Soccer-Bremen suspend Keita for rest of the season

(Reuters) - Werder Bremen have suspended midfielder Naby Keita until the end of the season and fined the Guinean after he did not travel with the team for their Bundesliga match against Bayer Leverkusen upon learning that he would not be in the starting line-up.

Bremen, who suffered a 5-0 defeat by Leverkusen on Sunday, said the 29-year-old will no longer train with the team or be in the dressing room.

Keita moved to the German side upon the expiry of his contract at Premier League club Liverpool in 2023 but has made only five appearances for the team.

"Naby's behaviour is intolerable for us as a club. With this action, he has let his team down in a tense sporting and personnel situation and put himself above the team. We cannot allow that," Bremen's Head of Professional Football Clemens Fritz said in a statement on Tuesday.

"At this stage of the season, we need to be fully focussed on the upcoming games and have a team that stands very close together. There was therefore no alternative to the measures we took."

Bremen, 12th in the Bundesliga standings, host third-placed VfB Stuttgart on Sunday.

(Reporting by Pearl Josephine Nazare in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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