Two German soccer coaches have been suspended from working in the sport after it was ruled Wednesday they used fake coronavirus vaccination records.
A disciplinary panel at the German soccer federation ruled former Werder Bremen head coach Markus Anfang and his assistant Florian Junge had obtained fake passes last year identifying them as being fully vaccinated.
The federation said Anfang and Junge used the passes to be exempt from virus testing at the club and presented them to local health authorities to avoid going into isolation after contact with an infected player.
“Markus Anfang and Florian Junge have significantly infringed against the role-model function of a coach,” Hans E. Lorenz, chair of the federation’s sports court, said in a statement.
Anfang initially denied using a fake pass when doubts over his documents were first raised in November and said he had been vaccinated. He and Junge both stepped down from their posts at the second-division club soon afterward.
Anfang was banned for a year and fined 20,000 euros ($22,500) and Junge for 10 months and fined 3,000 euros ($3,380), with both bans backdated to start from November. Lorenz said Anfang and Junge had both admitted wrongdoing and would have part of their bans converted into a probation period from June onward so they would have the chance to find new employment for the 2022-23 season.
Proof of vaccination or a recent recovery from a virus infection is needed in Germany for entry to restaurants or other public places.