India rejigs coaching teams for U17 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup qualifiers


By Samindra Kunti

February 17 – Savio Madeira has been appointed as the new technical director of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) succeeding Scott O’Donnell. Senior coach Stephen Constantine will take over at the U17 team on an interim basis as the hunt for a new coach continues. 

Madeira has enjoyed a long career in Indian football. He spent 17 years at Salgaocar and was an assistant coach of India’s national team from 2008 until 2011.

O’Donnell cited family reasons for his resignation. The Australian wants to spend more time with his family back home. The former Cambodia coach spent five years at the AIFF, first as director of the academies and coach education, then as technical director, succeeding Dutchman Rob Baan.

Constantine will take charge of India’s U17 team on an interim basis until the AIFF have appointed a successor to Nicolai Adam. Last month the AIFF and Adam parted ways after players claimed abuse by the Hungarian coach. India’s U17 team are preparing for the World Cup later this year on home soil.

In a statement, the AIFF announced that the governing body and Adam ‘parted ways with mutual consent’ without elaborating further. Adam received a severance compensation of $65,720, according to local reports.

“We are forming two committees [to select the new coach],” said AIFF general secretary Kushal Das. “One is the AIFF Advisory Committee which shall comprise of Bhaichung Bhutia (Chairman, Technical Committee of the AIFF), Abhishek Yadav (COO, India Under-17 team), Kishore Taid (Head of Strategic Planning, AIFF),  and myself.”

Indian football faces a crucial period, with the preparations for the U17 World Cup accelerating and qualifiers for the 2019 Asian Cup commencing in March.

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