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German coach quits Russian club in protest

MOSCOW (AP) – German coach Markus Gisdol quit his job as coach of Russian football club Lokomotiv Moscow on Tuesday in protest at Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Lokomotiv said simply that Gisdol was “removed from the post of head coach” after less than four months in charge.

He told German tabloid Bild it was a gesture of protest at working in a country “whose head of state is responsible for a war of aggression in the middle of Europe”.

“I cannot stand on the training field in Moscow, coaching the players, demanding professionalism, and a couple of kilometres away orders are being issued which bring great suffering to an entire people,” Gisdol told the newspaper. Lokomotiv is owned by Russian Railways, which was placed under United States sanctions last week. Gisdol was appointed in October by then-sporting director Ralf Rangnick, who then moved on to coach Manchester United.

Former Liverpool and Ukraine striker Andriy Voronin left his post as assistant coach of Dynamo Moscow and Ukrainian goalkeeper Yaroslav Hodzyur quit another club, Ural Yekaterinburg. Ural’s president told the Tass news agency a second Ukrainian player would also follow.

Others are staying put. “I’m not the kind of person to take a ticket and fly away,” Dynamo’s German head coach Sandro Schwarz said in comments published in Russian on the club website on Saturday.

“That’s not me. I feel responsibility and I will be at the club.”


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