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ISL- Indian Super League

Odisha FC part ways with Kiko Ramirez, Kino Sanchez to take over

Published at :January 15, 2022 at 4:46 AM
Modified at :December 13, 2023 at 1:01 PM
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(Courtesy : ISL Media)

Harigovind Thoyakkat


The Spaniard led the Juggernauts in 10 games, five of which ended in defeat.

In a sudden development, Indian Super League (ISL) outfit Odisha FC on Friday announced that they have parted ways with their head coach Kiko Ramirez. A poor run of recent results has been revealed to be the reason behind the club's decision.

"Odisha FC has terminated Head Coach Kiko Ramirez's contract. This has been a very difficult decision and not one that the club owners and management have taken lightly. After lengthy deliberation and consideration amongst the club's technical committee, it was decided a change is needed now to give the club time to improve performances and results this season," OFC said in their official statement.

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The statement further read, "The club would like to thank Kiko for his efforts and wishes him the best for the future. The club shall make further announcements in due course."

Odisha FC started their ISL 2021-22 campaign well under Kiko Ramirez, winning their first two games against Bengaluru FC and SC East Bengal. The team displayed a solid brand of attacking football against both, but have managed to win only two more matches since then. The game against FC Goa on December 24 ended a draw, while the remaining five matches were defeats.

Two of those losses - against Jamshedpur FC (0-4) and Hyderabad FC (1-6) - were heavier than the others, but it looked like the Juggernauts were bouncing back after a 4-2 win over defending champions Mumbai City. However, a 0-2 loss against Kerala Blasters on January 12 appears to be the final blow for the Spanish coach, as the club announced his sacking two days later.

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Khel Now understands that Ramirez's sacking has been purely for football reasons, as confirmed by the Odisha FC's official statement. As per sources, Kino Sanchez, the club's current assistant coach, will be announced as the new head coach for the rest of the season on Saturday.

Apart from a dip in form, an outbreak of COVID-19 has also affected the Juggernauts. At least 10 members of their squad in the bio-bubble - including one player - have tested positive for the virus, according to the latest results. The club are currently in ninth place on the points table, with 13 points from 10 matches. Their next match is against NorthEast United on January 18.

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