BELGRADE Oct 14 Coach Vladimir Petrovic and the
Serbia Football Association (FSS) parted company on Friday after
the Balkan country's failure to qualify for next year's Euro
The FSS said on its website (www.fss.rs) that the split was
by mutual consent.
"At a meeting attended by Petrovic and FSS president
Tomislav Karadzic on Friday, agreement was reached in an
amicable atmosphere that the best course of action was to part
company by mutual consent," the FSS said.
"This means Petrovic is not Serbia's coach as of today, with
both parties concurring that further cooperation was unfeasible
after the national team failed to achieve its objectives."
Former Yugoslavia and Arsenal midfielder Petrovic took over
from Radomir Antic last year in the midst of Serbia's troubled
campaign and made a poor start with a shock 3-1 home defeat by
Estonia who went on to claim a playoff spot.
Serbia then lost in Italy by a 3-0 walkover when the match
in Genoa was abandoned after six minutes when Serbian fans
caused a riot by throwing flares at home fans and players while
also clashing with police.
The Serbs briefly rekindled their hopes of reaching next
year's finals in Poland and Ukraine after two wins over Northern
Ireland and a 3-1 defeat of the Faroe Islands.
However, a 1-1 home draw with Italy followed by a crunch 1-0
defeat in Slovenia on Tuesday, when they needed a win to clinch
a play-off berth, ended their challenge and also prompted
captain Dejan Stankovic to quit international football.
Petrovic hinted after the match he was likely to follow in
Stankovic's footsteps one way or the other and on Friday he
acknowledged he had to take responsibility for the failure.
"Unfortunately, we have failed to produce the results we had
anticipated and as responsible individuals, we made the only
possible decision," he said.
"Being in charge of the national team was a privilege and an
honour, I wish them and the FA the best of luck in the future."
(Editing by Mike Collett)