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Football: Bremen suspend speed-demons Arnautovic, Elia

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(GlobalPost/GlobalPost)

Werder Bremen have suspended both Austrian bad-boy striker Marko Arnautovic and Dutch forward Eljero Elia until further notice after the former was cautioned by police for speeding in the early hours of Friday morning.

The news comes at an inopportune moment with 14th-placed Bremen only five points off the bottom three with four games left and involved in the relegation battle.

They have not won in their last nine games and coach Thomas Schaaf has taken a dim view of the pair's behaviour.

"We cannot tolerate such unprofessional behaviour in preparation for our match in Leverkusen," said Schaaf ahead of Saturday's clash away at the third placed team in the Bundesliga.

At 0300 local time (0100 GMT) on Friday, Arnautovic's sports car was pulled over by police on the A1 motorway near Bremen having been travelling at high speed.

Elijah, 26, who was driving a separate car, pulled over and got involved before a total of seven people then started arguing aggressively with the police, who called for re-enforcements.

Although the pair both passed tests for alcohol, Arnautovic, 24, will have to pay a hefty fine and faces at least a one-month ban, police confirmed to SID, an AFP subsidiary.

"We are deeply disappointed and have to send a clear message that we need players who give 100 percent for their their profession and the task we face at Werder," said Bremen'S director of sport Thomas Eichin.

To make matters worse, Bremen have to also do without midfielder Kevin de Bruyne, who is on loan from Chelsea, as the Belgian is suffering with a thigh injury.

Elijah had only been set for a place on the bench against Bayer Leverkusen, but Arnautovic's latest indiscretion leaves Schaaf needing to replace the striker who has five goals in 26 league games this season.

The Austrian has a long list of unfavourable incidents since joining in 2010 from Inter Milan having been involved in a brawl in a Bremen nightclub and then got involved in a training ground scuffle.

Last year he was involved in an incident in his home town of Vienna when he insulted an officer with the words: "I earn so much, I can buy your life".

Elijah joined from Juventus in June 2012, but has been largely a disappointment, starting only four Bundesliga games this season.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130426/football-bremen-suspend-speed-demons-arnautovic-elia