New Delhi, December 29: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has not ruled out giving another contract extension to head coach Stephen Constantine after the Asian Cup in January, saying the national team has been "performing excellently" under him.
Terming some media reports which claimed that the AIFF is parting ways with Constantine after the January 5-February 1 Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates as baseless, the national federation said it was focussing on the performance of the team in continental showpiece event.
"It is completely baseless. We are completely focused on AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 and the team has been performing excellently under Stephen Constantine having risen to 97 from 173 in the FIFA ranking within less than 4 years," AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das said in the statement.
🚨OFFICIAL STATEMENT🚨— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) December 29, 2018
'All India Football Federation condemns all the speculations which are going around about parting ways with National Team Coach Stephen Constantine after March 2019'
Read more 👉https://t.co/8Z4f7JjB36
"We all are focused on the massive tournament right now and we'll only sit together to discuss this once his contract ends on 31st January 2019," he added.
The 56-year-old Constantine was brought back as head coach in 2015 for a two year tenure after his first stint from 2002-05. He was given a contract extension of one year in 2017.
Early this year, he again accepted another one year of extension of his contract till the end of the Asian Cup. "Back in 2015, when the Englishman took the charge of the Blue Tigers, they were ranked 173 in the FIFA rankings. Since then, they have experienced a meteoric rise in the ladder to surge up to 97 in the latest-released FIFA rankings," the AIFF said.
India play Thailand in their opening match of the Asian Cup in Abu Dhabi on January 6.