Uganda Cranes coach, Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic has said the charges he was convicted of were cooked up with an aim of tarnishing his name.
The Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth) Regional Court convicted Micho of two counts of sexual assault in crimes committed while still in charge of the Zambian national team.
The court consequently sentenced him to two separate three-year jail terms, both of which have been suspended for five years.
In a statement about the conviction, the Serbian national described the charges as those meant to soil his good name.
“These reports are premised on a well orchestrated plot of some devious and malicious, faceless people hell-bent at tarnishing my name and using all means to set me up and cause humiliation to my image,”Micho said in a statement.
According to the South African court, the incidents that happened in December 2020 during the reginal COSAFA U-20 cup saw Micho inappropriately touch a 39 year old woman who was delivering coffee.
Whereas the Serbian tactician denied the charges, the court found him guilty.
“On 07 December 2020 during the Cosafa Games in Gqeberha, a 39-year-old woman was delivering coffee at the Wolfson Stadium when she asked Sredojević if he would need sugar with his coffee. He said no and added that he needed another type of sugar, pointing at her private parts. She complained about his conduct to her boss who in turn warned Sredojević not to do it again,” the court said.
However, in his latest statement, Micho said whereas he clearly knew that the allegations were cooked up with an aim of tarnishing his name, he decided to subject himself to the South African justice system but insisted everything was choreographed to accuse and convict him.
“I am a law-abiding person who fully cooperated with authorities from the very beginning even when I knew that I was simply being a target,” he said.
The Serbian tactician said he has since appealed against the conviction and the resultant sentence.
“My decision to take the matter on appeal is in total agreement with the magistrate which is my pursuit of justice cannot let the perpetuation of injustice against me go unchallenged,” he said.