Coaches dispensable for AIFF!

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Rage, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

    Feb 23, 2009
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    Coaches dispensable for AIFF

    :twitch: l l l l :doh:


    P. K Bannerjee


    A few days back, I read in the newspapers that All India Football Federation (AIFF) has decided to oust Bob Houghton as the national coach. On the same day, the Indian under-23 team defeated Myanmar in a pre-Olympic qualifier in Pune but the well-deserved victory hardly received any media attention.

    The AIFF bosses were perhaps busier plotting the coach’s downfall than following the progress of the national team.

    To say that I am sad at Houghton’s exit will be an exaggeration. In my opinion, he was below par for the last one year and the decision to remove him does not come as a surprise. At the same time, I completely disagree with the alleged tactics adopted by the national body to show the coach the door.

    To sack a coach because of his poor performance is a widely accepted practice. But to throw someone out on the basis of allegations of racial abuse and poor conduct could be interpreted as witch-hunting. Such cheap tactics, I am afraid to say, won’t really add to the reputation of Houghton’s current employers.

    The AIFF, I suspect, was never serious about the allegations of racial abuse against the coach and only using it now as a tool to get rid of Houghton. Otherwise, how can one explain the fact that the federation sat on the complaint lodged by an Indian referee for nearly six months before taking it up. I sincerely hope both Fifa and the Asian body ask the AIFF the same question.

    As a former player and a coach, I feel hurt whenever a technical person is hounded by people, who have no knowledge of the game.

    In the past, the AIFF had used similar tactics to sack coaches. Stephen Constantine was show caused on the basis of a newspaper interview; Sukhwinder Singh was ousted on the basis of a report that was cooked up by the manager and Syed Nayeemuddin’s only fault was that he allegedly played an injured player.

    Nothing, I am sorry to say, has changed in Indian football, even under the new management. It is still being run by men who have little respect for people, who actually sweat it out in the middle. Coaches in India are still being considered as doormats. Houghton, too, has not helped his cause. He, along with the other two British coaches who are handling the Indian age group teams, has formed a kind of coterie.

    In every national team, they only select players who have attended their coaching camps and ignore all other deserving footballers. At times, I feel, they are more concerned about their own future than the good of Indian football.

    From the game’s point of view, poor away record turned out to be Houghton’s biggest enemy. He remained a hero on the familiar turf of the Ambedkar Stadium but was a complete failure elsewhere.

    I accept India were in a tough group in the Asian Cup but he could not even win the SAFF Cup for India in Colombo, which was later regained by Sukhwinder’s boys in Dhaka. At the same time, whenever India won a trophy in India, Houghton managed to get his salary hiked by the federation.

    What’s most distressing is that no one is bothered India would play two major tournaments in the next three months. While AFC Challenge Cup in March is a gateway to Asian Cup qualification, the pre-World Cup in June is yet another tough target.

    The way things are going, Houghton seems unlikely to stay for these tournaments. The AIFF should immediately name his successor so that the new man gets little time to collect his thoughts and plan a new beginning.

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