media? No, you prefer to speak about the holiday that I spend with my family. You scrutinize my movements and gestures, what I eat for example! Oh yes, you are here for this type of futility.”
Kicker magazine called the 35-year-old’s reaction “a scandal.”
Ribery’s contract with Bayern is up at the end of the season. He joined the club in 2007.
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