Will Stephen Constantine renew his contract with AIFF?

Written by: Sujata Sarkar

Bengaluru, Sep 21: Indian national football team's coach Stephen Constantine's contract with the All India Football Federation (AIFF) is going to expire in February 2017. [Full schedule of ISL 2016]

Even though it is believed that the AIFF is all set to offer Constantine a contract extension, rumours suggest that the governing body is considering few other names for the same post.

File photo: Stephen Constantine (right)

It has been learnt that Ashley Westwood, the British coach who guided Bengaluru FC to I-League title twice, has recently met the AIFF secretary Kushal Das and submitted his resume, seeking a chance to be the coach of senior national football team.

Incidentally, the AIFF has no plans yet to end the relationship with Stephen Constantine under whose guidance Indian football team has won the SAFF championship.

And more interestingly, after his two stints with as India's coach, Stephen has been close to the AIFF top brass. Thus, the AIFF top brass is willing to renew contract with the British manager.

If roumours are to be believed, then the marketing partner of All India Football Federation, IMG Reliance does not want Stephen Constantine to continue after his contract ends in next February.

One of the top AIFF executives divulged on condition of anonymity on Tuesday, “IMG Reliance does not want Stephen to continue.

"The reason is that, during the last ISL, the coach made strong criticism of a few ISL franchise clubs who did not release selected national footballers for the national preparatory camp as India’s World Cup qualifying matches clashed with ISL.”

Incidentally, ISL is organized by the IMG Reliance group and they will give the excuse of Stephen’s salary (nearly Rs 13 lakh monthly).

The senior executive added, “IMG people will say that Stephen’s salary is very high. So the AIFF should be in search of another coach whose salary cannot be exorbitant.”

Commenting on Ashley Westwood’s chances, a section of Federation’s top bosses feel it is slim. There two key reasons behind this opinion.

One is Westwood’s lack of experience in coaching national teams in spite of the fact that he has earned a Pro-license recently.

And the second important factor, his bad temperament which was observed several times during the last I-League season where Westwood was suspended for misbehaving with referees and opponents.

OneIndia News

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