AIFF technical director Scott O'Donnell denies replacing Nicolai Adam as India's U-17 football coach

New Delhi: All India Football Federation's Technical Director Scott O'Donnell on Saturday categorically said that he's not taking up any job with the AIFF and is leaving for home next month.

Australian O'Donnell, who is serving a three-month notice period to step down from his current job, denied reports that he may take over as head coach of India Under-17 World Cup team with the AIFF set to sack incumbent Nicolai Adam against whom the players have revolted.

"My three-month notice period to step down as technical director ends next month and I am leaving for home when it (notice period) ends. My five-year association with Indian football is ending mid next month," O'Donnell, whose notice period began in mid November, told PTI on Saturday.

File photo of India under-17 football teeam coach Nicolai Adam. AIFF

File photo of India under-17 football teeam coach Nicolai Adam. AIFF

"I want to clarify that I am not in the race to take up any other job with the AIFF. I have enjoyed my stint in India and with the AIFF. I want to be with my family now and so due to personal reasons I am leaving this job of AIFF technical director," he said.

O'Donnell was today at the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi along with the Under-17 World Cup squad, watching a match of the newly-launched Indian Women's League between Eastern Sporting Union of Manipur and Jeppiaar Institute of Technology FC of Puducherry.

Asked why he was at the stadium in New Delhi with the Under-17 boys, he said, "Myself being here with the boys, nothing should be read into this. They are here in Delhi and they want to enjoy a game of football. So, I am sitting with them here."

Asked what kind of job he would take up in Australia, he said, "It's a kind of similar job though on a smaller scale. I will be associated with Canberra provincial association in a similar capacity which I am currently having with the AIFF."

Meanwhile, the Indian Under-17 World Cup football team's training camp, which is to resume from 1 February in Goa, is likely to be delayed due to the ongoing controversy involving head coach Nicolai, affecting its preparations for the mega event later this year.

Sources told PTI that the players, who are currently in the national capital, have not been given any directions to proceed to Goa.

The boys are still here after meeting AIFF President Praful Patel on Tuesday while Nicolai is in Goa, the venue for the training camp.

In a meeting on Tuesday, at Patel's residence, Nicolai was told by the AIFF boss to quit or be sacked after several boys complained through a letter that they have been "physically abused" by the coach and his assistant Etibar Nizami Ibrahimov on more than one occasion.

According to a well-placed source, some of the boys were considering leaving for their homes in the absence of any clear directive from the AIFF on what they should do now.

According to the earlier schedule, they were to proceed to Goa after the tournament in Russia to resume the national camp from February 1.

It has also been learnt that many among these 21 boys are not willing to continue training under Nicolai and they have indicated this to former India captains Bhaichung Bhutia and Renedy Singh when the duo interacted with the players after this controversy broke out.


Updated Date: Jan 28, 2017 20:14 PM

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