BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — The Serbian soccer association fired national team coach Slavoljub Muslin on Monday despite his team's qualification for the World Cup.

The FSS said Muslin will leave by "mutual agreement." It thanked him for "good cooperation and results" and named former Shalke defender Mladen Krstajic as interim coach.

After eight years of failing to make it to a major championship, Serbia qualified for next year's World Cup for the second time since becoming an independent nation in 2006.

Serbian soccer officials have criticized Muslim for his team selection, defensive tactics and for failing to bring in young players, especially talented Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

"We parted ways because we don't think alike on how the team should look for the World Cup in Russia," Muslin was quoted as saying by Serbian media.

The 64-year-old Muslin took over the national team in 2016 after coaching mostly French, Belgian and Russian clubs.