Constantine takes up India job

Constantine takes up India job

Englishman Stephen Constantine was on Friday handed the reins of the national football team for the second time, with the All India Football Federation choosing to go with the tried and tested.

Constantine, who previously served as the head coach from 2002 to 2005,  also takes charge of the under-23 team with the 52-year-old entrusted with the gigantic task of lifting India from a lowly world rank of 171.

“His primary job would be to help India qualify for the Asian Cup in 2019,” said AIFF general secretary Kushal Das on the sidelines of a press conference here on Friday to launch the I-League. “Another major task of his would be to improve our world rankings which has slid very badly. I hope he’s able to replicate what he’s done with Rwanda, powering them from 120-odd to 68. “We hope he can bring India closer to 100 or so in the next two years. And of course India should qualify for the Asian Cup. Now that the format has been changed -- there are 24 teams -- we should definitely be playing in 2019.”

Former New Zealand head coach Ricki Herbert and Bengaluru FC coach Ashley Westwood threw their hat into the ring but Das said the technical committee picked Constantine because of his familiarity with the job and the country. 

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