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By ESPN Staff

Vogts quits as Nigeria coach

LAGOS -- Berti Vogts has quit as Nigeria national team coach with immediate effect, the German Football Federation said on Wednesday.

The 61-year-old, who guided Germany to victory in the 1996 European Championship, had been heavily criticised in Nigeria following their African Nations Cup quarter-final defeat to hosts Ghana, the Federation's Web site said (www.dfb.de).

In a statement reported by German sports news agency SID, Vogts criticised the Nigerian Football Association for their lack of support for his training team in the face of heavy attacks in the Nigerian media.

"The actions and behaviour of the Nigerian Football Association during and after the African Nations Cup have destroyed all trust between the two parties and further cooperation is impossible," Vogts' lawyer Stefan von Moers said.

Many expected the Nigerian Football Association to fire Vogts after the team's unconvincing performance in the tournament.

Nigerian media -- and Nigeria midfielder Sunday Oliseh -- criticised Vogts for putting together an all-German training team, including former Germany players Steffen Freund and Uli Stein.

"If white journalists behaved this way towards a black trainer, I think people would call it racism," SID reported Vogts as saying after their 2-0 win over Benin on Jan 29.

Vogts, who took over the job last March, emphasised that "working with the team and players was a great pleasure" and said he particularly regrets he "cannot continue this cooperation and the building of a new powerful Nigerian national team."

Vogts' contract with Nigeria was due to run until the end of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.