Augsburg's Baier in trouble after 'obscene gesture'
Daniel Baier will miss Augsburg's next game against Stuttgart after the German Football Association (DFB) handed him a one-match ban and a €20,000 ($24,000) fine.
The Augsburg skipper was caught making an obscene gesture in the direction of Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhüttl in the 74th minute of Augsburg's 1-0 win on Tuesday.
"I apologize to those who interpreted [the gesture] as offensive," Baier, 33, said in a post on his Instagram account on Wednesday.
"I apologized to our team [on Wednesday] before training because now my senseless gesture puts the team's great performance into the background. I hope everyone at Leipzig can accept my heartfelt apology."
Baier, who has spent the last seven years with Augsburg, has only been suspended five times in his 14-year football career. This will be the first that is not related to yellow or red card accumulation.
War of words post-match
After the match, Baier felt there was no reason for him to apologize for his behavior.
"What do I need to apologize for?" Baier said after the match. "My God, it’s a football match and emotion is part of it. I made a gesture, what more can I say?"
He backtracked in his post Wednesday, saying on Instagram: "I came to the realization that I did not do my role as captain of Augsburg justice in that instance."
Hasenhüttl refused to shake Baier’s hand after the game but attracted criticism from Augsburg President Klaus Hofmann for his own "arrogant" behavior.
"They are really bad losers and their arrogance is unsurpassed, Hofmann said. "Has Hasenhüttl apologized for his behavior?"
Baier's coach Manuel Baum focused on the football, insisting that his team's aim remains avoiding relegation and not repeating the fifth-place finish under Markus Weinzierl in 2015 which saw Augsburg travel to the likes of Athletic Bilbao and Liverpool in the following Europa League campaign.