Bremen player accused of picking up booking to avoid Bayern
Bayern Munich sure have many opponents running scared.
So frightened was Werder Bremen midfielder Zlatko Junuzovic of the German champions that he deliberately picked up a booking — his fifth of the season — in the 4-1 win over Hannover last Sunday (March 6), so that he got an automatic one-match ban.
No prizes then, for guessing right who their next opponents are this coming Sunday (March 13).
Some may think it was clever of Junuzovic, since Werder Bremen are most likely going to lose to Bayern Munich anyway.
Except that the 28-year-old Austria international confessed after Sunday’s game that his yellow-card offence, for time wasting, was deliberate.
He said in front of the TV cameras: “It was discussed, I admit it. But it’s better (to be booked this way), than intentionally hurt someone.”
At least he wasn’t alone.
His teammate Clemens Fritz, who picked up his 10th booking of the term in the same match, has also been charged by the German FA with the same offence.
Werder Bremen coach Viktor Skripnik wasn’t amused, naturally.
He said: “For us, even games against a team like Bayern are important.
“In such games, our team can still develop. I do not know what the players coordinate with each other, but when they decide for themselves to get a ban, I think that is wrong.”
Werder Bremen are embroiled in a relegation battle, with just three points separating them from the drop zone.
In February, five Darmstadt players were also suspected of using the same tactic to avoid playing a match against Bayern Munich, although they denied the accusation.