Belarus have parted company with national team coach Bernd Stange, with the German boss, 63, having enjoyed a four-and-a-half-year spell at the helm.
Stange told a media conference: "My contract with the Football Federation of Belarus has ended. It's a pity but we couldn't achieve our goal of qualifying for UEFA EURO 2012. We are all really disappointed. Still, I believe some progress was made. We gave momentum to a very young federation. I made many friends here in Belarus. I will take some positive memories with me."
Belarus finished fourth in UEFA EURO 2012 Group D after kicking off with away wins against Lithuania and France. Stange said: "After that it was one disaster after another. Some players were injured, some were benched at their clubs and we had problems with discipline as well. We defended quite well but had huge problems in attack, scoring only eight goals."
Stange made his name as coach of FC Carl Zeiss Jena and East Germany, and since German unification in 1991 has been in charge of the likes of Hertha BSC Berlin, Australian side Perth Glory, and the Oman and Iraq national teams. He took control of Belarus in 2007 after a stint in Cyprus with Apollon Limassol FC.
"I had my vision and I tried to describe it as clearly as possible," he said of his Belarus tenure. "I had some workshops in Minsk with local coaches. And we achieved something – FC BATE Borisov are doing well in Europe, Belarus's Under-21 side twice qualified for the European finals. Now a new boost is needed. As for me, I'll go home to Germany and have a rest. I'll work again next year."
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