Ribéry out of Champions League final after losing ban appeal

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Bayern Munich playmaker Franck Ribéry will not play in the Champions League final against Inter Milan on May 22, after losing his appeal at a UEFA hearing in Nyon.

UEFA's disciplinary body had ordered the three-match suspension last week after judging Ribéry guilty of serious foul play when he stepped on the ankle of Lisandro López in the first-half of Bayern's 1-0 win over Olympique Lyon last month.

Ribéry hoped to be reprieved with a one-match suspension which he already served by missing the return match in France, but he failed to overturn the ban at an appeal hearing at European football's governing body on Wednesday.

"The appeals body has fully upheld the initial decision made by the body of first instance, the UEFA control and disciplinary body, and has confirmed the three match suspension of Franck Ribéry in UEFA club competitions," said UEFA spokesman Robert Faulkner.

"Having served one match, the semi-final second leg game between Olympique Lyonnais and Bayern Munich on 27 April, the player will now miss the Champions League final on 22 May and the next UEFA club competition match for which he is eligible."

But Bayern claimed the decision was too harsh and they would appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in a final attempt to clear Ribéry for the May 22 match in Madrid.

Bayern president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said in a statement released by the club: "Franck Ribéry as well as our in-house counsel Dr Gerlinger have in my view put an impressive case to the court that we are not dealing with violent conduct but merely a foul.

"The committee rated this case as a borderline case. Nevertheless the three-person committee unfortunately did not follow FC Bayern's plea.

"We are very disappointed by this judgment and still cannot comprehend that this foul was judged as violent conduct.

"We told UEFA immediately after the verdict that we will also appeal against this judgment. We will continue to fight for justice so that Franck Ribéry, despite the confirmation of the ban, can still play in the Champions League final."

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