AIFF to discuss Stephen Constantine's future with Indian football team

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Mumbai, Nov 9: AIFF's technical committee today entrusted the country's apex football body general secretary Kushal Das with the task of communicating with the national team coach Stephen Constantine regarding his future in India.

The committee, comprising chairman Bhaichung Bhutia, Western Indian Football Association's (WIFA) CEO Henry Menezes, Kerala Football Association secretary Anil Kumar and AIFF academy instructor Scott O'Donnell, met here to deliberate on the future of Englishman Constantine, who was appointed to the post in January 2015.

Stephen Constantine (right) with Sunil Chhetri

Sources close to the All India Football Federation claimed that no replacement candidates were discussed for Constantine, whose second term as Indian coach ends in February.

A section of the AIFF, however, is keen on replacing him at the earliest and give his successor enough time to get acclimatised ahead of India's qualifying round play-off matches for the 2019 Asia Cup in February.

In his second stint as coach, Constantine failed to inspire his team in the World Cup/Asian Cup qualifiers with the side finishing last in Group D, which also had Asian heavyweights Iran and Oman, and lowly ranked Guam, to whom they lost.

He guided India to the SAFF Championship glory — the team beat Afghanistan 1-0 in the final — in January 2016.

The AIFF, though, was far from impressed with the team's overall results under Constantine. The coach's performance was discussed in the meeting. The final decision on the appointment will be taken by AIFF president Praful Patel.


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