Al Ain coach gets prison time in Croatia graft case

Al Ain coach gets prison time in Croatia graft case
Zoran Mamic said he wished to inform everyone that this invalid judgment does not stop him from doing his job as Al Ain head coach.

Abu Dhabi - Mamic and Zdravko charged over tax evasion worth millions but the brothers are to to appeal

By Ashwani Kumar

Published: Thu 7 Jun 2018, 8:51 PM

Last updated: Thu 7 Jun 2018, 10:55 PM

A Croatian court sentenced Al Ain coach Zoran Mamic and his brother Zdravko to jail over charges of embezzlement and tax evasion worth millions made during transfer deals of players at Dinamo Zagreb club.

Zoran said he is innocent and will fight against 'invalid' court ruling.

The case pertains to former Dinamo Zagreb director Zdravko, coach Zoran and two other officials being found guilty of embezzling 116 million Croatian kuna ($18.5 million) and tax evasion worth 12.2 million Croatian kuna during transfer of several players from the Croatian team to foreign clubs.

The transfers under scanner from Zagreb include that of Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric and Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren. Both the players are in Croatia's World Cup squad. Modric and Lovren were summoned as witnesses during the trial. Modric faces perjury charges for testimony he gave during the trial about his financial deals with Zdravko. Prosecutors claimed Modric gave a false court statement in June last year about his 2008 transfer from Zagreb to premier league club Tottenham Hotspur.

On Wednesday, Zdravko was sentenced to six-and-a-half-years in prison and Zoran got four years and 11 months.

Zoran, Arabian Gulf League coach of the year, in a tweet addressed to the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the club and fans, notified everyone about the legal process against him in Croatia.

"After a long and unjust trial that ended in an invalid judgment, the next step is the appeal and the whole process is far from finished."

Zoran added that he remains the boss at Al Ain.

"I wish to inform everyone that this invalid judgment does not stop me from doing my job as Al Ain head coach, and that I will continue to work with the same dedication and zeal as always. I will lead my team in training sessions, pre-season camp, all friendly and competitive games and, I am sure, achieve many victories and trophies."

Zoran reiterated doing anything unethical during transfer process and said: "I would like to repeat once again that I am completely innocent and I am sure that I will prove that on higher instances."

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