Zdravko Mamic, Croatian football's Mr Big, given jail term

He is considered the most powerful figure in football in Croatia, but now Zdravko Mamic has been sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison for corruption.

Mamic was found guilty of siphoning off millions of euros in transfer fees when he was an executive at Dinamo Zagreb.

On the eve of the verdict he fled across the border into Bosnia.

Among the
ex-Dinamo players caught up in the trial is Croatia captain Luka Modric, who was charged with perjury.

The Real Madrid midfielder is suspected of having made false statements during the trial, when he was questioned about his 2008 transfer to Tottenham Hotspur. He has not commented on the charge.

The case will not affect his role in the World Cup in Russia later this month.

Who is Mamic?

Zdravko Mamic was not just chief executive of Dinamo Zagreb, Croatia's biggest club, he was also vice-president of the Croatian Football Federation (HNS).

For years fans at Dinamo alleged that he and his allies had used their club to make money for themselves by depriving the club of funds from lucrative transfers and evading taxes. Then in 2015 he and his brother Zoran, the Dinamo coach, were arrested.

The scandal was brought on to the international stage when Croatian football supporters threw flares on the pitch at the Euro 2016 championships in France.

Charged with diverting 116m Croatian kuna (€15.7m; £14m) from the football club and evading another 12.2m in tax, Mamic was later shot and wounded on a visit to his father's grave.

The court in Osijek also handed down jail terms to his brother Zoran Mamic, former club director Damir Vrbanovic, and tax inspector Milan Pernar. None of the accused were in court to hear their sentences, but they have all denied the charges and have the right to appeal.




BBC

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