The Blue Tigers are in need of a new tactician after Stephen Constantine resigned following last month’s exit from the AFC Asian Cup.
All India Football Federation (AIFF) General Secretary Kushal Das has revealed that the governing body is in no hurry to appoint a new head coach for the national team. Recently, national football’s apex body did not extend Stephen Constantine’s contract post their group stage exit from the AFC Asian Cup 2019. The four-year stay with the team was the Englishman’s second stint with the country.
Das was speaking at an event in the capital earlier today, when he confirmed that the AIFF will formally advertise for the role and welcome applications from interested candidates.
“We will advertise for that position but, we do not expect to fill it before April-May,” said Das.
The previous four years have been difficult for India. After failing to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup 2015, the major catch for the Blue Tigers was the World Cup qualification cycle for Russia 2018, in which they failed miserably. But, they did not disappoint on the continental stage.
India played in the Asian Cup for the first time in eight years earier thi year and thrashed Thailand 1-4 in their opening game. However, they then lost the other two games and failed to go through from the group.
“Look, I think there is no doubt that Indian football has improved significantly in the last 5-7 years. We did pull off a very good show in the Asian Cup,” he said.
The office-bearer added, “Except for the last match, we were very competitive. We comprehensively beat Thailand and it was unlucky to lose 2-0 to the UAE. We fought very well. It has been a far superior performance in this Asian Cup than the previous ones.”
Das reminded everyone of the progress India have made in terms of the FIFA rankings. He said, “India’s ranking has improved significantly, more and more countries are willing to play with India now. Earlier, there were not enough opponents. We played with China and Jordan.”
“It will take some time (to qualify for World Cup and win the Asian Cup), but I think we are on the right track.”