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Romanian coach refuses to join Turkish club after Istanbul bombing
December 11, 2016 / 6:06 PM / in a year

Romanian coach refuses to join Turkish club after Istanbul bombing

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - The coach of Romanian champions FC Astra, Marius Sumudica, has decided not to take charge of Gaziantepspor, despite agreeing terms with the Turkish club, after seeing footage of the Istanbul bombing on Saturday.

Football Soccer - FC Astra Giurgiu v AS Roma - UEFA Europa League group stage - National Arena, Bucharest, Romania - 8/12/2016 - FC Astra Giurgiu's coach Marius Sumudica reacts. Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea/ via REUTERS

Two bombs exploded less than a minute apart, killing 29 people and wounding 166 outside a soccer stadium, in a co-ordinated attack on police shortly after a domestic league match between Besiktas and Bursaspor -- two of Turkey’s top teams.

Sumudica, who led Astra to their first Romanian title in May and the Europa League’s knockout stages this season, was due to fly to Turkey late on Saturday to sign his contract but changed his mind after seeing news coverage of the bombings.

“I‘m not going to Gaziantep,” Sumudica told Digi Sport a few hours after saying goodbye to Astra players and coaches at a training session on Saturday, two days before their clash with joint leaders Steaua Bucharest.

The 45-year-old, who announced his departure after the goalless draw against AS Roma in the Europa League on Thursday, is now expected to return to Astra and take charge of the team against Steaua.

Romanian media reported that Gaziantepspor had offered Sumudica a five-fold increase in his current monthly salary.

Astra are ninth in the Romanian league standings with 23 points from 19 matches. Gaziantepspor are 15th in the Turkish league, one point above the relegation zone.

Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by Clare Fallon

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