Bologna’s Mihajlović is first coach fired in Serie A

BOLOGNA, Italy (AP) — With Bologna unable to produce a win in its opening five matches, Siniša Mihajlović became the first coach to be fired in the Serie A.

The move on Tuesday came two days after Bologna struggled to 2-2 at Spezia.

No immediate replacement was named.

Mihajlović coached Bologna for 3 ½ years, becoming a sentimental favorite of fans and players alike for his desire to remain on the job even after he was diagnosed with leukemia in 2019.

Players sometimes rallied under the 53-year-old Mihajlović’s hospital window when the coach was receiving treatment.

“It’s the most difficult decision I’ve made since I’ve been Bologna’s president,” Joey Saputo, the club’s Canadian owner, said in a statement. “Over these years we’ve experienced together with Sinisa both beautiful and painful moments, which have strengthened not just the professional but, more importantly, the human bond between us.

“(Bologna) will always be by his side until his complete recovery and for the rest of his career.”

Bologna has drawn three games and lost two.

It was Mihajlović’s second stint at Bologna, having also guided the team in his first head coaching job in 2008-09.

There were 11 coaching changes in the 20-team Italian league last season.

Giovanni Stroppa is also at risk at Silvio Berlusconi’s Monza, which hasn’t earned a point in its top-division debut.

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