By Johnny Edward:
Slovenia league leaders, Olimpija Ljubljana, have parted ways with their coach Marko Nikolic by mutual consent after he was handed a seven-match ban by the FA for a racial slur against one of his own players, Nigerian forward Blessing Eleke.
The Ljubljana president, Milan Mandaric, said on the club's official website that he had no choice but to lay off the Serbian coach since the ban meant Nikolic would have been kept away from the dugout until the end of the season.
“It was not an easy decision but as the club’s president I had no other options,” the former Leicester City and Portsmouth owner said on the club's official website.
“Nikolic is a good coach but he committed an intolerable offence while Olimpija, a club that I took over because of its huge potential, has to remain a role model of professional conduct.”
Nikolic insulted Eleke after the striker’s exuberant celebrations of his stoppage-time equaliser against Zavrc meant the league leaders, Olimpija, had less time to find a winner.
“We have reached an agreement with Marko Nikolic for him to resign as coach. He is a good coach, a good man, but he made a mistake and had to pay for it,” Mandaric said in Ljubljana.
Olimpija top Slovenia’s 10-team first division with 62 points from 30 games, two more than the champions Maribor with six games remaining.