Robben, Ribery set for bench in Bayern farewell

Picture taken on May 12, 2012 shows Bayern Munich's French midfielder Franck Ribery (R) congratulating Bayern Munich's Dutch midfielder Arjen Robben after he scored during the German cup "DFB Pokal" final football match Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund at the Olympiastadion in Berlin. (AFP / ODD ANDERSEN )
Updated 16 May 2019

Robben, Ribery set for bench in Bayern farewell

  • Coach Kovac says pragmatism may come before sentimentality
  • Bayern hopes to wrap up a league and cup double in the next two weeks

BERLIN: Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac has hinted that departing veterans Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery will not be in the starting 11 for their final Bundesliga appearance against Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.
Bayern need to avoid defeat against Frankfurt if they are to secure a seventh successive Bundesliga title, and Kovac suggested on Thursday that pragmatism may come before sentimentality when it comes to Robben and Ribery.
“As a coach you always have to be a coach on the one hand and a human being on the other, and they are not always compatible,” said Kovac.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Robben had voiced his hope of making one final start for Bayern at the Allianz Arena, and joked that he would score two goals if he played 90 minutes.
“Of course Arjen wants to play,” said Kovac.
The Bayern coach said he had already spoken to both Robben and Ribery about their roles on Saturday, but refused to confirm whether they would be in the starting lineup.
“I am going to leave you in the dark on that one,” he told reporters.
Kovac confirmed that James Rodriguez would be unavailable against Frankfurt, and said Thiago and Joshua Kimmich hoped to return to full fitness in time to play.
Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who has been out with a calf injury since April, is also expected to miss out.
Bayern hope to wrap up a league and cup double in the next two weeks, but their success has not stopped questions about Kovac’s future.
Amid speculation he may be fighting for his job, the Bayern coach made an emotional plea for more empathy in football on Thursday.
“I have learned how difficult it is to stay a normal person,” he said of his first season at Bayern. “We have to learn to have more empathy.”
“If I slap you, then the pain will fade after a while, but it will be worse for the soul,” he told reporters.
“We have to see the person in front of us and not just pile in all the time.”


Dubai uses extreme cold cryotherapy to treat racehorses in world first

Updated 21 August 2019

Dubai uses extreme cold cryotherapy to treat racehorses in world first

  • Cryotherapy, which surrounds the body in a mist as cold as -140°C, has been used for decades on athletes to aid recovery and in medicine
  • A Dubai-based company, Revive Cryotherapy, says it is now offering the first whole body cryotherapy chamber for horses

DUBAI: In the searing summer heat of Dubai, some of the world’s top racehorses are being swathed in freezing nitrogen mist to boost their performance.
Cryotherapy, which surrounds the body in a mist as cold as -140°C, has been used for decades on athletes to aid recovery and in medicine. A Dubai-based company, Revive Cryotherapy, says it is now offering the first whole body cryotherapy chamber for horses.
“As far as recovery goes we are learning, but it is positive so far,” said Satish Seemar, head trainer at Zabeel Racing Stables which trains about 125 horses.
“The horses start hopping quicker after their hard work and racing than without cryotherapy,” he added.
Dubai, part of the United Arab Emirates, is known for its connections to elite horse racing. Its ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, is an avid sponsor, owner and rider of horses. The emirate gives out multi-million dollar prizes at prestigious competitions.
“Horse racing is a big business with prizes worth millions of dollars. With cryotherapy we have seen that you can train harder, recover quicker and you can race more often,” said Luka Jurkovic, general manager of Revive Cryotherapy.
The company also offers the technology to humans and dogs and is thinking of expanding into the world of camel racing.
“We will have to scale it up a bit as camels are obviously bigger,” Jurkovic said.
Revive, which has two other bespoke horse cryotherapy cabins in Dubai, finished the testing phase in April and is now using it daily on horses at Zabeel Stables, a lush green space in the heart of Dubai’s high-rise financial district.
The horses are gradually introduced to the cabin, which fits snugly around their bodies leaving their heads and necks free, and treated with the swirling cold mist. After a first few familiarization sessions, they undergo a full treatment which lasts around seven minutes and cools their skin to about 3-5 degrees.
The cabin doors are not locked allowing horses to escape if they panic.
Cryotherapy is thought to help inflammation and tissue damage, and to help athletes — and horses — recover faster after exercise.