AIFF chief Praful Patel rubbishes rumours of India players revolting against head coach Stephen Constantine
AIFF president Praful Patel brushed aside reports that a few senior players were at loggerheads with national team coach Stephen Constantine.
New Delhi: All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel brushed aside reports that a few senior players were at loggerheads with national team coach Stephen Constantine.
Patel was asked if he would step in to find a solution to the reported problems between the coach and players.
The AIFF boss had earlier acted upon complaints by the India U-17 team against former coach Nicolai Adam before Portuguese Luis Norton de Matos was appointed.
"What you are talking, is very hypothetical. Until and unless I hear something, I cannot go by some murmur in the media. I have to be told concretely by somebody that there is a problem. If the problem is not conveyed to us in the right way, I am not going to go on a fish-hunting expedition," Patel said.
Adam was removed as head coach of the India U-17 team with less than a year to go for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup.
Recalling that episode, Patel said, "The U-17 situation was completely extraordinary. The entire team spoke in one voice. I cannot, as AIFF President, be a spectator. I cannot have an unhappy team playing a competition which was extremely important for the county."
"On the sidelines of an event, Patel added, "There was no interference. It was only at their request that we stepped in. When they spoke in unison in one voice, we had to listen. They sought an appointment and since we had very less time, we had to take an extraordinary step. That situation rested there."
Praful Patel's luck finally runs out as Supreme Court appoints Committee of Administrators to run AIFF
The former Union Minister’s 13-year tenure as the head of Indian football ended after he was forced out of office by the apex court, which appointed a three-member committee headed by former judge AR Dave to manage the affairs of the AIFF.
As many as 25 state associations, affiliated with AIFF, virtually met on Saturday to discuss the current crisis in the federation and the general health of the sport in India.
The COA headed by former top court judge AR Dave also comprised of two earlier members, Dr SY Qureshi, former Chief Election Commissioner and Bhaskar Ganguly, former captain of the Indian Football Team.