Moscow kidnap victim takes on Mattersburg job

A football coach kidnapped for one day in Moscow last year has been named new youth department and scouting operations coordinator at Austrian Bundesliga side Mattersburg.Club bosses said today (Tues) Gerhard Hitzel will come in this summer. They added the 62-year-old was expected to become an “interface” between the club’s youth academy, its amateur team and the senior squad.Hitzel acted as chief of Lokomotiv Moscow’s youth academy for two years before he returned to Austria in February.He explained that Moscow police had told him he was in danger of being kidnapped again and that his one-day abduction in December 2009 had not been the result of a case of mistaken identity or attempted robbery.Hitzel mutually agreed to end his contract with Lokomotiv Moscow bosses which had been valid until the end of 2010. Hitzel cited security and professional reasons for his decision to quit.Mattersburg are currently in sixth place in the ten-team Bundesliga. The team coached by Franz Lederer face Austria Vienna on Sunday.The Bundesliga table after 31 rounds:Red Bull Salzburg, 69 pointsRapid Vienna, 63Austria Vienna, 60Sturm Graz, 52Magna Wiener Neustadt, 40Mattersburg, 37SV Ried, 35LASK Linz, 33Kapfenberg, 26Austria Kärnten, 11