FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Avispa Fukuoka manager Hiroshi Matsuda has been fired because of his side's lackluster performance this season, the J. League first division club said Monday.
Fukuoka earned promotion back to the top flight after five years this season but is now languishing in 16th place on eight points with a 1-6 record and five draws in league matches. Avispa was knocked out in the first round of the Nabisco Cup and has won just twice in 18 matches.
The top division is currently taking a break because of the World Cup finals, which get under way next month in Germany. "Of course, the responsibility is not entirely manager Matsuda's, but we have to move toward making a breakthrough before the league begins again on July 19," said Avispa club president Ko Tsuzuku.
Four or five candidates, including coaching staff, have been short-listed to replace Matsuda.