New Delhi, November 13: AIFF general secretary Kushal Das on Monday (November 13) made it clear that national team coach Stephen Constantine would not be removed amid speculation that a few senior players are orchestrating a move to get him ousted.
There were reports that some senior players feel that Constantine is not technically proficient enough to coach the team. However, Das said there was no question of removing the coach, under whose guidance the team has qualified for the 2019 Asian Cup after a string of impressive results in recent times. "He is very much there as the coach, he has been doing a great job and delivered very impressive results. So, no question," Das said.
Solely going by performance, Constantine could easily remain at the helm. Under Constantine, the Indian team qualified for the Asian Cup tournament in 2019 for the first time since 2011, after a 4-1 win over Macau last month.
Constantine joined the Indian national team in February 2016, when it was placed at a dismal 173 in the FIFA rankings, and helped it break into the top 100 for the first time in over 20 years. The team is also currently unbeaten in its last 11 matches.
Last Saturday, the Supreme Court stayed the order of the Delhi High Court allowing all AIFF elected committees to function on a regular basis. It also allowed Praful Patel to continue in his role as the president of the federation.
Asked about the SC directive, Das said they were always "confident" of getting a stay order from the top court. The SC also appointed SY Qureshi, former Chief Election Commissioner of India and former India football captain Bhaskar Ganguly as the Ombudsman to formulate the AIFF constitution within eight weeks. "Making the necessary changes in AIFF constitution to make it compliant with the sports code is not a difficult task as the changes are minor. As per the AIFF constitution, five proposers are required whereas only two are required as per the sports code," Das said.