Augsburg captain Baier called to explain obscene gesture

AFP
Augsburg captain Daniel Baier could face a heavy German football association (DFB) fine after being investigated for making an obscene gesture during a televised Bundesliga match.
AFP
AFP

RB Leipzig head coach Ralph Hasenhuettl arrives at the stadium prior to their German Bundesliga match against Augsburg in Augsburg, southern Germany, on September 19, 2017. The hosts won 1-0.

Augsburg captain Daniel Baier could face a heavy German football association (DFB) fine after being investigated for making an obscene gesture during a televised Bundesliga match.

When Baier was tackled near the RB Leipzig bench late in Augsburg's 1-0 victory during Tuesday's bad-tempered match, the 33-year-old spat in the direction of RB coach Ralph Hasenhuettl.

The television camera caught Baier also making an obscene gesture.

The DFB confirmed on Wednesday it will investigate, referee Daniel Siebert not having seen the incident.

Baier twice tried to apologize, both after the final whistle on the pitch and again in the dressing room, but Hasenhuettl rejected the apology. 

Immediately after the match, Augsburg's skipper Baier saw no reason to say 'sorry'.

"What should I apologize for?" he told Sky.

"My god, it's a football match and emotions are involved.

"I made a gesture, what more can I say?"

However, Baier apologized in a statement posted on social media channel Instagram on Wednesday.

"Out of the emotion, I let myself be swept into making a gesture that I don't know how I got to," Baier wrote.

"I apologize to all those who interpreted it as offensive.

"I apologized to the team before training, because the senseless gesture pushed our great performance into the background.

"I hope that those at RB Leipzig will also think differently following last night, when I tried to apologize on the pitch and later in their dressing room to clean up the misunderstanding."

Tensions clearly remain

On Wednesday, Hasenhuettl said he was 'done' with the subject, but tensions clearly remain.

"I told him after the game what I thought of it and I was not going to accept an apology in that moment," said Hasenhuettl.

"With all the emotion, and I've seen more emotion in games where more has been going on, I have never seen something like that.

"I promise one thing: should one of our players pull a similar stunt, he will certainly hear something other than an accusation against the opposing coach," he added, referring to Baier's comment about the rejected apology.

There is a history of bad-blood between the pair after Hasenhuettl previously commented on Baier's behavior.

Augsburg is having a stellar start to the season with 10 points from its first five league games to go third in Germany's top flight.

In contrast, UEFA Champions League side Leipzig is struggling to recapture last season's form, which saw tit finish second to reigning champion Bayern Munich.

It is eighth having lost twice in the league so far this season after starting the 2016/17 campaign with a record 13-game unbeaten run on its Bundesliga debut.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, Colombia midfielder James Rodriguez celebrated his first Bundesliga start for Bayern in style by inspiring it to a 3-0 win at Schalke 04, Reuters reports.

James, on loan from Real Madrid, scored the second goal and cleverly set up the third, having also played a part in winning the penalty which got Bayern off the mark.

Robert Lewandowski fired Bayern ahead from the spot in the 25th minute after James got to the byline and produced a cross which was handled by Naldo.

Four minutes later, James got free in the Schalke box and tucked his shot past Ralf Faehrmann for Bayern's second.

Not content with that, he cut inside two defenders and dinked the ball over the Schalke defense for Arturo Vidal to add the third in the 75th.

Bayern's win put it on 12 points from five games and took it top, at least until Wednesday.

VfL Wolfsburg drew 1-1 at home to Werder Bremen and Borussia Moenchengladbach beat VfB Stuttgart 2-0 in the other games.

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