Belief German coach faked vax certificate

Markus Anfang, ex-coach of Werder Bremen, is suspected of forging his vaccination certificate.
Markus Anfang, ex-coach of Werder Bremen, is suspected of forging his vaccination certificate.

The COVID-19 vaccination certificate of former Werder Bremen coach Markus Anfang appears to be a fake, local prosecutors have said.

Prosecutors said on Monday the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KV), which runs the vaccination centre where Anfang allegedly got the jab, has no digital record that he was there for two jabs.

In addition, the serial number of the dose Anfang allegedly received for his first jab was never used, and the serial number of the second dose was used on a different day than that listed in Anfang's certificate.

As a result, the authorities believe that Anfang's certificate is a fake.

Prosecutors started their probe on Thursday after a criminal complaint from the Bremen health office which had discovered irregularities, such as the first jab date coinciding with a game of his former club Darmstadt in Kiel where Anfang was present.

Anfang initially dismissed the allegation, saying in a later withdrawn club statement he was vaccinated.

He resigned as Bremen coach on Saturday.

Prosecutors said that Anfang has hired a lawyer and is yet to make a statement to the authorities.

"His lawyer will first ask to see the files," according to public prosecutor Frank Passade.

The Bremen club is not planning to file a claim for damages against Anfang, a step that might have been considered given Werder paid a six-digit transfer fee to Anfang's previous club Darmstadt in the summer.

"We agreed with him on an immediate termination of the contract. This closes the Markus Anfang file for us," Werder's director Klaus Filbry said.

The German Football Association's supervisory committee is also planning to investigate Anfang, however, according to a local media report.

Anfang could potentially face penalties ranging from a fine to a temporary ban from coaching.

Meanwhile, Werder now needs to find a new coach, for the second time within the space of just a few months.

Potential candidates currently under discussion include Ole Werner, who last managed Holstein Kiel, Daniel Thioune who last managed Hamburg and Daniel Farke who was recently head coach of Norwich City.

One German newspaper suggested talks had already been held on Sunday with a further, unknown candidate.

Australian Associated Press