Roda Antar Walks Out On Koeln

Roda Antar’s 1. FC Koeln career looks to have come to an unceremonious end after he was a no-show in the first training following what was supposed to be a clear-the-air meeting with club officials.
The Cologne club have been unable to contact the Lebanese international at all since his disappearing act, which likely did not occur purely by chance after his meeting with sporting director Michael Meier and head coach Christoph Daum.

Meier explained to the Bundesliga’s official website: “Christoph Daum and I had a lengthy discussion with Roda Antar and his advisor yesterday, during which we again made it clear that 1. FC Köln needs him. We let Roda know that, if he gives it his all, he's an important player for us.

“We gave him two choices; either he commits himself fully to the team, or he turns his back on it. The fact that he didn't come to training today clearly means he has taken the latter option.

“With an important game against Karlsruhe coming up, it's essential to be fully focussed on that, rather than on the interests of an individual player.

When asked whether he finds Roda's decision regretful, Meier responded: “Yes, I find it a great pity that Roda has chosen to take this route. We've tried to build every possible bridge for him here.

“The coach has given him his support and put him in the team time and again, and stuck by him through some difficult times. But Roda's still unhappy.

“I think it's unfortunate Roda's taken this decision because in going public with his desire for a move, he has had a negative impact on the mood within the team at what is a crucial phase in the club's battle to stay in the Bundesliga.”

Meier went on to elaborate on Roda’s future at Cologne: “We'll continue to integrate Roda into the training programme, and have offered him individual training sessions.

“We have a contractual agreement through to June 30th 2010, which we feel obliged to fulfill.”

According to a previous statement by the midfielder’s agent, Roda has offers on the table from Japan, Russia and China.

Derek Wanner,