Kerala Blasters finally reveal their closely-guarded secret – Vukomanovic

Kerala Blasters' head coach Ivan Vukomanovic interacts with players during a training session in Kochi ahead of the Super Cup. Photo: Screengrab from Kerala Blasters' YouTube

Kerala Blasters' closely guarded secret, since their infamous walkout in the Indian Super League (ISL) knockout against Bengaluru FC three weeks ago, is finally out.

It is none other than their head coach Ivan Vukomanovic whose social media blackout since the controversial match on March 3 had baffled football fans.

On Wednesday, the coach reappeared on social media in an 'unfiltered' training video the Blasters shared on YouTube.

In the 10-minute video that gained over 6k views in less than an hour, Vukomanovic is heard welcoming back his players who had reassembled for the Super Cup to be held in north Kerala beginning April 8.

Appearing uber-cool as ever, (except when he stormed into the ground to withdraw the players from an ongoing match on March 3) Vukomanovic had a brief speech to his players before training resumed.

"Couple of weeks of work... Three games, later on, we will see about the qualification, it is up to us," Vukomanovic was heard telling his players in the video. "We will have good games, tough games .. it's again up to us. Happy to see you back, so enjoy your time ."

This year's Super Cup -- a knockout tournament involving teams from the ISL and the I-League -- holds much significance from a Blasters' perspective as they have been drawn in Group-A alongside, among two other teams, Bengaluru FC.

The match between Blasters and Bengaluru on April 16 is one of the much-anticipated encounters this season considering the 'walkout' episode.

The Blasters had forfeited their ISL knockout against Bengaluru after Vukomanovic initiated the walkout after a controversial freekick goal scored by Sunil Chhetri -- that put them 1-0 up in the first half of extra time -- was allowed to stand by the on-field referee.

Even as Vukomanovic received overwhelming support from the Blasters' supporters, the club has remained tight-lipped. The All India Football Federation is yet to announce its disciplinary action on the club and its Serbian head coach for the unprecedented walkout.

Nevertheless, the Blasters had managed to keep Vukomanovic out of social media until today.

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