‘CON­STAN­TINE’S JOB NOT IN DAN­GER’

Millennium Post - - FRONT PAGE -

NEW DELHI: AIFF gen­eral sec­re­tary Kushal Das made it clear that na­tional team coach Stephen Con­stan­tine would not be re­moved amid spec­u­la­tion that a few se­nior play­ers are or­ches­trat­ing a move to get him ousted.

There were re­ports that some se­nior play­ers feel that Con­stan­tine is not tech­ni­cally pro­fi­cient enough to coach the team.

Das said there was no ques­tion of re­mov­ing the coach, un­der whose guid­ance the team has qual­i­fied for the 2019 Asian Cup af­ter a string of im­pres­sive re­sults in re­cent times.

“He is very much there as the coach, he has been do­ing a great job and de­liv­ered very im­pres­sive re­sults. So, no ques­tion,” Das said.

Solely go­ing by per­for­mance, Con­stan­tine could eas­ily re­main at the helm.

Un­der Con­stan­tine, the In­dian team qual­i­fied for the Asian Cup tour­na­ment in 2019 for the first time since 2011, af­ter a 4-1 win over Ma­cau last month. Con­stan­tine joined the In­dian na­tional team in Fe­bru­ary 2016, when it was placed at a dis­mal 173 in the FIFA rank­ings, and helped it break into the top 100 for the first time in over 20 years.

The team is also cur­rently un­beaten in its last 11 matches. Last Satur­day, the Supreme Court stayed the order of the Delhi High Court al­low­ing all AIFF elected com­mit­tees to func­tion on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. It al­lowed Pra­ful Pa­tel to con­tinue in his role as the pres­i­dent of the fed­er­a­tion.

Asked about the SC di­rec­tive, Das said they were al­ways “con­fi­dent” of get­ting a stay order from the top court.

The SC also ap­pointed SY Qureshi, for­mer Chief Elec­tion Com­mis­sioner of In­dia and for­mer In­dia foot­ball cap­tain Bhaskar Gan­guly as the Om­buds­man to for­mu­late the AIFF con­sti­tu­tion within eight weeks.

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