Vukomanovic parts ways with Kerala Blasters

Vukomanovic wore his heart on his sleeve. File photo:

Head coach Ivan Vukomanovic has parted ways with Indian Super League (ISL) club Kerala Blasters FC. 

Serb Vukomanovic, who took charge of Blasters in ISL 2021-22 season, took them to the final in his first year where they lost to Hyderabad FC on penalties. He also guided Blasters to the playoffs in both last season as well as this season. 

The 46-year-old was a huge hit with the Yellow Brigade's supporters. Vukomanovic wore his heart on his sleeve and took his team off the field after a contentious free-kick goal by Bengaluru FC captain Sunil Chhetri in the playoffs last season. 

Following the walkout, Blasters were slapped with a Rs 4 crore fine. Vukumanovic himself was fined Rs 5 lakh in addition to a 10-game ban. 

Vukumanovic was vocal about the poor quality of refereeing in the ISL as well as the hectic scheduling. Blasters, who were plagued by injuries to many crucial players, went down fighting to Odisha FC 1-2 after extra time in the playoffs last week.

“Coach Ivan Vukomanovic’s influence on the team development over the past three years has been truly invaluable. Working alongside him has been both a privilege and a pleasure. I'm immensely grateful for his contributions to Kerala Blasters FC, and I wish him all the best in all his future pursuits," said Blasters' Sporting Director Karolis Skinkys.

“This has been a difficult decision for us. I have had a trusting, open & friendly relationship with Ivan from day one. While the change is difficult, we feel it is the right time to make the next step. I am very grateful to Ivan for what he has done for KBFC, the stability he brought, & the wonderful foundation he has set for the Club’s future. He is and will always remain a dear friend & an integral member of our Blasters family. I wish him all the best in his future endeavours," said club director Nikhil B Nimmagadda.

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