Albert Roca is said to be the favourite as the Indian national team’s fans await Stephen Constantine’s replacement.
The Indian national team is set to have a new head coach very soon. AIFF president Praful Patel has assured fans that an announcement will be made at the earliest.
Ever since the elimination of the Indian national team from the AFC Asian Cup and the resignation of Englishman Stephen Constantine earlier this year, the position of the head coach of the team has been vacant.
The AIFF has received 250+ applications for the post. Of these, about 35 are said to be of those who are well-known names in the global game.
The AIFF president has not ruled out the possibility of one of them being appointed, given the fact that they meet the criteria set by the federation.
“If the candidate fulfils the criteria, what we are looking at and if he is well-qualified, then we can think of that (appointing a big name),” the AIFF chief told PTI.
“The appointment will be made as soon as possible, maybe by the end of this month,” he added.
The applications are said to have the names of some of the coaches plying their trade in the Indian Super League and the I-League and some who have woorked in India in the past.
European heavyweights reported to be interested in the job include England’s Sam Allardyce, France’s Raymond Domnech, Sweden’s Hakan Ericson and Italy’s Giovanni De Biasi.
The final date for the applications to be submitted was on March 29. Now, the candidates are being shortlisted based on the criteria this week and then the shortlisted candidates would be interviewed by the technical committee for the final list.
The final list would then go through a further review and the executive committee would make an announcement of the selected candidate.
Among them all, former Bengaluru FC coach Albert Roca is said to be the frontrunner for the job, having previously impressed the AIFF during his stint with the Blues. The Spaniard is also said to be a favourite amongst the players.
Under Roca, Bengaluru finished as the runners-up of the ISL and most importantly the AFC Cup – a historic feat for any Indian club. Roca won his side the Federation Cup and the Super Cup before finally making way for his deputy Carles Cuadrat at the top.