German football coach who resigned over allegations he tampered with his vaccine certificate has drawn condemnation and derision after it emerged he attended a reserved carnival party this month people who have received the vaccine or have recovered from the virus.
Markus Anfang announced his resignation as head coach of German second division club Werder Bremen on Saturday morning after the district attorney for the northern city revealed there were doubts about the authenticity of the document Supposedly proving that the 47-year-old had received two doses of the BioNTech / Pfizer vaccine.
The coach, who joined Bremen in mid-June after stints in Kiel, Cologne and Darmstadt, referred to “the extremely stressful situation” for his club, his team and his family, but did not admit to having falsified the documents.
On Monday, the district attorney for the first time released details of the inconsistencies around Anfang’s vaccination certificate.
When Anfang joined Werder Bremen this summer, he said he had not yet had a chance to get the shot but would do so soon. In August, the club checked his vaccine status after one of his players tested positive for Covid, and told him to go into quarantine after it emerged he had not yet received a vaccine. .
When another Bremen player tested positive in November, Anfang was suddenly able to hold up a certificate allegedly proving he had been vaccinated twice – first in April, then in June.
The location and date of the document aroused suspicion. Anfang claimed to have received his first dose in Cologne on the same day his then club Darmstadt played a game in WÃ¼rzburg, 200 miles southeast of the city.
The batch number on the certificate could not be matched with the central database, and the Cologne vaccination center said it had no record of Anfang’s visit, the Attorney General Frank Passade at the Werder Bremen information portal DeichStube.
Anfang, whose assistant coach Florian Junge has also resigned over similar issues regarding his vaccination certificate, could be fined for falsifying official documents, as well as losing his coaching license.
Shortly after the Bremen coach’s resignation on Saturday morning, football fans reacted derisively. During this afternoon’s game against Schalke 04, visiting supporters chanted “Markus Anfang has no more vaccination card” to the tune of Belinda Carlisle’s song, Heaven is a Place on Earth.
However, the mood changed on Monday when several German media published images showing Anfang at a carnival party on November 11 dressed in a chef’s costume. In accordance with the new restrictions in several parts of Germany, the Cologne carnival was held under so-called “2G” rules, meaning that only those who had been vaccinated or recovered from the virus could attend.
“His visit to the carnival in the midst of a pandemic is absolutely irresponsible,” writes the tabloid Bild. “It doesn’t get more brazen than that, Mr. Anfang!” “
Meanwhile, the husband of outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel made a rare intervention in the political debate, saying that the reluctance to vaccinate in the country could in part be attributed to “a certain laziness and complacency on the part of the Germans”.
“It is astonishing that a third of the population does not follow scientific discoveries,” said Joachim Sauer in an interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica. âThis is partly due to a certain laziness and complacency on the part of the Germans. The other group is made up of people who follow a personal conviction, sort of an ideological reaction to what they see as a vaccination dictatorship, âsaid Sauer, a cohort he said also included doctors and scientists. .
Like his famous wife, Sauer is a quantum chemist and was in Italy for a university visit.
AFP contributed to this report