The official presentation of Sandro Schwarz at Hertha BSC will take place in just under two and a half weeks, on June 20th. But it was important for the new coach of the Bundesliga soccer team to speak out now. What he did in a virtual media round on Friday afternoon. On various topics, but above all on one topic: His decision not to leave Russia directly after the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine on February 24, as, for example, his German coaching colleagues Markus Gisdol (Lok Moscow) and Daniel Farke (FK Krasnodar ) had done. But to stay at Dynamo Moscow for three more months until last Sunday.

“Anyone who knows me as a person knows that I completely condemn this war of aggression,” said Schwarz. The fact that he continued “has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with my political stance”. And it also had nothing to do with sport “or with titles or financial aspects. Not at all.”

In emotional words, Schwarz emphasized that the situation was “very challenging and very difficult” for him: “I was torn as a person.” He reported that Russian and Ukrainian players had come to him and they were together because of the situation would have cried. “The war was also felt in Russia,” said Schwarz: “Everyone had their own blows of fate, with friends or relatives in Ukraine.”

The 43-year-old divides his time in Moscow into two parts: from his start in autumn 2020 to the day the war began – and the time after that. The 43-year-old explained in detail his reasons for not leaving office immediately. He had had many discussions in the club, not only with players: “These are good people in the Dynamo environment who have a clear stance on the subject like we do Everyone.”

Schwarz, whose wife and two children were with him in Moscow, enjoyed a very high reputation in the team both at his first Bundesliga stop at FSV Mainz 05 and in Moscow. He made the decision to stay for the time being as a person, not as a coach: “I had to be there for the people around me. That was my area of ​​responsibility. It had nothing to do with the job. I know what anchor I was to them too.”

The coach emphasized that he didn’t make the decision just once and that it then stood: “I reassessed the situation day by day.” He stayed that way until the cup final, the Dynamo 1-2 against Spartak Moscow a few days ago lost. The club then released a video showing the fans saying goodbye to the visibly moved black. His contract would have actually run until 2024.

Before the new coach was announced, Hertha BSC published an interview with Andrei Voronin on the club’s website. The former Hertha professional was Schwarz’s assistant at Dynamo Moscow and left the club after the start of the war, as did defender Ivan Ordets. Both are Ukrainians. “As a person and as a coach, Sandro did everything right. He showed that for him it wasn’t just about sport or money, but about not letting the local people down. That’s what sets him apart,” Voronin said.

Schwarz emphasized on Friday that he could understand the controversial discussions in public. There had already been criticism from Hertha fans, among others, after Schwarz had been traded as a candidate for the coaching position. Hertha’s sports director Fredi Bobic said in the “BZ” that the club had no concerns of a political nature: “It didn’t matter because we know his clear stance on this subject and his sense of responsibility towards the people he works with .”

It was clear to him at the end of March that it would be over in Moscow at the end of May, said Schwarz. At a time when it was becoming increasingly clear that the war would not be over in a few weeks. It was inconceivable for him to fly to Germany in the summer and then return to Moscow. He did everything “that I as a person can represent for myself”. And: “These are also friends that I left.”

Now he is “extremely relieved that this pressure situation is over for me,” said Schwarz. He cannot lead a normal life in view of the war, but he is looking forward to the new challenge at Hertha BSC. Schwarz will bring Tamas Bodog, with whom he once played together at Mainz 05 in the second division, and Volkan Bulut as assistant coach and Daniel Fischer as video analyst. He has already worked with the latter two in Moscow.

“Now we have to recharge our batteries. And then you have to work from day one,” said Schwarz. This work begins after his vacation from June 20th. The day when black is officially introduced and the team starts preparing for the new season.