Bundesliga: Bayern Leverkusen sack Spahic after steward assault
Berlin: Bosnia defender Emir Spahic was on Sunday sacked by his Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen with the centre-back currently under investigation by police on suspicion of assaulting a club steward.
Leverkusen, who are fourth in Germany's top-flight, confirmed they had taken the decision to terminate Spahic's contract, which was due to run until June 2016, by mutual consent.
The 34-year-old, who is currently injured, is accused of headbutting a steward during a stadium altercation following Bayer's German Cup quarter-final defeat at home to Bayern Munich last Wednesday after a penalty shoot-out.
"Emir Spahic is an outstanding footballer whose performances have been of great service to Bayer," said Leverkusen's CEO Michael Schade.
"However, recent findings after the incident last Wednesday left us with no choice." A video of the incident clearly shows Spahic head-butting the steward and throwing punches during a fracas in Leverkusen's BayArena.
The club are co-operating with local police, who are investigating the footballer on suspicion of aggravated assault. The centre-back has been at Leverkusen for just under two years and has made 49 league appearances, having captained Bosnia and Herzegovina at the 2014 World Cup.
"I regret my behaviour after the cup match last Wednesday against the Bayer Leverkusen stewards," said Spahic in a statement. "I want to apologise to the victims and their families for my behaviour.
"I know that I have caused my club huge problems." This is not the first time Spahic has been accused of violent behaviour, following an incident involving Leverkusen's press spokesman in 2013.
Leverkusen captain Simon Rolfes dedicated Saturday's 3-2 win over Mainz, in which South Korea striker Son Heung-Min scored the opening goal, to the steward and wished him a speedy recovery.