Franck Ribery formally apologized to beIN journalist and commentator Patrick Guillou on Thursday at a meeting attended by Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic. Ribery acknowledged what he had done was wrong in a video posted to the club’s official website, hoping that the affair could now be put to rest.
Although Patrick Guillou has accepted Ribery’s apology, Ribery will not get off entirely scot-free after all. Bild reports that Hubert Burda Media had intended to award Ribery a prestigious BAMBI award in sport jointly with Arjen Robben on Friday. Upon learning of Ribery’s attack on Guillou after Bayern’s match in Dortmund on Saturday, however, the organized have ruled that Ribery’s actions disqualify him.
In an official statement, the organizers said,
Arjen Robben and Franck Ribéry were originally supposed to receive a BAMBI for their extraordinary accomplishments as one of the most creative player-duos of the Bundesliga. Hubert Burda Media decided against the award after physically attacked a TV expert after the defeat against Dortmund. As a journalistic house, we cannot accept such behavior toward members of the media. We regret that a magnificent athlete like Arjen Robben is affected by this decision.
The BAMBI award, intended for “people with with vision and creativity who affected and inspired the German public that year,” will instead go to Bayern and Werder Bremen legend Claudio Pizarro, who became the second-oldest player (40 years, 25 days) ever to score in the Bundesliga with his goal against Bayer Leverkusen. The old man has 2 goals and 2 assists so far this season.
Last year, heavyweight boxing legend Vladimir Klitschko won the Sport-BAMBI. Past recipients include Muhammad Ali, Franz Beckenbauer, Jogi Löw and other celebrated athletes.