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Osim bows out at Sturm

SK Sturm Graz coach Ivica Osim has resigned after his side lost 3-1 against FC Kärnten on Saturday.

Two difficult years
The 61-year-old Bosnian, who joined the Austrians from Panathinaikos FC in 1994 and went on to lead the club to the league title in 1998 and 1999, insisted his decision was a result of two difficult years rather than today's setback.

'Eight beautiful years'
"Today's game is not the reason for this step," said Osim. "I had eight beautiful years here at Sturm but in the last two years we have also had a lot of problems."

Champions League disappointment 
Osim's position had been in doubt ever since the club failed to qualify for the group stages of the UEFA Champions League. They crashed out of the competition losing to Maccabi Haifa 5-3 on aggregate in the third qualifying round.

'My decision is clear'
Sturm president Hannes Kartnig backed his coach then, and he has not accepted his resignation, saying instead that he wants to persuade Osim to stay on. But Osim said: "There is nothing to think about, my decision is clear."

Glory days
Sturm are fifth in the table after losing five of their first ten games. In addition to the league titles, Osim steered the club to Austrian Cup glory three times and into the Champions League on three occasions in 1997/98, 1998/99 and 1999/00.