The boss of a German football team has resigned following a probe into the alleged use of forged Covid vaccine certificates, with another coach also stepping down.
Second division team Werder Bremen stated that head coach Markus Anfang Anfang denied producing fake evidence to show that he had received a Covid jab but opted to sever ties with the under-fire manager on Saturday amid the investigation by German authorities into reports that he had lied about his vaccination status.
Another member of the coaching team, Florian Junge, has also left the club over the scandal.
“The reason for the decision is the public prosecutors’ investigations into the two coaches and the ensuing unrest surrounding the club,” the club announced.
The development arrived after Anfang released his own statement on Friday in which he said that he had received two jabs at an official vaccination center, and hoped that the issue would be “cleared up quickly”.
Anfang took charge of Werder Bremen in the summer following their relegation from the Bundesliga and has guided the club to eighth in the table.
He said on Saturday that the decision to leave the club after 13 league games in charge was entirely his own.
“Because of the extreme stress caused to the club, the team, my family and myself, I have decided to immediately step down from my role as head coach of Werder Bremen,” he explained.
“I requested that the club management dissolve my contract, a request they have granted.
“I wish Werder all the success in the world, both for [Saturday’s] game against Schalke and for the future.”
The club have since announced that assistant coach Danjiel Zenkovic will take charge of first-team affairs ahead, adding that the decision taken by Anfang and Junge would quell “unrest” at the club.
“With this step, Markus and Florian have taken responsibility and aim to end the unrest that has surrounded the club in the last days,” Werder said.
“We respect their decision and will now begin the search for a new head coach.”
Vaccination has been a hot topic within German football in recent weeks.
Bayern Munich star Joshua Kimmich, who is unvaccinated, hit the headlines when he was forced to miss games for his club and the national team after being deemed a close contact to a confirmed Covid-19 case.
Germany boss Hansi Flick subsequently suggested that a player’s vaccination status might well impact upon their selection for national team duty.