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ISTANBUL STADIUM BOMBINGS

Title-winning coach cancels Turkey switch after attacks

Marius Sumudica, who was due to take over at Süper Lig side Gaziantepspor on Saturday, says he will now remain at FC Astra: "I'm not going to Gaziantep."

Title-winning coach cancels Turkey switch after attacks
ROBERT GHEMENT EFE

The coach of Romanian champions FC Astra, Marius Sumudica, has elected to cancel his agreement to take over at Turkish side Gaziantepspor after the bomb attacks on Besiktas’ Vodafone Arena on Saturday night.

Two devices exploded less than a minute apart outside the stadium, killing 38 people and wounding 166, in a co-ordinated attack on police shortly after the league match between Besiktas and Bursaspor.

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"

"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.