Lehmann takes toilet break... during play
Thursday 10 December 2009
Stuttgart goalkeeper Jens Lehmann was lucky to get away with apparently taking a toilet break during last night's 3-1 win over Unirea Urziceni, but could be facing disciplinary action after speaking out against the sacking of Markus Babbel.
The former Germany international leapt over the advertising hoardings and appeared to relieve himself just before half-time while play was still going on at the other end of the field.
Luckily for Lehmann, the Romanians did not manage to launch an attack towards the vacated goal and, even more fortunately, referee Viktor Kassai did not notice.
Since Lehmann left the field without permission, he should have been shown the yellow card for his actions, regardless of whether he urinated or not.
But Stuttgart's director of sport Horst Heldt told the Bild newspaper afterwards: "It reminds me a lot of the Tour de France - sometimes you don't have any other possibility but to let it out."
He added: "He did it very expertly. He could have waited until half-time."
When asked to confirm whether he had been caught short, Lehmann only smiled and said: "I was more nervous than I have been for a long time."
Stuttgart already led 3-0 when Lehmann vacated his goal momentarily and they went on to win 3-1 to qualify for the last 16 of the competition.
Meanwhile, Lehmann claims the Stuttgart board bowed to pressure from fans and took the easy option in dismissing former Germany international Babbel at the weekend.
Stuttgart's team bus was blocked on its way to the stadium ahead of last Saturday's 1-1 draw with Bochum and the fans vented their anger during and after the game.
"There was a group of lads, most of whom are going through puberty, and that has had the impact of forcing the club to make decisions," he told Sky.
"That's the way things work in football, but if you have the strength and the quality to make decisions which contradict public opinion, then things work out better in the long term.
"But clubs don't seem to be able to do that."
After last night's game - the first under new coach Christian Gross - Heldt confirmed he would not accept Lehmann's remarks.
"The timing was wrong and the remarks were completely wrong," he told Sat.1 television.
"When we made our decision, we sat down and talked with the coaching team and nobody else.
"We will deal with the facts and there will be consequences."
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