Dynamo Kiev deny Lucescu is quitting as coach


Bucharest (AFP)

Dynamo Kiev on Monday denied their new head coach Mircea Lucescu was leaving after he said he was quitting less than a week after signing a deal with the Ukrainian club.

Earlier Monday, the 74-year-old Romanian coach said he decided to quit following a backlash from Dynamo's fans.

"With regret I decided to give up on my possible collaboration with Dynamo Kiev," Lucescu told Romania's Gazeta Sporturilor newspaper.

"It's impossible for me to work in the hostile environment that has been generated in particular by the 'Ultra' group of fans," he added.

Dynamo president Igor Surkis refuted the claim, saying that Lucescu was still head coach.

"Tomorrow he will fly to us," Surkis told Ukrainian media, reportedly after holding fresh talks with Lucescu on Monday.

The club's decision to sign Lucescu sparked an uproar from fans because of the his 12-year spell in charge of bitter rivals Shakhtar Donetsk.

Lucescu won 22 trophies at Shakhtar between 2004 and 2016.

"I wanted to return to football, in Ukraine, where I had so much satisfaction," Lucescu said.

"I wanted a competition like it used to be in previous years."

Dynamo's website said on July 23 that Lucescu, who has been unemployed since February 2019, had signed a two-year contract with the option of extending it for one season.

Lucescu took over after the sacking of Oleksiy Mykhailychenko, who guided the club to a 12th Ukrainian Cup earlier this month but saw them finish second in the league title race, a record 23 points behind Shakhtar.

Over his 40-year career, Lucescu has coached the Romanian and Turkish national teams as well as clubs in Romania, Italy, Turkey, Ukraine and Russia.