Stop the Kahn-Lehmann feud, says Bayern boss

Bayern Munich have pleaded with the Germany manager Jürgen Klinsmann to put an end to the bitter dispute between goalkeepers Oliver Kahn and Jens Lehmann.

The Bayern Munich chairman, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, said Kahn, of Bayern, and Arsenal's Lehmann were both making errors because of the pressure and urged Klinsmann to change his plan to wait until shortly before the 2006 World Cup finals before picking a number one. Kahn made a last-minute blunder in Bayern Munich's 1-0 defeat by Juventus in their Champions League match on Wednesday and later blamed a wet ball, wet grass and a bad bounce. He has also been jeered by fans of Lehmann in recent Bundesliga matches.

'The debate has to be ended,' Rummenigge said. 'Klinsmann wanted a battle between Kahn and Lehmann. We've got to make sure that at the end of the day both don't lose. We've got to change something. It's permanently in the media and we can't afford every week of this "advantage Kahn" or "advantage Lehmann" stuff. Things are out of control. I plead for a decision in the best interests of everyone involved.'

But Klinsmann said yesterday that he would not make any changes to his strategy. 'We are quite fortunate to have such exceptional goalkeepers on the team,' he said.

Bayern coach Felix Magath said last month that Kahn was performing better under pressure when Lehmann made an error in the Premiership. He then criticised Klinsmann after Kahn's blunder against Juventus. 'The pressure on Kahn is enormous,' Magath said.

Lehmann, 34, has 20 caps, while 35-year-old Kahn has played 74 times for his country. Kahn was the hero of Germany's run to the 2002 World Cup final but has since made a number of high-profile errors.

Former Germany coach Rudi Völler gave Kahn special status as captain and number one, but Klinsmann, an unabashed fan of English football, stripped Kahn of the captaincy and said that Lehmann had an equal shot at the job.

Lehmann will be in goal for their match in Leipzig against Cameroon on 17 November.

· You can mail the Osbserver direct at sport@observer.co.uk

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