Srečko Katanec is no longer Macedonian national team coach! Following the 4-0 defeat to Netherlands, Srečko's contract with FFM got annuled and together with his coaching staff they will not lead Macedonia anymore.
This happened after the conversations between FFM's president Haralampie Hadzi-Risteski and Srečko Katanec where it has been discussed that the atmosphere in the national team is not on the necessary level and that can affect the qualifications tournament and the important following qualifiers against Norway and Iceland in June.
– 'I resigned not because we lost to Netherlands, they were stronger and had more quality, but because of the bad discipline and the specific attitude of some of the players with the media. I really cannot understand how come one minor incident reflected so bad in our camp in Netherlands and led to dividing the players. In my opinion, I find it very hard to return the atmosphere to its' best level as it was earlier on the start of the qualifications and that is why I have decided to resign', said Katanec.
-'I must point out that I am very happy with the shown football with some minor exceptions. It is perhaps that defeat to Iceland who changed the plans, but not the ambitions too. With two wins in Skopje, Macedonia could reach the second place and that is why I think that I should be succeeded by someone who will be able to return the atmosphere as that is the main condition for good plays in future. I would like to thank to the leading men in FFM and my assistants from the coaching staff and to wish a lot of luck and success to the Macedonian national team in future'.
In the days to come, FFM will make a decision about the further activities.
Katanec will be remembered as the first coach to have resigned from this position. He had a contract till October this year and was continiously repeating that he will not leave the team as long as Macedonia has chances for reaching the second place in the group. Theoretically, the team still has chances, but Katanec changed his mind. It hasn't been reported how have FFM and Katanec agreed on annuling the contract, but big amount of money might have been spent if we take in consideration that Katanec had a monthly salary of more then 15.000 Euros and there were 7 more months remaining from his contract.
In any case, one page has finished, a new one will open soon for the Macedonian national team. Let's hope that this time it will be more succesful and finally we will be able to see Macedonia in one of the major tournaments.