Petkovic calls for end to 'absurd' Lazio dispute
By Football News
Vladimir Petkovic has called for his "absurd misunderstanding" with Lazio president Claudio Lotito to be resolved as soon as possible.
Petkovic will leave his role as coach of the Serie A side at the end of the season to take charge of Switzerland's national team - after they compete at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
That has drawn the ire of Lotito, with reports suggesting that the club president could be ready to launch legal action as he apparently prepares to replace Petkovic with 68-year-old former Lazio boss Edy Reja.
Reja has been pictured leading the club's training sessions following the mid-season break - with Lazio set to resume their campaign on Monday with a home clash against Inter.
That has come much to Petkovic's surprise, with the Croatian yet to be officially relieved of his duties.
"Petkovic took the news of legal action with surprise and disappointment," a statement from his lawyer Paco D’Onofrio, distributed to the Italian media, read.
"Straight after signing the contract (with Switzerland) on December 23, 2013 it was his moral decision – as no actual sporting or civil law requires it – to inform president Claudio Lotito before the news became public.
"In so doing, he reaffirmed his obvious firm intention of continuing the project with Lazio until the end of the season, as is always the case for players and coaches who are towards the end of their contracts.
"During this whole affair Petkovic respected every law and rule, as he never intended to cause any problems for the club, the president – who he is grateful for having believed in him – or the players who always showed respect and confidence in their coach even in these weeks of unsatisfactory results.
"As, at the moment, there has been no dismissal under the existing rules, the coach feels he is proudly still the coach of Lazio and will ask for a clear head-to-head discussion with president Lotito to clarify this absurd misunderstanding.
"Petkovic's thoughts at this moment are to wish the club, the players and the passionate fans a magnificent 2014 – together."