Houghton issue tops AIFF agenda

On learning that the AIFF has started looking for a new coach after India’s Asian Cup campaign in January next year, a miffed Houghton, whose current tenure ends at the end of that tournament, has send in his resignation.

Houghton is understood to have served a three-month notice starting from April 30 though he is open to stay back as coach if the AIFF Executive Committee agrees to his terms, which reportedly included a USD 10,000 per month hike in his salary.
The 62-year-old Englishman is not without his supporters in the 18-member Executive Committee and sources said they are not happy with the shabby treatment meted out to him.

But they are not expected to voice their unhappiness as AIFF President Praful Patel is understood to be working to keep Houghton at least till the Asian Cup. “Since the players, led by Bhaichung Bhutia, solidly behind Houghton, his departure would demoralise the them before the Asian Cup. India has qualified after 26 years, and Patel has more or less decided to ask Houghton to stay back,” a top AIFF source said.
“Houghton is unlikely to stay beyond the Asian Cup, he would have left after the tournament. The prudent course of action on AIFF’s part would have been to offer to renew his contract,” the source added.

Other issues to be discussed by the Executive Committee meeting include next I-League structure after the pulling out of Mahindra United, matters relating to women’s football and factional problems in state associations, including that of Andhra Pradesh Football Association.

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