16.03.2021 10:32 h

Dinamo Zagreb coach quits after jail sentence for fraud

Dinamo Zagreb coach Zoran Mamic has resigned after being sentenced to four years and eight months in jail for a multi-million euro fraud involving Luka Modric's move to Tottenham and other player transfers.

The Croatian champions announced Mamic's departure late Monday as the club prepare to face Spurs in Thursday's Europa League last 16 return leg. Tottenham lead 2-0 after last week's first leg in London.

Mamic's exit came after the Supreme Court upheld a 2018 ruling by a local tribunal but reduced his initial prison sentence by three months.

"Although I do not feel guilty, as I said earlier if the verdict becomes final I will accept it and quit as Dinamo coach and sports director," Mamic said in a statement.

Assistant coach Damir Krznar will replace Mamic as both manager and sports director.

Mamic, 49, wished the club "all good luck and success".

In 2018, Mamic, his brother and former Dinamo Zagreb boss Zdravko Mamic as well as a former club director and a tax inspector were all found guilty of graft which, according to the indictment, cost Dinamo more than 15 million euros ($18 million) and the state 1.5 million euros.

The cash was embezzled through fictitious deals related to player transfers, notably two international stars -- Real Madrid midfielder Modric and defender Dejan Lovren.

They both appeared as witnesses during the trial providing details of their transfers from Dinamo.

Modric testified over the details of his 2008 transfer from Dinamo to Tottenham Hotspur. From there he joined Real Madrid in 2012.

Both Lovren and Modric were initially charged with perjury after testifying at Mamic's trial, but the charges were later dropped.

At the time Zdravko Mamic was sentenced to six years and six months in jail and the Supreme Court upheld the verdict.

He fled to neighbouring Bosnia just ahead of the verdict.

Earlier this month another trial involving the Mamic brothers and three others embezzling millions of euros from Dinamo Zagreb opened before a local tribunal.