Manager to return after Houghton fall-out

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) claimed that Chowdhury, who has been with the team for the last three years, will be returning due to health problems, but a top federation official said that the manager is returning after a spat with the coach.

“There were differences of opinion between the coach and manager on several issues and they had a big fight on Friday after which the manager has decided to fly back home,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A team official in Dubai also confirmed that Chowdhury had a big fight with Houghton on several issues.

“There were several issues on which both the coach and manager were not on the same wavelength. It will be a big blow for the morale of the team if such things take place just a couple of weeksa before the Asian Cup,” the official said.

Meanwhile, Dempo and East Bengal turned down Hou-ghton’s request to send goalkeeper Sandip Nandy and winger Joaquim Abranches to Dubai to join the injury-hit national side for the Asian Cup camp. Houghton had wanted East Bengal’s Nandy and Dempo’s Abranches as replacements of injured goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya and Anthony Pereira who has already returned to Goa after suffering an ACL injury .

“We got the letter from the AIFF (to release Abranches) today but Joaqium is not even fit to play in the I-League for the club. How can he be fit for the national camp? We are not releasing him,” Dempo manager Tony Almeida said from Goa.

A top EB official also said that there was no question of releasing Nandy for the camp in Dubai. “East Bengal is doing very well in the I-League. We can’t release Nandy at this juncture. We can’t lose that momentum. We have replied to the All India Football Federation that we are not releasing him.”

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