- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 24, 2014

SALVADOR, Brazil (AP) - Safet Susic, who guided Bosnia-Herzegovina to its first World Cup, hinted Tuesday he will resign as coach after the squad’s group-stage exit.

“It is going to be difficult for me, but the day will come to bid my farewell to the team,” Susic said, adding that he expects to announce a decision “in the next 10 days.”

Susic, who coached the national team for the past three years, has come under heavy criticism back home for his alleged tactical mistakes during matches against Argentina and Nigeria, which his team lost 2-1 and 1-0.

Bosnia plays Iran on Wednesday in Salvador. Iran still has a chance of advancing, depending on the result of the other group game between Argentina and Nigeria.


Susic said it was not the right time to discuss is future as coach because “we still play a very important match tomorrow.”

Proclaimed an independent state in 1992, Bosnia had been waiting more than two decades to appear at a World Cup, but was eliminated from contention after just two games.

“We did something great which no one has done before,” Susic said. “It will be written in history that this generation, together with its coaching staff, reached the World Cup for the first time.”

He said Bosnia will be playing for pride against Iran.

“It won’t be easy, but it is important to say farewell to the World Cup in a nice way,” Susic said. “One day, analysts will get to understand that we needed a little luck and better referee decisions.”

Forward Edin Dzeko’s found the net in the 21st minute against Nigeria but it was ruled offside. Replays appeared to show the decision may have been wrong.

“If there is an apparent mistake, video reviews could be used, challenges to be made because it is a pity for our team to lose a match it could have won,” Susic said. “Had our first goal against Nigeria stood, we may have made progress.”

Defender Emir Spahic said the players would be treating the match against Iran as if they were still in contention at the tournament.

“The match tomorrow is very important both for us players and for our country,” he said “Those who think that we’ll walk onto the pitch like tourists cannot be more wrong.”