Storied German Bundesliga side Schalke 04 have been a club in turmoil in recent times.
Germany’s third-biggest club are without a win in 24 league games and sit at the bottom of the league table with only three points after eight matches.
Today they announced the suspensions of North-African and Muslim stars Nabil Bentaleb and Amine Harit.
Bentaleb and Harit, of Algerian and Moroccan origin respectively, are both known to be talented players whose careers have been plighted with disciplinary issues.
“Nabil Bentaleb and Amine Harit will train individually, under the supervision of the first-team coaching staff, until further notice.” The club statement reads.
Bentaleb, formerly of Tottenham Hotspurs, spent the second half of the last season on loan at Newcastle United.
Since joining Schalke in 2016, Bentaleb has struggled to solidly a first team place amidst many disputes with the club.
“He is undisputedly an excellent footballer,” Jochen Schneider, the club’s sporting director, told the club’s website about Bentaleb. There are no two opinions.
“However, we need to realize that Schalke and Nabil Bentaleb obviously don’t go together. There wasn’t that one moment. It was a process. They will part ways by the summer of 2021 at the latest.”
The decision to suspend Harit, on the other hand, seems quite rash – considering the 23-year-old Moroccan attacking midfielder is one of the most promising youngsters in the Bundesliga.
Sports director at #S04, Jochen Schneider, labeled Amine Harit's behavior in the loss to Wolfsburg as "unacceptable". He went straight to the locker room after being taken off in the first half.— Maghrib Foot (@MaghribFoot) November 23, 2020
"I'm disappointed. He has incredible potential, but hasn't showed it on the pitch." pic.twitter.com/6sVMQPYWtX
Both players have been told to train alone and away from the first-team, leading some to believe that a racism row at the club was the cause of their suspensions.
The club also sacked their technical director Michael Reschke. Schneider said in a statement that there had been “different views over the sporting future of the club” between the pair.