Radomir Antic was sacked as Serbia coach today after a poor run of results during the FIFA World Cup and start to UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying, officials said.
"Our board feel that the team has not been managed properly after qualifying for the World Cup and that Antic is an excellent coach but not for the long term," Serbian Football Federation (FSS) chief, Tomislav Karadzic, said. "We are aware that it is bad to change a coach during qualifiers, (but) we have to take that chance."
In the EURO 2012 qualifiers so far Serbia have beat Faroe Islands 3-0 but followed that win with a draw against Slovenia. Antic will be replaced by Vladimir Petrovic, the former Red Star Belgrade striker who also played for English Premier League giants Arsenal and French outfit Nancy.
Karadzic added: "It was the only possible solution." Petrovic, who previously led Serbia's U21 squad, is currently coaching Romanian side FC Timisoara.
Antic had already been at odds with the FSS following Serbia's failure to qualify for the last 16 at the FIFA World Cup earlier this year. In August, he agreed to have his salary halved to hang on to his job following a four-match ban for "inappropriate behaviour" during his team's world finals exit at the hands of Australia.
Antic, who has previously coached Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona, took the job in August 2008 after two disastrous campaigns by Serbia for the 2006 FIFA World Cup and the 2008 Beijing Olympics.