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Mobile madness – Rangnick blasts Leipzig pair caught on phones

Berlin (AFP) – RB Leipzig pair Jean-Kevin Augustin and Nordi Mukiele are set to be dropped for Sunday’s Bundesliga game at Eintracht Frankfurt and fined for using their mobile phones before a European match.

According to German newspaper Bild, the French Under-21 internationals were caught on their mobiles before Thursday’s 3-2 home defeat against Red Bull Salzburg in the group stages of the Europa League.

The use of mobile phones is strictly forbidden in the build up to matches at the German league club.

Both Augustin, 21, and Mukiele, 20, were substituted at half-time following poor performances and Leipzig coach Ralf Rangnick let rip.

“There are things that explain why some players were not ready for the game,” Rangnick fumed in Bild.

The Leipzig team reportedly only realised the French pair were both missing shortly before kick off against Salzburg and after a search, Augustin and Mukiele were found on the Leipzig bench — with earphones on, playing with their phones.

“It’s completely perverse that we’ve travelled across Europe for three months to qualify for this competition – and then some players see this as a chore.

“I did not hear about the incident until Friday morning.

“Sure, we’ll sanction them hard.”

Augustin, who has scored 17 goals in 46 games for RB, got into hot water with the French Football Federation (FFF) earlier this month for turning down a call up to the Under-21 team because of muscle fatigue, only to play a friendly for Leipzig.

The FFF have complained to FIFA and an investigation is underway.

A year ago, the former Paris Saint-Germain striker was thrown out of the France Under-21 team after a row with the junior French team’s coach Sylvain Ripoll and was suspended until March this year.

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