Croatian court rejects perjury charge against Luka Modric

A Croatian court has rejected a charge of perjury against Luka Modric, recently named as the best football player in the world. Croatian prosecutors have accused him of giving false testimony at the trial of an ex-executive of his former club Dinamo Zagreb. It related to Mr Modric’s transfer to Tottenham Hotspur in 2008.

A Zagreb criminal court rejected the accusation against Mr Modric, although its ruling can be appealed. The trial involved Dinamo chief executive Zdravko Mamic and three officials, all sentenced to prison over embezzled funds from player transfers – though Mamic fled the country to Bosnia. It is thought the embezzlement cost Dinamo Zagreb more than €15m (£13.1m; $16.7m), and the state €1.5m.

That verdict is being appealed. Croatian media report that the Zagreb municipal criminal court said the perjury charge against Mr Modric was “premature” because the verdict in the corruption trial itself was not yet final.