Hugo Ibarra was sacked as head coach of Boca Juniors on Tuesday after a run of poor results and performances. Yet the timing of the move came as some surprise, coming just days before the Xeneize make their season debut in the Copa Libertadores 2023.
The announcement was made in the evening by Colombian Mauricio 'Chicho' Serna, a member of Boca Juniors' football board, who said that "all of us on the board of directors have taken the decision that this coaching staff will no longer continue."
"There is not much more to say. We are grateful to Ibarra, but we are here to make decisions. We had already made the decision in recent days, but the best thing was to wait for our vice-president [Juan Román Riquelme] to arrive and we did so in order to deal with this situation," Serna told the press.
Ibarra's position had been under threat after a sharp drop in the team's performances. Boca now sit mid-table in the Liga Professional de Futbol and have taken only one point from the last three games.
Ibarra's last game in charge of Boca was last Saturday, a narrow win over third division Olimpo de Bahia Blanca in the Copa Argentina, another game in which the Xeneize were sloppy, though they did enough to avoid what would have been a catastrophic defeat.
In his nine-month spell in charge of Boca, Ibarra managed 36 games, with 20 wins, seven draws and nine defeats. He won two titles, the Liga Profesional-2022 and the Supercopa Argentina a few weeks ago.
"We do things in a normal way. We understand that Boca have to play much better ... we are grateful to them – they faced up to the responsibility, they won two titles, but decisions had to be made," added Serna.
The coaching staff of Boca's reserve side, led by Mariano Herron, will be in charge of the first team on an interim basis pending the selection of a new boss.