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The Indian football team is without a coach ever since Stephen Constantine quit after the 2019 Asian Cup in UAE in January. While one would have expected the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to immediately advertise for the vacancy, IANS has learnt that there has been no such effort from the federation.
The window for national teams to play international friendlies opens from March 18 and will continue till March 26. After that there will be another window again from June 3 to June 11.
This apart, there are also FIFA international friendly window/World Cup-Asian Cup joint qualifiers from September 2 to 10, from October 7 to 15 and November 11 to 19.
Despite such a big calendar, no effort has been made to fill up the boots of Constantine, a coach who took Indian football to new heights with some quality performances and substantial rise in rankings.
Interestingly, the process of selecting a coach starts only after the advertisement. While the AIFF is initially expected to short-list a few prospective candidates, the final call must be taken by AIFF's technical committee.
Speaking to IANS, technical committee chairman Shyam Thapa not only confirmed that no such process to appoint the next coach has started, but also said that the committee isn't consulted when an Indian coach is considered.
"For Indian coaches, the AIFF itself settles the issue. For Indian coaches, say for U-15, U-19 etc, they hardly ask us. They decide it on their own. Only in the case of foreign coaches, for senior team or junior team, the AIFF consults the technical committee," he revealed.
Thapa went on to reveal some more details that doesn't augur well for Indian football.
"There will be three or four men who will discuss the details of the foreign coaches, their age, background, achievement, etc. I don't know how this process works because they do not feel it necessary to consult us when it is a case of Indian coaches.
"Only for foreign coaches they consult us, but that too after shortlisting three or four coaches," he revealed.
"The AIFF will come up with two/three names and discuss their credentials and finalise. We don't even have the CVs of the short-listed coaches."
Thapa had put his foot down in the last meeting and said that the process cannot work any further.
"In the last meeting, I asked them to send the CVs of all the short-listed coaches, to all members. The AIFF has agreed to this. And you see, that should be the procedure. Unless, we the technical committee members get to know the credentials of the coaches how can we discuss," Thapa concluded.