London, Oct 15 : Belarus football manager Bernd Stange has a colourful past which includes managing the Iraq national team under Saddam Hussein's regime and working as an informer for Stasi secret police in East Germany.
From tax probes to sex scandals and fake sheikhs to faith healers, a succession of England managers have found themselves caught up in stories and allegations that extend far beyond the normal scope of football, The Telegraph reported
A product of the former East Germany, Stange rose to coach the national team for six years during the 1980s before becoming manager of Hertha Berlin.
He was, however, forced from that job after it emerged he had been an informer for the Stasi, the East German secret police.
Stange, though, later moved on to the even more politically sensitive role as manager of Iraq in 2002.
It was around the time George Bush and Tony Blair were considering military action against Saddam Hussein's regime and, while he tried to steer clear of politics, he sparked outrage in Germany by unintentionally posing for a photograph in front of a portrait of Saddam.
Amid the backdrop of warfare, he led Iraq to improbable success by guiding them into the top 50 of the Fifa rankings, the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup and then, remarkably, the semi-finals of the Athens Olympics.
He also received an award from Fifa president Sepp Blatter for his work in helping the rebuilding process in Iraq.
However, his received death threats and had his car shot at after he posed for a picture with Jack Straw, the former foreign secretary, and he eventually stood down from his job.
Belarus came calling in 2007 and, while they failed to qualify for Euro 2008, Stange has led them to a competitive victory against Holland as well draws with Argentina and Germany.