Van Gaal: Ribery ban fantastic for Bayern

BERLIN - French playmaker Franck Ribery's three-match international ban is good news for his club Bayern Munich, the Bundesliga side's coach Louis van Gaal said on Friday.

Ribery was one of four players banned this month after the France squad boycotted a training session in South Africa in support of striker Nicolas Anelka, who was banished from the team for insulting then coach Raymond Domenech.

"This is fantastic for us," Van Gaal told reporters ahead of Bayern's league encounter against Kaiserslautern later on Friday. "Now he can continue with his preparation. That is very good for Franck."

Ribery underwent groin surgery after the World Cup and has resumed full training and even played in Bayern's season opening win against VfL Wolfsburg last week.

The playmaker, who has since said he would not appeal the decision, is now ruled out for his team's Euro 2012 qualifiers in early September. France play Belarus on Sept. 3 in Paris and Bosnia four days later in Sarajevo.

Anelka was banned for 18 France matches, World Cup captain Patrice Evra for five and Jeremy Toulalan for one. A fifth player, Eric Abidal, had also been summoned by the FFF but he escaped without sanction.

Evra is the only player so far to have said he would appeal.

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