Just seven months after being tasked with leading the rebuild of tragedy-hit Chapecoense, head coach Vagner Mancini has been let go.
Nineteen Chapecoense players and coach Caio Junior were among the 71 who lost their lives last November when the plane carrying them to Medellin for the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional crashed.
Mancini was appointed the following month and oversaw the formation of a new squad, but finds himself out of the job less than seven months later.
“The [Chapecoense] board recognizes the significant work done by the professional Vagner Mancini in the process of rebuilding the club and in achieving the important results obtained in the 2017 season,” an official club statement read.
Assistant coach Emerson Cris will take charge in the interim.
Things began well for Mancini as he led Chape to the Campeonato Catarinense title, but the fielding of an ineligible player resulted in a points deduction that cost them a first-ever place in the Copa Libertadores knockout rounds.
The club was eliminated from the Copa do Brasil last 16 by Cruzeiro, lost the Recopa Sudamericana to Atletico Nacional and will have to overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit to Argentine side Defensa y Justicia if it is to avoid the same fate in the Copa Sudamericana second round.
That defeat was Chape’s fourth in a row in all competitions and the team followed it with a 3-3 draw against Fluminense on Monday, a result which left Chape 15th in the Campeonato Brasileiro and just three points clear of the relegation zone.
Mancini has consequently been relieved of his command, with Argel Fucks — who was last in charge of Vitoria and has coached Santa Catarina’s other biggest clubs: Criciuma, Joinville, Avai and Figueirense — favored to replace him at the helm.
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