Dinamo Zagreb coach Zoran Mamic has resigned after having a near-five year prison sentence for fraud confirmed by Croatia’s Supreme Court on Monday.
The ruling, reported by Balkan nation’s state television (HRT), comes just days before the club’s Europa League clash with Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday.
Mamic stepped down immediately as Dinamo coach following the confirmation of the sentence, Dinamo said in a statement on the club’s website.
“Although I don’t feel guilty, I resign as I said before I would do if the sentence was confirmed. I wish all the good luck to the club,” the statement quoted Mamic as saying.
Dinamo said the new coach would be the club’s former player Damir Krznar.
Mamic’s brother Zdravko, Dinamo’s former executive director who is at large in neighbouring Bosnia, also had his sentence confirmed by the court as did former tax official Milan Pernar and former Dinamo director Damir Vrbanovic.
“The Supreme Court has confirmed the Osijek Municipal Court’s verdict sentencing Zdravko Mamic to six and a half years of imprisonment for the embezzlement of 116 million kuna (£13.13m) from Dinamo football club,” said the statement published by HRT.
“Zoran Mamic’s sentence has been reduced to four years and eight months from four years and 11 months, while Milan Pernar had his sentence reduced to three years and two months from four years and two months.”
The court also confirmed the three-year prison sentence for former Dinamo director Damir Vrbanovic.
They had been charged with tax evasion worth 12.2 million Kuna (£1.37m) and for siphoning off 116 million kuna (£13.12m) from transfers of players from Dinamo.
The Croatian champions are at home to Tottenham on Thursday in the return leg of their Europa League round of 16 return leg after the Premier League side won the first leg 2-0 last week.