Bayern coach Flick defends embattled Salihamidzic
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Berlin (AFP) –
Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick on Friday said a "line had been crossed" by fans who are furious with sports director Hasan Salihamidzic over the pair's recent spat.
Bayern can win a seventh title in 18 months under Flick on Saturday as a win at Mainz will confirm them as Bundesliga champions.
Yet Flick dropped a bombshell last weekend by saying he wants to be released from his Bayern contract at the end of the season.
Differences of opinion with Salihamidzic over squad recruitment is believed to be a factor.
As a result, Bayern fans have hurled a barrage of insults at Salihamidzic, who they blame for pushing the successful coach out, but Flick has demanded the abuse stops.
"I just think boundaries have been crossed. It's a no-go," Flick said Friday.
"With all the things Hasan and I have had in recent weeks, this is one thing I absolutely disapprove of and it's not acceptable at all."
An online petition by Bayern fans to get rid of Salihamidzic has reached around 70,000 signatures.
On Thursday, Bayern president Herbert Hainer told fans to rein in their "personal attacks" on Salihamidzic, whose wife also told supporters to "stop the hate".
His son, Nick Salihamidzic who plays for Bayern's Under-19 side, slammed the "disgusting behaviour, disgusting people and fake fans" who have insulted his father.
"I think everyone can imagine what it's like to have had their own family insulted," added Flick.
"I think we really have to be careful that this kind of thing is not the order of the day.
"This is solely about football, but it's not the most important thing in life.
"Family is important, health is important. And I would like to make that very clear here."
Flick credited sports director Salihamidzic for helping the club win all six available titles over the last 12 months.
After winning the Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League last season, Bayern have since collected the German Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup.
"Hopefully we will have seven titles to celebrate within two years and 'Brazzo' (Salihamidzic) has played a huge part in that," added Flick,
"Few in Bayern's history can say they've won seven titles in two years.
"We have a different approach and that's all that counts.
"It's that we think about things differently, but that has nothing to do with the fact that we don't appreciate each other personally."
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