Struggling at international level of football, the All India Football Federation [AIFF] is planning to make return of Stephen Constantine as coach of national football team. He is expected to be officially announced the new coach of team next week by the governing body of Indian football. This means new year will bring back the former coach of Indian team.
The AIFF Technical Committee has cleared that “It is more or less certain that Constantine will be the Indian football team head coach. The AIFF Technical Committee has cleared his name and the official announcement is expected early next week.”
Under the management of Stephen Constantine, Indian team won silver medal in inaugural Afro-Asian Games in the year of 2003, with victories over Rwanda and Zimbabwe. They faced defeat against Uzbekistan in the final match by a goal difference.
Stephen Constantine coached Indian team from year 2002 to 2005. According to Indiatimes.com, Constantine will get lower salary as compared to that of Koevermans who got $20,000 a month. He also coach the national teams of Sudan, Nepal, Malawi and is currently coaching Rwanda, got the nod ahead of former New Zealand coach and Indian Super League franchise side NorthEast United FC.
According to a source, “Stephen Constantine fulfilled our three criteria. Firstly, he comes within the pay package of the AIFF. We wanted a coach whose salary was below that of Koevermans. Secondly, we wanted a coach, who has experience of coaching national team. The third criteria was that the new coach should have knowledge of Indian football, its geography and perhaps culture. Constantine fits well in all this.”
The English Cypriot achieved success in early three years stint as India head coach. In his first tournament in charge, India won the LG Cup against Vietnam under Baichung Bhutia’s captaincy. According to former Indian Football team captain, the AIFF was determined to get the best man for the juniors as they represented the future of Indian football.
The secretary of AIFF Kushal Das said that the coach would be based either in Delhi, the federation’s headquarters, or Goa where a lot of academies are located.