Indian Football

FC Pune City part ways with coach Antonio Habas ahead of next ISL season

The ex-ATK coach was in charge of the Pune franchise for a year.

Antonio Habas’ contract has been mutually terminated by Pune City as the Indian Super League side prepare for their fourth season in the ISL.

Earlier reports suggested that the Spaniard had fallen out with the management over key decisions such as the recruitment of local Indian players through the draft system.

The Spaniard had been the longest-serving coach in the ISL and the only one of the first eight ISL managers to still be managing a side in the tournament. With ATK in the first season, Habas had benched marquee player Luis Garcia and Joffree for the final, where they won the game 1-0 with the Spaniard earning rave reviews.

Habas then moved to Pune City after a semifinal finish with ATK in 2015. In the third season, PCFC could not make the play-offs after finishing in sixth place. The 60-year-old was one of the ISL’s fieriest competitors, and has been suspended twice, once in the first season for punching Robert Pires and the second time in 2016 for aggressive behaviour during the last match of the 2015 season.

Habas has had stints as a manager with La Liga clubs Celta de Vigo, Valencia CF, Granada FC and Sporting Gijon.

Talking about his departure, Habas said, “It was a very professional and pleasant experience working with FC Pune City in ISL. However, due to longer season, it is unfortunate that I cannot continue as I have already made prior contractual commitments.”

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