Odisha FC has terminated head coach Kiko Ramirez’s contract after only ten games in charge, according to a statement posted on the club’s website on Friday. After ten matches, the Bhubaneswar-based side is in ninth place in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) table, four points behind fourth-placed Mumbai City FC.
The statement read: “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,” the statement read.
It added “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. 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,” it added.
Odisha FC got out to a great start in the Hero ISL 2021-22 season, winning three of their first four games, but their success deteriorated after that, with only one win in their last six games.
Odisha FC has never finished in the top four in the Hero ISL, and with hopes of reaching the semi-finals this season, the club has decided to take a different path with exactly half a season remaining.
In the summer, Odisha FC signed several high-profile foreign players, including Javier Hernandez and Jonathas de Jesus. However, thus far, the outcomes haven’t lived up to their expectations. The Bhubaneswar-based team will face NorthEast United FC in their next match on Tuesday, trying to change their fortunes and get to the semi-finals.
Garcia as Interim Head Coach
After Kiko Ramirez was fired after a spate of disappointing performances, Odisha FC named Kino Garcia as the temporary head coach on Saturday (January 15). Odisha has won just two of its last seven games and is now at ninth in the 11-team rankings. Garcia, who previously worked as the club’s assistant coach, will take over as head coach for Odisha’s next game on Tuesday against NorthEast United FC.
Garcia, who holds a UEFA Pro License, has extensive experience in player development and has previously coached Valencia CF’s junior squads. He has coached several notable players who are currently playing in Spain’s first division, as well as directing the Valencia CF Academy in Seoul.
For several seasons, he also coached Levante UD in Spain’s premier tier of women’s football. He also works for the Spanish Federation as the Director of Coaches in Valencia.