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June 26, 2020 1:24 pm

Israel’s National Soccer Team Coach Quits, Citing Impact of Coronavirus

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Coach Andreas Herzog giving instructions to Israel’s national team during a match against Albania. Photo: Reuters / Florion Goga.

The coach of Israel’s national soccer team has quit his position, citing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic as the main reason for his departure.

“I am no longer willing to extend my contract because the coronavirus has simply destroyed a lot,” Andreas Herzog told Sky Sports Austria in an interview earlier this week. Herzog’s contract had been frozen for the last two months as world soccer shut down due to the pandemic.

The 51-year-old former Austrian international was appointed as the Israeli team’s coach in 2018. During his time as a player, Herzog was part of top German side Bayern Munich before ending his career with Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Galaxy.

Herzog came into his role in Israel with a mission to secure qualification for the Euro 2020 tournament — now postponed until 2021. Although the Israelis finished the group stage of the tournament in a disappointing fifth out of six places, the team could still secure qualification through a playoff against Scotland that is scheduled for October.

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Herzog said that he had “enjoyed my time in Israel.”

Oren Hasson — chairman of the Israel Football Association (IFA) — stated that working with the Austrian had been a “pleasure,” paying tribute to his “professional skills and rare personality.”

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