AIFF’s special committee furious over being bypassed during U-17 coach selection

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© AIFF Media

AIFF’s special committee furious over being bypassed during U-17 coach selection

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SportsCafe Desk


AIFF’s special committee, which was formed for the selection of the U-17 coach, is miffed about being bypassed by the Board, which has named Portuguese Luis Norton de Matos as the number one choice for the role. Allegedly, the AIFF did not even confer with the committee before taking the call.

AIFF president Praful Patel had formed a special committee, consisting of legends like Baichung Bhutia and I M Vijayan, to head the selection of the new coach for the U-17 side after the exit of Nicolai Adam. However, the AIFF has now named Portuguese Luis Norton de Matos as their number one choice to replace Nicolai Adam, allegedly without speaking to the committee.

"We have never recommended any coach as number one choice. AIFF has bypassed the special committee constituted by the president to select the coach of India U-17 team.

"There were more than 70 applications and we had pruned it down to eight and then to three-four candidates. We were to have a final meeting to select the coach. But this final meeting never happened and the AIFF on its own has now named one coach (de Matos) as their number one choice without consulting the committee. This is not right," a member of the special committee told PTI.

The official went on to add that the whole Nicolai Adam disaster should have acted as a warning for the AIFF, who did the same during his appointment. He added, "We know the technical matters and who can be the best coach for the U-17 side but we have been bypassed by non-technical people in AIFF. The same thing happened at the time of Nicolai Adam's appointment. The AIFF officials announced his (Nicolai's) name on their own without advice from the committee constituted to select the coach. After two years what happened (to Nicolai) is for all to see.

"After the Nicolai controversy we need a person who is not aggressive in nature, who knows Indian culture so as to be able to gel with the young boys. The issue with Nicolai was mainly due to cultural difference with him and the boys. The committee was to look into all these kind of issues regarding these three-four shortlisted candidates in the final meeting."

Another committee member has confirmed that the AIFF had assured them that there will be a final meeting before the appointment, however, that meeting is yet to take place.

"At the last meeting, we were told that we will have a final meeting and in that we will discuss in detail about these three final shortlisted candidates. But the meeting has not been held till now," he said.

AIFF general secretary Kushal Das had said on Wednesday that De Matos would replace Adam. He said, "De Matos is the number one choice. He will come to India and meet Sports Secretary and AIFF President and then we will take a decision. The final decision on the coach's appointment will be taken by Mr. Praful Patel (AIFF President).”

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