Viimsi futsal club fires Serbian coach after he congratulates Putin

Viimsi FC Smsraha supporters at a match.
Viimsi FC Smsraha supporters at a match. Source: Ago Gaškov

Three-time Estonian futsal champions Viimsi FC Smsraha have terminated their employment relationship with head coach Vladimir Jovanovic after he congratulated Russian President Vladimir Putin on the latter's birthday via social media.

"We ended our cooperation because of the coach's inappropriate social media behavior," club chief Andrei Golovin told ERR's Russian portal in an interview.

Golovin said that Jovanovic's fate was sealed when he congratulated Vladimir Putin on his birthday via social media.

"May you live long, namesake! Serbs and Russians [are] brothers forever!" said Jovanovic's congratulations for Putin, who turned 71 on October 7.

"We cannot afford for the head coach to conduct himself in such a manner during the time that the war [in Ukraine] is still going on. Jovanovic said he understands the club's decision. He added that the Facebook post did not have a political background. We know that the Serbs are more peaceful toward our eastern neighbor, and he did not think his congratulations would merit such a sharp reaction," Golovin added.

Golovin said that losing the head coach before the start of the new season was a major loss for the club.

"Jovanovic was preparing the team for the season. We had set plans for this season, but we are now looking for a new head coach," he said.

Vladimir Jovanovic took over as head coach of the Viimsi side last December, when he signed an eighteen month contract.

Jovanovic's congratulations. Source: Facebook


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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