Franck Ribery reacted angrily to criticism of a picture on social media. Photo: Hasan Bratic/dpa via AP

DUSSELDORF – Franck Ribery’s recent tirade shows that football players need better coaching and support on how to interact via social media, according to the German players’ union VDV.

VDV managing director Ulf Baranowsky told dpa on Monday that clubs and federations must help the players in this area as “many players don’t find it easy to deal with social media”.

Ribery was fined by Bayern Munich after he responded to at times harsh and insulting criticism for posting a photo of having served a gold covered steak in a famous Dubai restaurant, with a rant on his private social media channels filled with expletives.

“Two-way insults in the internet is not nice for anyone involved. If a player is provoked, he has the right to react. But it should have the right level, which isn’t easy in a stressful situation,” Baranowsky said.

The VDV said it depends on each individual case whether clubs can sanction wrongdoings from players in a private environment.

Player contracts normally have a clause whether social media postings must be approved by the employer.

Players also have loyalty obligations towards their clubs.

Ribery was training with Munich in Doha for the second half of the Bundesliga season, and captain Manuel Neuer said on Monday that he doesn’t expect a negative effect on Bayern’s aim to make up a six-point deficit on leaders Borussia Dortmund.

“The deciding thing for me is what Franck does for the team,” Neuer said. “I don’t think this should be turned into a debate.

“The question for us players is, how does he train and play, how does he present himself on the pitch?

“I have no doubts, given how he works for the team here and how he played in the last game against Frankfurt.”

dpa