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‘India football coach’s stature matters, not origin’


New Delhi, April 13: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has decided to complete the formalities to select the coach for senior men's football team by May 7. AIFF's focus will be on a coach who has a pro-license and also has experience of coaching a national team.

Sanjay Sen, a pro-license holding Indian coach, who won the I-League with Mohun Bagan and is currently associated with Indian Super League franchise ATK feels that the federation should select an Indian coach.

"If you ask me to decide between an Indian and a foreign coach, I will say Indian. But don't ask me why, as why has no answer. ISL teams have foreign coaches, but today you see I-League is more competitive and most I-League teams are coached by Indian coaches," he said.

Former Indian footballer and currently a coach, Biswajit Bhattacharya, feels that a foreign coach is not a bad idea, as far as developing football in India is concerned. But at the same time, under a good foreign coach an Indian coach can also be added so that the Indian coach can also learn from the experienced foreign coach.

"Foreign coach is fine for development, but at the same time it will be excellent idea to add one Indian coach with him. However, the federation will not do that", Bhattacharya said.

"See we too are pro-license and A-license holders, naturally as far as the coaching part is concerned we are at the same level, but since Indian team has no significant performance in the international level, coaches from India do not get that much importance," Bhattacharya added.

Bhattacharya also feels a foreign coach of stature must be imported. "You need to bring coaches of stature. If you want to bring a foreign coach, bring coaches like Sven Goran Eriksson, who coached the English national team. 

Taking his advice, if we work for the development of the football in India, it will be more effective, otherwise whether it is foreign coach or Indian, the result will be the same," Bhattacharya pointed.

The AIFF will on April 15 hand over 38 applications it has pruned from a total of around 250 to the technical committee. Based on the recommendation of the technical committee and considering other factors like finance etc, the AIFF will cut the list down to five or six candidates. That will again be sent to the technical committee for a final decision.