Werder Bremen have confirmed that manager Markus Anfang has quit his post following an investigation into the legitimacy of his vaccination certificate.
Anfang has claimed to have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and has presented documents which he believes prove that, but the local health authority have disputed the authenticity of the certificate and opened an investigation on Thursday.
Bremen stood by Anfang on Friday, with sporting director Frank Baumann insisting: “Markus assured us that everything went correctly and that he was also vaccinated. There is no reason to doubt it”.
However, health authorities were not convinced and continued their investigation, and while the results of that have not been made public, Bremen confirmed early on Saturday that Anfang had asked to step down from his role.
“Due to the extremely stressful situation for the club, the team, my family and myself, I have decided that I will end my job as Werder Bremen’s head coach with immediate effect,” he said in a statement.
“I have therefore asked those in charge to terminate my contract immediately, and they have granted this request.”
Anfang leaves alongside assistant Florian Junge, just hours before Werder are scheduled to take on Schalke.
“With their actions, Markus and Florain have accepted responsibility and thus contributed to ending the unrest that has risen around the club and the team in the last few days,” Baumann said. “We respect their decision and will now start looking for a new head coach.”
Anfang continues to deny the allegations, and before his departure, insisted that his vaccine was legitimate.
“In a personal conversation with the management, Markus Anfang firmly rejected the allegations and emphatically assured him that he was fully vaccinated and that he had not used a forged vaccination certificate,” a Werder statement read.
Anfang himself added: “Just like every other double-vaccinated citizen, I received my two vaccinations at an official vaccination centre and received the appropriate sticker in the yellow vaccination certificate. I then had it digitised in the pharmacy and naturally assumed that everything was in order. I very much hope that the subject will be cleared up quickly.”