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A Greek women's first division handball team on Saturday accused their former coach of faking the death of his child in order to leave the team and sign with another club.
"Two days ago we were shocked with the 'death' of the 10-year-old child of coach Ivan Cop which turned out to be an incredible scam," an announcement by Athletic Club Ormi-Loux of Patras President Andreas Kongas said.
Kongas said that Cop had informed the club that his daughter had been hit by a car in his native Slovenia and "he acted out his grief in front of dozens of witnesses first telling us his daughter had fallen into a coma and then that she had died."
"At the same time we mobilized to find the last airline ticket, business class, a short time before the plane took off. I accompanied him in a taxi with my son Alexander to the airport and he continued acting," Kongas said.
Kongas said that he found out the next day from "verified information" that Cop had reached agreement with the team FK Borac Banja Luka of Bosnia.
"I was informed by a friend and I could not believe it," Kongas said. "We spoke with Cop for a half hour on the phone in English to find out why he played with the life of his child, but got no answer."
Kongas said that the club has informed the Greek Handball Federation and the European Handball Federation about Cop's actions and will seek judicial action.