Bob Houghton still the football coach: Patel
All India Football Federation President Praful Patel dismissed reports that national coach Bob Houghton has put in his papers after being shoddily treated by the AIFF.
New Delhi: All India Football Federation President Praful Patel dismissed reports that national coach Bob Houghton has put in his papers after being shoddily treated by the AIFF.
"The news about Houghton resigning as the football coach is not correct. I myself spoke to him last night in Cape Town," Patel told reporters outside the Parliament.
"I think the only issue between the AIFF and the coach is that Houghton wants to know his future post January 2011, when his contract comes to an end," said the AIFF chief, also the Civil Aviation Minister.
"There is no other issue between him and the federation. He continues to be our coach and I am sure the Indian team will play under his leadership in the Asian Challenge in Doha in January. The news about the shoddy treatment meted out to him was incorrect," he said.
The AIFF Executive Committee would discuss the issue this week, he said.
"We are looking into this situation. We are meeting on May 7 for the Executive Committee meeting where this issues will also be discussed. Once again, Houghton has not resigned," Patel said.
The AIFF chief was reacting to reports that Houghton quit on Saturday following a tiff with AIFF officials over the extension of his contract.
Houghton wanted his contract to be renewed till 2013, along with a hike of USD 10,000 per month, and was apparently ticked off by the fact that AIFF was looking for a new coach.
Sources close to Houghton, who reportedly is earning USD 2,40,000 per year as salary, said it was a top AIFF official who told the English coach`s agent that the federation was looking for a new coach after his contract ends in January next year.
Under Houghton, the national team had enjoyed one of its most productive era. He guided the team to three successive titles in the past three years -- two Nehru Cups and the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup that gave India the entry to next year`s Asian Cup, a tournament they qualified for after 24 years.