Soccer-Belgium's Anderlecht part company with Dutch coach Rutten

BRUSSELS, April 16 (Reuters) - Anderlecht have parted company with Dutch coach Fred Rutten after losing all their play-off matches, the Belgian soccer club said on Tuesday.

The club said that Rutten and the sporting directors had decided that it was the right moment for the coach to step down.

“After three days of discussions between the sporting directors and the coach, Fred Rutten decided that he did not want to be part of the plans of Anderlecht next season,” the club said in a statement on Tuesday.

Anderlecht lost their first three play-off matches and then flares and smoke bombs thrown by their fans forced the abandonment of their match at Standard Liege on Friday. Standard were leading 2-0 at the time.

Anderlecht are fifth in the six-team play-off table and at risk of failing to qualify for European competition for the first time in 56 years.

“The board appreciates that Fred worked in difficult conditions. His sense of fair play towards Anderlecht allows us to prepare for next season in the best circumstances,” the club said.

Dutchman Rutte only joined Anderlecht in January and was in charge for just 13 matches. He previously managed a number of Dutch clubs, including PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord, Germany’s Schalke 04 and Israel’s Maccabi Haifa.

He played his entire career at Dutch side Twente Enschede and won one Dutch cap. (Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)