Tue, Oct 14, 2008 - Page 18 News List

Kuranyi shown the door after going AWOL in Dortmund

LOEW LIVID After he failed to show up for the team bus, officials searched the stadium for the missing striker but could find no trace of him


Germany coach Joachim Loew said on Sunday he would no longer select striker Kevin Kuranyi after he went absent without leave following Saturday’s 2-1 win over Russia in a World Cup qualifier.

The Schalke 04 forward, who had not been selected for the 18-man match squad in the Group Four qualifier, watched from the grandstand as Lukas Podolski and Michael Ballack hit first-half goals to seal the win on Saturday.

The 26-year-old did not show up for the team bus on their journey from the stadium to their base in Dusseldorf and up until Sunday morning had no contact with the team.

Loew immediately reacted by discarding him.

“I cannot accept a reaction such as that shown by Kevin, and therefore I will no longer select him in future for the national side,” Loew said in a statement on the German Football Federation (DFB) Web site.

German sports agency SID reported that of the striker’s friends went to the hotel where the German team are based, to collect Kuranyi’s possessions on Saturday night.

The DFB confirmed the player’s absence to SID, but gave no reasons why Kuranyi left the squad so abruptly.

The Brazilian-born player watched the first-half of the game with the other members of the squad and asked permission at half-time to change clothes and be able to meet friends.

But after his request was granted, Kuranyi, who fell out with former coach Jurgen Klinsmann after being left off the 2006 World Cup squad, was not seen again and failed to meet the team bus.

More than an hour after the final whistle, officials searched the stadium for their missing player before the team left without him.

Team manager Oliver Bierhoff made several attempts in vain to reach the striker on his cell phone.

But Schalke boss Andreas Mueller called for understanding for Kuranyi’s absence having been relegated to fourth-choice striker.

“One can certainly discuss whether it was good idea for him to leave in the half-time break,” Mueller said. “But this step shows, at least in my eyes, what was going on with Kevin.”

“He couldn’t take it anymore, the personal disappointment of not being involved was too much. One should think about his motives in this situation,” he said.

The background to Kuranyi’s exit stems back to the 2006 World Cup where he was disgarded by Klinsmann.

Mueller continued: “He then fought his way back into the national team and scored two goals in Prague to help beat the Czech Republic which went a long way to Germany reaching Euro 2008.”

“But he was hardly involved in the tournament, even though other strikers were not in good form,” Mueller said. “Then to not at least be included in the squad against Russia was too much for him.”

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