AIFF to select new coach

The All India Football Federation is trying hard to bring a turnaround in the Indian football.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:49 IST
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Kolkata :

The All India Football Federation is trying hard to bring a turnaround in the Indian football. The Indian team slumped to an all time low of 137 in the FIFA rankings a short while ago. This is not surprising considering they have been losing to teams ranked even lower than them such as Pakistan and then Fiji. The 2-0 loss to Fiji is what forced the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to look for a replacement for current coach Sukhwinder Singh. A total of five applicants have been called for the interview by the AIFF on Friday in Delhi. Front runners Subrata Bhattacharya, the former Mohun Bagan coach, and Syed Nayeemuddin, the former India coach are said to be the favourites. Nayeem as he's popularly called is known to be a strict disciplinarian, something that didn't go down too well with the team during his last stint, which was almost seven years ago. But the coach is ready for a second chance and he is bursting with ideas on how to improve the game. On its part, the AIFF has to get its own strategy sorted out. Last year they decided against a foreign coach after the experiment with Seephen Constantine. Controversial selection And this time too the selection has been controversial. Subhash Bhowmick, the East Bengal coach, Armando Colaco and Amal Dutta refused to apply for this cricket coach like selection. "Football is a different ball game. You may have a panel of six, eight or ten experts. But you judge them through their performance and discuss with them confidentially. Some AIFF guys want you to have license, it is ridiculous. I do not want to participate in this," says Bhowmik. Meanwhile, whoever the new coach is he will have his hands full. The team plays in the south Asian football cup later this year and then it's the Asia Cup qualifiers and the Asian Games in 2006.