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We don’t see any reason to remove Stephen Constantine- AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das

Written by: Sourav Neogi

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This is not the first time senior players have complained about the national team gaffer.

Putting an end to all speculation on national team head coach Stephen Constantine’s exit, AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das has denied any possible sacking of the Englishman.

“We don’t see any reason to remove him. He has delivered the results, and moreover, the SAFF Cup is coming up and then there is the Asian Cup. His contract expires on January 31 next year,” Das told PTI.

Recently, reports of several players’ discontent with the 55-year-old tactician emerged and more speculation broke out as the AIFF promised to re-evaluate Constantine’s tenure after the SAFF Championship in Bangladesh next month.

In his second stint with the Blue Tigers, Constantine has taken the Indian team through a massive rise from 173 to 97 in the FIFA rankings. The former Nepal and Rwanda coach also achieved a 13-match unbeaten streak, which ended with a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Kyrgyz Republic in the final game of the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers earlier this year.

Das was asked if Constantine would be in-charge of the Indian side in the AFC Asian Cup next year, in response to which he remained positive.


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After the AFC Asian Cup qualifying defeat against Kyrgyzstan, it is believed that some senior players met with the AIFF official in Mumbai, conveying their dissatisfaction with Constantine. When asked about it, Das said, “I do meet players, support staff on a regular basis. Players can have problems with the coach. I think these rumorus picked up pace in the social media.”

This is also not the first time something like this has happened. Earlier this year, several senior players complained to the AIFF about the head coach and later in a meeting, the AIFF Executive Committee decided to grant the Englishman a contract extension.

It is also being reported that the Indian coach is not on the same page with skipper Sunil Chhetri. After Chhetri’s plea to Indian fans to come and watch the Indian team play in the Intercontinental Cup went viral on social media, the coach was asked for his comments on it. “Look, I have said it before and I don’t feel that we should be begging people to come and watch the national team,” Constantine asserted.

However, the AIFF acted swiftly a similar situation back in 2017, when Indian U-17 head coach Nicolai Adam was sacked after allegations of physical abuse against players.

Published: Thu Aug 09, 2018 01:10 PM IST

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