On Wednesday, the Kerala Blasters fired their coach Kibu Vikuna after the club’s 0-4 victory over Hyderabad in its match for the Indian Super League, which put an end to the weak hopes of reaching the playoffs.
Under Vicuna, the Kozhikode-based country won just three games, lost seven and drew eight, finishing 10th in the 11-team league with 16 points. The 0-4 defeat by Hyderabad in Vasco on Tuesday sealed the fate of the Spaniard at the head of the club’s affairs.
Assistant coach Ishfak Ahmed will take over the management of the popular club in the other two non-essential matches “on a temporary basis until a permanent replacement is announced”.
However, Kerala Blasters said Vicuna was leaving the club by “mutual consent”.
“The club can confirm that we parted ways with head coach Kibu Vikunya by mutual consent. We would like to thank him for his contribution during the season and wish him all the best in his future endeavors,” the club said in a statement.
Vicuna, who directed Mohun Bagan to the I-League title last year, said that unfortunately the season was unusual and unexpected for the Kerala Blasters.
“… I always give my heart … but I also don’t make excuses. I want to thank all the management, players, coaching staff and club members for their professionalism, kindness and closeness. I want to thank all the fans of Kerala Blasters for support, “he said.
Kerala Blasters sporting director Carolis Skinkis has said the club has a clear goal of making improvements this season, but unfortunately the results are not as expected.
“We are grateful for his (Vicuna’s) commitment and professionalism to the club and wish him well for the future,” he said.
The club has a big fan in Kerala and beyond and recently became the first football team in the country to reach 2 million followers on Instagram.