AIFF Technical Committee recommends contract extension for Stephen Constantine
Written by: Sourav Neogi
The committee however rejected the national team coach's demands for a pay rise.
In the most recent development in regard to the Indian National Football Team, the AIFF Technical Committee held a meeting in Mumbai on Wednesday to decide on the future of national side’s head coach Stephen Constantine. Chaired by Shyam Thapa, the committee unanimously agreed to offer a contract extension to the English coach.
Until recently, Constantine’s future with the Blue Tigers was under a cloud as reports surfced that several senior players within the team were pushing for his ouster However, considering the 55-year-old’s record with India, the committee has agreed to extend his contract until the AFC Asian Cup next year. The decision is yet to be finalized by the AIFF Executive Committee, who must ratify the decision for a contract to be tabled for Constane's consideration.
“The recommendation of the Technical Committee as above shall be forwarded to the AIFF Executive Committee for their final approval,” said the AIFF in a statement.
The board also clarified the reasons behind the recommendation as appeared in the statement, “The members felt that the Indian Senior National Men's team met the dual strategic objectives of AIFF by qualifying for the AFC Asian Cup 2019 as well as by consistently achieving a top 15 FIFA ranking amongst Asian countries in the recent past. Accordingly, there was no reason for the AIFF not to offer a contract to Stephen,” said the governing body of Football in India.
Meanwhile, The Indian Express in anaricle published earlier this morning claimed that the committee rejected the Englishman's demands for a pay rise. The Indian national side’s head coach currently earns $20,000 a month and is the most expensive overseas coach to ply his trade in India. The Englishman has been the gaffer of the Indian side since January 2015 and his impressive record with the Blues has caught the eye of other employers, offering him gigs elsewhere in the process.
Although, it is still unclear if the AIFF Executive Committee would provide a green signal to the recommendation by the Technical Committee, the value of the coach to the national setup has been underlined by the recommendation of this contact extension. Before Constantine took over, the side was in a deteriorating state in the 160+ spots in the FIFA rankings. However, the past three years have seen a dramatic rise in the team's ranking as the Men In Blue broke in the top 100 in the previous year and currently occupy the 102nd spot on the global table.
Published: Thu Feb 08, 2018 08:48 PM IST