German manager quits Moscow football club in Ukraine protest
Lokomotiv Moscow head coach Markus Gisdol has left the club in protest at Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, saying that he can’t work in a nation “whose leader has invaded another country in the middle of Europe.”
Lokomotiv confirmed the departure of the 52-year-old with immediate effect on Tuesday, and Gisdol explained the decision in subsequent comments to media outlet Bild in his homeland.
“For me, being a football coach is the best job in the world,” he said. “But I cannot pursue my calling in a country whose leader is responsible for a war of aggression in the middle of Europe.
“That is not in line with my values, which is why I have resigned from my position as coach of Lokomotiv Moscow with immediate effect.
“I can’t stand on the training ground in Moscow, train the players, demand professionalism and a few kilometers away orders are given that bring great suffering to an entire people.
“This is my personal decision and I am absolutely convinced of it,” added Gisdol.
Gisdol had only been in the role since last October, being brought in during the period that fellow German Ralf Rangnick worked as a consultant with Lokomotiv before leaving for Manchester United.
Gisdol replaced Serbian manager Marko Nikolic, who was viewed as a much more popular figure among the Lokomotiv fanbase.
The German leaves Lokomotiv languishing in seventh position in the Russian Premier League table as the competition resumes following the winter break. Lokomotiv ended third last season under Nikolic.
Lokomotiv announced that Lokomotiv would work under German coach Marvin Compper as they prepare for their upcoming games, starting with a Russian Cup tie against Yenisey in Moscow on Thursday.
Маркус Гисдоль освобождён от должности главного тренера ФК «Локомотив».К ближайшим играм команду будет готовить Марвин Комппер. Клуб и команда работают в штатном режиме и концентрируются на достижении максимального результата в предстоящих матчах в Кубке России и РПЛ pic.twitter.com/UmcqSCgLbd— «Локомотив» (@fclokomotiv) March 1, 2022
Lokomotiv’s planned Premier League return against Krasnodar in the south of Russia last weekend was postponed due to temporary restrictions at airports in the region because of the Ukraine conflict.
Elsewhere in the Russian Premier League, Dynamo Moscow announced on Tuesday that their Ukrainian assistant coach and former playing star Andriy Voronin would be leaving the club.
Voronin, a former Ukraine international and English Premier League star at Liverpool, was absent from Dynamo’s match against Khimki at the weekend.
He reportedly “fled” Moscow for Germany via Amsterdam after Russia launched its invasion of his homeland.