Research key to Indian football team coach appointment, says Bhutia

Former Indian captain Bhaichung Bhutia felt that intense research on prospective candidates should take precedence over nationality and stature in appointing the national football team coach.

File Photo: Bhaichung Bhutia led the technical committee which appointed former coach Stephen Constantine, who left the job after India's 2019 Asian Cup elimination.   -  PTI

Former captain Bhaichung Bhutia Wednesday said “thoroughly studying the profile” of applicants must take precedence over other considerations such as nationality or stature in the appointment of the next Indian football coach.

The salary of high-profile applicants was a major issue of deliberation during the All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) technical committee on meeting Monday when it scrutinised 41 candidates for the vacant post of the national team coach.

“Indian or foreigner, big names or small, they should not matter as much as the profile of the coach. In my opinion, thoroughly studying the profile of the coach is of utmost importance. That should be taken into considerations by the technical committee along with all others factors,” Bhutia told PTI.

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The AIFF has received over 250 applications for the post of national team coach left vacant by Stephen Constantine. After examining their CVs, 41 names were forwarded to the technical committee.

Former Everton manager Sam Allardyce is also in the race for the Indian football team coach post.   -  Getty Images


Interestingly, Constantine was appointed on the recommendation of the Bhutia-led technical committee in 2015.

“Then also, a lot of research was done before the appointment. That is what the technical committee is supposed to do and I am sure they will eventually recommend the best candidate for the job,” the legendary striker said.

India was languishing at the 170s in the FIFA rankings when Constantine arrived for his second stint with the Indian football team. By the time he called it quits, India was placed at 101 following an unbeaten run of 13 matches, a fine triumph in the Intercontinental Championship and a spirited attempt in the AFC Asian Cup where it narrowly missed out on qualification to the knock-outs.

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The technical committee, chaired by former India international Shyam Thapa, in its meeting on Monday segregated the 41 names into two lists.

The first list of 17 has the likes of France’s World Cup winning coach Raymond Domenech, former England managers Sven-Goran Eriksson and Sam Allardyce.

The second list of 24 has the likes of highly successful former Bengaluru FC manager Albert Roca.

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