German FA suspend two staff members over spat with Swedish bench

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Soccer Football - World Cup - Group F - Germany vs Sweden - Fisht Stadium, Sochi, Russia - June 23, 2018 Sweden coach Janne Andersson and substitute players clash with Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff after the match REUTERS/Hannah McKay

The German Football Association has suspended two of its backroom staff for Wednesday’s crunch World Cup clash against South Korea following an angry exchange with the Sweden bench. Media coordinator Uli Voigt and Georg Behlau, head of the backroom staff, have been told not to attend the final Group F match in Kazan, which Germany must win by a margin of two goals to be sure of reaching the last 16. The pair were stood down for provoking Sweden’s bench in Sochi on Saturday with emotional celebrations, which sparked a heated exchange after Toni Kroos’s last-gasp free-kick sealed the Germans’ dramatic 2-1 victory.

Sweden coach Janne Andersson complained about the incident, which FIFA are investigating and the DFB submitted a statement giving their version of events on Monday. The DFB said it “expressly regrets the gestures towards the Swedish bench by two members of the support staff” and that the pair had let their emotions get the better of them. According to reports, members of the German squad later apologized to their Swedish counterparts after the game in Sochi.

“It was an emotional game and in the end one or two reactions or gestures from our staff towards the Swedish bench were too emotional, which is not our style,” wrote the DFB on their Twitter account.

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