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Sat 24 Jan 2015 01:57 AM

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Bayern Munich hit back at FIFA's Zwanziger over Saudi trip

German football club accuses Zwanziger of double standards over criticism of friendly against Al-Hilal

Bayern Munich hit back at FIFA's Zwanziger over Saudi trip
Theo Zwanziger, president of the German football association (DFB). (Getty Images)

Bayern Munich have accused senior FIFA member Theo Zwanziger of double standards after the former German soccer chief criticised the Bundesliga champions over last week's visit to Saudi Arabia.

The team from Bavaria, a leading global football brand, played a friendly against Al-Hilal in Riyadh on Saturday in a one-day trip organised by a club sponsor.

It coincided with an uproar over the flogging in Saudi Arabia of activist and blogger Raif Badawi and Zwanziger accused Bayern of being driven by "commercial ethics".

"If Dr Theo Zwanziger has indeed forgotten what he once said (about Bayern) then we are seriously worried," read a column on the club website. "Does the Dr need a doctor?".

"Dr Theo Zwanziger ... is grateful to have used his chance at Bayern's expense to hit the headlines."

The club also said Zwanziger, during his time as head of the German FA (DFB), had repeatedly praised them and listed a number of his quotes from the past.

The Bavarians added that Germany, when Zwanziger was on the DFB board, played in Saudi Arabia in 1998 but that never caused any problems.

Zwanziger believed the club should not have played in Saudi Arabia.

"I know commercial ethics has ruled at Bayern for some time and when in any doubt they always side with the money bag. It is a shame but it does not surprise me," he said.

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Non-Muslim 4 years ago

It's just yet another version of the hyprocacy that is called FIFA: either something is politically correct ("You don't do this and this and this and that!"), or it is sheer materialism ("Money makes the world go round").
There were times when sport (of any kind) was known to be a means of connecting the peoples of the world - irrespective of controversial politics, political correctness, or just money. Reading Mr. Zwanziger's statement, these times seem to be long gone.
FIFA needs a THOROUGH "refurbishment" with the guy at the very top and the executive committee the first priority.