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Iraq trainer Stange fears for his life

Published on 01/12/2003

1 December 2003

BERLIN – Bernd Stange, the Iraqi national football team coach from Germany, said in an interview published on Monday that he fears for his life amid rising violence against foreigners in the occupied country.

“The situation has become very dramatic, especially for foreigners. There is no safety. There is no law and order. I am afraid as well,” Stange told the Frankfurter Rundschau daily.

Stange said he only moved around in a car and with a heavily armed bodyguard between his hotel and the guarded training centre.

Stange said that his players were also taking no chances: “Some of my players are armed because they fear robbers”.

But Stange said he had no plans to quit the job, despite lacking support from the occupying United States forces.

“I am far too much involved in this engagement by now. Everything could fall to pieces if I quit,” Stange said.

“I won’t give up. But I need help. The Americans are spending at least a billion dollars per week in Iraq, but not a cent for sport,” said Stange.

The coach added that his protests have now earned him a meeting with United States top official Paul Bremer.

Subject: German news