Maccabi Netanya fires German great Lothar Matthaus

JERUSALEM (AP) - Maccabi Netanya told German great Lothar Matthaus his contract as coach will be terminated at the end of the season.

Matthaus took over the Israeli Premier League club last summer and had a contract through 2010.

The team was fourth in the standings.

It will play Maccabi Haifa in the Israeli State Cup semifinals this month.

Matthaus said he accepted the decision of the club's German owner, Daniel Jammer.

"I respect his situation at Netanya. I had a very nice time here in Netanya, not with the greatest results but sometimes we make our fans happy," Matthaus said.

The decision was part of a series of cuts Jammer was planning because of the global financial crisis.

"My plan was to stay until 2010 but I think for Maccabi Netanya it is better to go another way," 48-year-old Matthaus said.

"To invest money maybe in the stadium."

Matthaus, who made a record 150 appearances for Germany, captained the team to World Cup glory in 1990.

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