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Kidnapping war forces Iraq’s Germanfootball coach to leave

16 April 2004

LEIPZIG – The German coach of the Iraqi national football team has left Iraq following the kidnappings of foreigners and said he would now have to consider his future.

Bernd Stange told Deutsche Presse-Agentur, dpa, he had been advised in writing by the German Foreign Ministry to leave Iraq “in view of the dramatically worsening security situation” in the country.

A similar message was given to him verbally by the German ambassador in Baghdad, said Stange, who returned to Germany from Kuwait where the Iraqi Olympic team had played a friendly.

Stange, 56, said he would now have to consider his future in Iraq in view of developments in the country.

“I won’t desert the people. But with a further worsening situation and lack of support I will have to think about my future in Iraq after the Asian Games in July,” he said.

Stange plans to meet up again with the national squad during a training camp in London on 15 May.

“We have a match in Florence against Italy on 4 June to prepare for the Asian Games and then we will see what happens,” he said.



Subject: German news