There was no suggestion by AFC on replacing Houghton: AIFF

Posted By: Pti

New Delhi, Jan 24 (PTI) The All India Football Federationtoday rubbished reports that the Asian Football Confederationhad suggested the AIFF to replace chief national coach BobHoughton following the team''s not-too-impressive campaign inthe Asian Cup in Doha.

"There was absolutely no suggestion by the AFC onreplacing the current chief national coach," general secretaryKushal Das said in a statement issued by the AIFF today.

Soon after India''s campaign in the Asian Cup came to anend, there were reports in certain sections of the media thatAFC general secretary Alex Soosay had made a suggestion toAIFF to appoint Frenchman Philippe Troussier as India''s nextnational coach.

Soosay, it was reported, made the suggestion during ameeting with senior AIFF officials, including Das and vicepresident Subroto Dutta in Doha.

But Das said the meeting was held to discuss ways toimprove the grassroot development programmes in India for thebetterment of the game.

Troussier, who took Japan to the round of 16 in the 2002World Cup in Germany besides winning the Asian Cup in 2000,too, rubbished the claims.

Das also categorically denied making any derogatorycomments about any player or the head coach.

"The performance of the Indian team will be reviewed bythe technical committee and the executive committee of theAIFF," the statement read.

"Our next course of action would only be decided afterpresident Praful Patel and the executive committee review theperformance," Das said.

Das, who was personally present in Doha along with Dutta,added that the players'' spirit and unity was "very good"during the tournament.

Coached by Houghton, whose contract runs till 2013, Indiaconceded 13 goals and scored thrice in three matches againstAustralia, Bahrain and South Korea to finish without a pointat the bottom of Group C.

Story first published: Monday, January 24, 2011, 16:00 [IST]
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