AIFF’s Technical Committee mulls over salary factor of high-profile coach applicants

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The salary of high-profile applicants was a major issue of deliberation in the first meeting of AIFF’s Technical Committee, which on Monday scrutinised around 40 candidates for the vacant post of the national team coach.

The Committee also decided to ask the four contenders for the post of Technical Director to make a presentation before it.

The AIFF had received over 250 applications for the post of national team coach left vacant by Stephen Constantine. After examining their CVs based on various criteria, 41 names were forwarded to the technical committee.

The Committee, chaired by former India international Shyam Thapa, in its meeting on Monday segregated the 41 names into two lists.

The first list of 17 has the likes of France’s World Cup winning coach Raymond Domenech, former England managers Sven-Goran Eriksson and Sam Allardyce. These are pro-licence holders with national team experience in major global events, like the World Cup.

The second list of 24 has the likes of highly successful ex-Bengaluru FC manager Albert Roca. These are pro-licence holders with national team experience but not in top global events.

These 41 names will be further discussed and pruned down to around 10-11 in another meeting of the Technical Committee likely to be held on April 23.

These shortlisted candidates will be called for interview later this month so that a new national coach is finalised by early next month.

“The problem with the high-profile coaches of the first list is the salary. Budget is a big factor and the AIFF will see if it can meet the costs associated with hiring a big name,” a well-placed source in the AIFF told PTI.

“Another important factor the technical committee thought was that the high-profile name may want to bring his own team of support staff but the AIFF would like to have an Indian as assistant coach at least, like Venkatesh Shanmugam did under Constantine,” the source said.

Monday’s meeting was attended by AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das, national team director Abhishek Yadav, Henry Menezes, Ishfaq Ahmed, Pradip Datta, G P Palguna and Sunder Raman (via video-conference).

I-League CEO Sunando Dhar, AIFF General Manager Swati Kothari and AIFF’s acting Technical Director Savio Medeira were also present.

Regarding the post of Technical Director, which has remained vacant since 2017, the four shortlisted candidates will be asked to make a presentation.

The short-list for TD’s post comprises Australian Scott O’Donnell, who had served in the same post in the past, Gaioz Darsadze of Georgia, Romanian Doru Isac and Jorge Castelo of Portugal.

“We will have a chat with all the shortlisted candidates to understand their vision, and objective. The process will be completed within the next fortnight,” Thapa said in an AIFF release.

The Committee applauded the performance of the Indian senior women’s team in the AFC Olympic Qualifiers Round 2 in Mandalay and the Indian senior men’s side’s performance in the AFC Asian Cup.


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