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Russian football team Lokomotiv Moscow’s German coach Markus Gisdol resigned from his role as a mark of protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. However, the top-flight club said he was sacked from the head coach role.
In a statement published by German newspaper Bild, Gisdol said he had been forced to take action having witnessed what is going on in Ukraine, the Reuters news agency said.
“I cannot pursue my calling in a country whose leader is responsible for a war of aggression in the middle of Europe,” the 52-year-old Gisdol said.
“That is not in line with my values, which is why I have resigned from my position as a coach with immediate effect.
“I can’t stand on the training ground in Moscow, train the players, demand professionalism and a few kilometres away orders are given that bring great suffering to an entire people. That is my personal decision and I am absolutely convinced of it.”
Lokomotiv Moscow took to social media and said the German tactician has been dismissed from the role.
“Markus Gisdol was dismissed from the post of head coach of FC Lokomotiv. The club and the team are working as usual and are concentrating on achieving the maximum results in the upcoming matches,” Lokomotiv said.
German coach Gisdol, who had previously spent his whole playing and coaching career in his homeland, most recently with Cologne, had been in charge of the club for 12 matches.
Gisdol’s decision comes a day after FIFA and UEFA suspended Russia senior national teams and the Russian clubs from all competitions until further notice.
Spartak Moscow, Russia’s only club left in the Europa League, will no longer compete in the European competition. Lokomotiv were also in the Europa League but finished bottom of their group.
Spartak Moscow, earlier in the day, said it was upset with UEFA and FIFA’s decision, adding that “sport, even in the most difficult times, should aim to build bridges, and not burn them”.
RB Leipzig were due to host Spartak Moscow in the first leg on March 10, with the second leg scheduled for March 17. But those matches were called off.

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