Marko Nikolic: Olimpija Ljubljana boss keeps job despite racial slur

Marko Nikolic
Nikolic, 36, used to manage Partizan Belgrade in his native Serbia

A top-flight manager in Slovenia will keep his job despite making a racial slur against one of his own players.

Olimpija Ljubljana boss Marko Nikolic used the slur against Blessing Eleke after the Nigerian scored an equaliser.

Nikolic felt Eleke celebrated too long after levelling for the Slovenian league leaders at home to Zavrc.

The Serb said he made "an emotional reaction" as it meant there was less time for a winner and "never intended to offend the player racially".

He added: "I spoke to Eleke and he said he understood my reaction because emotional outbursts of this kind can happen.

"I apologise for my reaction generated solely by the rush to score the winning goal after getting a 92nd-minute equaliser and I thank the team for not judging my act as racist."

Olimpija president Milan Mandaric, the former Leicester and Portsmouth owner, said: "The club distances itself from all individual acts which contravene our philosophy and condemns such acts strongly.

"However, after careful consideration and talks with Nikolic and Eleke, we have come to the conclusion that the coach did not target the player's race."

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