Albert Roca, Lee Min-sung among four shortlisted for Indian football coach post

The All India Football Federation has shortlisted Albert Roca, Lee Min-sung, Igor Stimac and Hakan Ericson for the vacant Indian football team coach post. The four candidates will be interviewed on May 9.

Albert Roca as coach has had immense success at Bengaluru FC.   -  K. Murali Kumar

After receiving over 250 applications for the post of the men's national team, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has pruned down the list to four candidates.

The AIFF's technical committee, headed by Shyam Thapa, will interview the candidates -- former Bengaluru FC coach Albert Roca, ex-Croatia national team coach Igor Stimac, two-time South Korean World-Cupper Lee Min-sung and former Sweden coach Hakan Ericson -- via Skype on May 9.

“The AIFF has given us a final shortlist of four names and we will be interviewing them on May 9 and will select the coach on the same day," Thapa told Sportstar.

He added that the technical committee would have an elaborate meeting before the interviews to discuss the shortlisted candidates' profiles and the plan ahead.

Roca has been touted as the front-runner for the post owing to his successful stint with Bengaluru FC. He took the side to the AFC Cup final in 2016, led the club to triumphs at the Federation Cup and Super Cup and a runner-up finish in the 2017-18 Indian Super League season.

However, a senior AIFF official said that his club record will not hand him an advantage."Roca had an impressive run at Bengaluru FC, but managing a club and a national team are not the same thing. Just because he has previously worked in India does not make him a favourite for the job," the official said.

Fifty-eight-year-old Ericson briefly managed Sweden’s national team in 2016 and was also at the helm of the team's U-21 set-up for over six years. During his playing days, Ericson had played for Swedish sides Aby IF, FK Kick and IK Sleipner.

South Korea's Lee Min Sung played as a defender in the 1998 and 2002 FIFA World Cups. He also played club football for the Busan I’cons, Pohang Steelers and FC Seoul.

As a coach, Stimac was in charge of the Croatian national team from 2012 to 2013. In club football, the former centre back had brief spells with Hajduk Split, Cibalia, NK Zagreb and Zadar, Iranian club Sepahan and Qatari club Al-Shahania.

The new coach's first assignment will be the Kings Cup to be held in Thailand between June 5-8.

(With inputs from PTI)

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