Nicolai Adam steps down as India’s Under-17 coach

India's Under-17 football coach Nicolai Adam has stepped down from his post, the All India Football Federation confirmed on Tuesday.


Nicolai Adam took charge of the team in April, 2015.   -  AFC

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has managed to douse the fire generated from the episode involving chief national coach Nikolai Adam.

A press release by the AIFF announced on Tuesday that the federation and Adam had “parted ways” by “mutual consent.” It was not as smooth as it appeared since Adam had resisted action against him and refused to put in his papers.

The AIFF had decided to end the contract with Adam following a written complaint by the India under-17 team preparing for the World Cup to be held later this year in India.

Adam was asked by the AIFF to resign when 21 players of the team signed a letter in unison against the behaviour of the coach, who had allegedly used abusive language.

The release quoted Adam, “I am grateful to AIFF for giving me the opportunity to serve as coach of the Indian U-17 National Team. I wish all the bright young talent the very best.”

Rated among the best coaches to handle junior training and preparation, Adam had joined in April 2015, an appointment that was hailed as a progressive step to improve the quality of the game in India.

The episode involving him and the team left the football fraternity shocked and the AIFF responded swiftly by deciding to end his contract. “It was unfortunate the way things happened. On behalf of the AIFF I can say that we took the decision in the interest of the players,” AIFF president Praful Patel told Sportstar.

“We’ll obviously get a replacement and the new coach will take charge soon. We will have an interim coach to handle the team but the replacement will take over the team by the end of February,” Mr. Patel added.

Scoffing at reports that the AIFF may struggle to find a good coach in the backdrop of Adam’s departure Mr. Patel emphasised, “We have received a good number of applications for the job and we would soon begin the process of interviews. We are going to look at the best option available.”

Reflecting on the “unfortunate” development, Mr. Patel said, “The support staff should have informed the AIFF about the coach’s behaviour. There was absolutely no indication from the support staff or the coach. We would have acted at the first complaint. I reprimanded them for allowing things to reach this stage.”

Giving an assurance that the new coach would get six months to train the team ahead of the tournament, Mr. Patel noted, “The team will resume training soon and will continue to get the best facilities."

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