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Croatia’s supreme court has confirmed a prison sentence for the Dinamo Zagreb coach, Zoran Mamic, for fraud, three days before the club’s Europa League last-16 game with Tottenham, the Balkan nation’s state television said.
Mamic stepped down immediately as Dinamo coach following the confirmation of the sentence, Dinamo said in a statement on its 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 former Dinamo 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.
Zdravko Mamic (second right) and his brother Zoran (right) leave court in Bosnia-Herzegovina after an extradition hearing on 15 June 2018. Photograph: Elvis Barukcic/AFP/Getty Images
“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 116m 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 12.2m kuna and for siphoning off 116m kuna from transfers of players from Dinamo.
The Croatian champions are at home to Tottenham on Thursday in their Europa League last-16 second leg after the English side won 2-0 at home last week.
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