Bosnia coach Prosinecki rescinds resignation, stays in charge

(Reuters) - Bosnia coach Robert Prosinecki has rescinded his resignation after the Balkan nation’s football association (NFSBiH) asked him to stay in charge of the team, the governing body said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Euro 2020 Qualifier - Group J - Armenia v Bosnia and Herzegovina - Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium, Yerevan, Armenia - September 8, 2019 Bosnia and Herzegovina coach Robert Prosinecki REUTERS/Anton Vaganov/File Photo

“The NFSBiH executive board lends full support to Prosinecki to stay in charge until the end of the national team’s Euro 2020 campaign, as stipulated by his contract,” it said.

“We are certain that changing the coach at this point in time would not have a positive effect. Our chances of reaching the European Championship via the qualifiers are still realistic.”

Prosinecki, who said he was stepping down after Sunday’s 4-2 defeat at Armenia in their Euro 2020 Group J qualifier, told reporters in Sarajevo that his change of heart had been a “difficult decision”.

“It wasn’t easy because I try to stand by my decisions in life,” said the 50-year-old Croatian, who won the 1991 European Cup with Red Star Belgrade and finished third with Croatia in the 1998 World Cup as a player.

“I changed my mind because of all the people who extended their support. It would be easy to run and say it’s over but I decided to stay and I now hope we can turn things around.”

The defeat left the Bosnians fourth in Group J on seven points from six games, 11 behind leaders Italy who have won all of their matches.

Second-placed Finland have 12 points and third-placed Armenia are on nine after their impressive home win over the Bosnians.

Although they have only a slim chance of reaching Euro 2020 by finishing in the top two in their group, Bosnia could still advance to the finals via the Nations League.

They topped their League B group ahead of Austria and Northern Ireland, meaning that they have qualified for the playoffs also including Denmark, Sweden and Ukraine, the winners of the second tier’s other three pools.

The playoff winners will qualify for Euro 2020, which will be held across Europe next year.

Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Toby Davis