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Bundesliga foreign ownership ban continues

The German Bundesliga will remain a domestic affair after the league administrators voted to continue their ban on foreign ownership of clubs.

The German Football League (DFL) met on Thursday to discuss plans to change a rule which prevents foreign investors from owning more than a 50 per cent stake in any one club.

Several clubs are rumoured to be on the shopping list of overseas investors, but the DFL effectively put up a not for sale sign after recommending the '50+1 rule' remained in place.

"This decision has been taken after a very intense discussion," said DFL president Dr Reinhard Rauball.

"The Bundesliga thrives on its stability and balance. The protection of the competition must be maintained.

"The decision we have taken should help maintain this."

Elsewhere, Bayern Munich midfielder Ze Roberto has urged his under-fire team-mates to overcome the fear that has enveloped them during a poor start to the season.

The reigning champions have endured their worst start to a Bundesliga season for three decades and are currently languishing down in 11th place in the table.

Coach Jurgen Klinsmann has come under increasing pressure in recent weeks and Ze Roberto has admitted Bayern will be playing to save their reputation against Karlsruhe at the weekend.

"You cannot put the importance of the game into words," said the veteran Brazilian.

"The respect which the other teams have for us, which we have worked hard to get over the years, is on the line. I know that from my time with Leverkusen.

"Now the players in the locker room are scared that we could lose this very strength. That must not happen. That is why we need to win in Karlsruhe."

However, Bayern full-back Christian Lell is close to making a quicker than expected return to action just three weeks after suffering a calf strain.

Lell was expected to be out of action until at least the end of October after limping out of the 1-0 Bundesliga defeat to Hannover on September 27.

But the attacking full-back is now on the verge of resuming full training, although he will not be risked against Karlsruhe.