The Bundesliga giants have insisted that a key player will not be sent away on international duty due to a knee injury, but Les Bleus have hit back
Bayern Munich chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has expressed his frustration with the French Football Federation (FFF) after their response to Lucas Hernandez’s withdrawal from upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers.
France are currently second in Group H on goal difference behind Turkey and must pick up maximum points to move a step closer to booking their place in next year’s European Championship.
Hernandez has been forced to sit out Bayern’s last two fixtures through injury, with the club’s sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic determined to keep a prized asset at the Allianz Arena so he can continue his recovery.
However, the FFF has contacted the Bundesliga giants to demand his participation on Monday, with current FIFA rules dictating that clubs cannot withhold their players from international duties.
Bayern chief Rummenigge has voiced his irritation in the wake of the news, insisting that Hernandez is not fit enough to contribute to his country’s cause this month.
He has issued an official statement on Bayern’s website, which reads: “I am irritated by the behaviour of the French federation.
“I would like to point out that Lucas Hernandez was not able to play in the Champions League match against Tottenham Hotspur last Tuesday in London, nor in our Bundesliga match against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on Saturday.
“The statement quoted by France coach Didier Deschamps was for Lucas Hernandez to be ready to ‘play with one leg’, which was very surprising to us.
“Of the four requested French national players, of course, we will send the three healthy players – Kingsley Coman, Corentin Tolisso and Benjamin Pavard.”
Bayern’s club doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt added: “I am responsible for the health of Lucas Hernández and I say he cannot play in the upcoming matches of the French national team, so a call-up makes no sense.”
Niko Kovac weighed in on the club versus country row after watching his side succumb to a 2-1 defeat against Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
He insisted that the German champions “have a duty’ to protect their players, echoing Salihamidzic’s stance that Hernandez should remain at the Allianz Arena.
Bayern have also held back Austrian full-back David Alaba, who sustained a hairline fracture to his rib during a 7-2 win at Tottenham in the Champions League last Tuesday.