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By ESPN Staff

Cologne coach Schafer to quit

Cologne have announced coach Frank Schafer has decided to step down at the end of the season.

Schafer made the decision himself "after careful consideration'' and revealed at a press conference that "personal reasons'' were behind his decision to step down.

He added he hopes "that the team will be able to concentrate fully on the aim of avoiding relegation'' now they know his final decision.

Schafer took over from Zvonimir Soldo in October and guided the club away from the bottom three, although they are not yet mathematically safe.

He was recently offered a two-year contract to remain in charge, but he has now decided to turn down the offer and he will return to coaching the reserve team from next season.

"We had tried everything to keep him,'' club president Wolfgang Overath said. "We fully respect his decision.

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