The German coach of the Lokomotiv Moscow football club resigns in protest at the invasion of Ukraine


The German coach of the Russian football club Lokomotiv Moscow, Markus Gisdol, has resigned from his post in protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. However, the top flight club said he had been sacked from the head coaching role.

In a statement published by German newspaper Bild, Gisdol said he was forced to take action after witnessing what was happening in Ukraine, Reuters news agency said.

“I cannot pursue my calling in a country whose leader is responsible for a war of aggression in the middle of Europe,” said Gisdol, 52.

“That doesn’t correspond to my values, which is why I resigned from my position as coach with immediate effect.

“I can’t stand on the training ground in Moscow, train the players, demand professionalism and give orders a few kilometers away that cause great suffering to a whole people. That is my personal decision and I am absolutely convinced of it.”


Lokomotiv Moscow took to social media to say the German tactician had been fired from the role.

“Markus Gisdol has been sacked from the post of head coach at FC Lokomotiv. The club and team are working as usual and are focused on getting the maximum results in the upcoming games,” said Lokomotiv.

The German coach Gisdol, who had previously spent his entire playing and coaching career in his home country, most recently with Cologne, was in charge of the club for twelve games.

Gisdol’s decision comes a day later FIFA and UEFA suspended Russia Senior national teams and the Russian clubs from all competitions until further notice.

Spartak Moscow, Russia’s only club still in the Europa League, will no longer compete in European competition. Lokomotiv was also in the Europa League, but finished last in the group.

Earlier in the day, Spartak Moscow said it was upset by UEFA and FIFA’s decision, adding that “even in the most trying times, sport should aim to build bridges, not tear them down”.

RB Leipzig were due to play Spartak Moscow in the first leg on March 10th and the second leg on March 17th. However, these games were cancelled.

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