Markus Anfang has resigned as head coach of Werder Bremen amid an investigation by German authorities into his alleged use of false Covid-19 vaccination documents.
The German second-division team said Anfang denied on Thursday that he had used a false vaccination certificate, but announced on Saturday morning that he and assistant coach Florian Junge had left their duties with immediate effect.
A club statement said: “The reason for the decision is prosecutors’ investigation into the two coaches and the ensuing unrest at the club.”
Anfang insisted in a statement released by the club on Friday that he had been vaccinated twice at an official vaccination center and said he hoped the problem would be “resolved quickly”.
The 47-year-old, who only took over from the club in June after his relegation from the Bundesliga, hinted on Saturday that it was his choice to step down.
“Due to the extreme stress caused to the club, to the team, to my family and to myself, I decided to leave my post as head coach of Werder Bremen immediately,” said Anfang.
“I asked the club management to terminate my contract, a request they accepted. I wish Werder every success both for today’s game against Schalke and for the future. . “
The club have said Werder assistant coach Danjiel Zenkovic will lead Saturday’s game against Schalke, the side sitting eighth in the season’s 13-game standings.
“With this step, Markus and Florian have taken responsibility and aim to end the unrest that has surrounded the club in recent days,” said Werder sporting director Frank Baumann.
“We respect their decision and will now begin the search for a new head coach.”
The vaccination of players and team staff has been a problem for months in German football. Bayern Munich midfielder Joshua Kimmich is the most prominent player to refuse the inoculation, citing concerns about the long-term effects of the vaccine.