AIFF decides to sack Houghton

New Delhi: Unhappy with the performance of
Indian football team in the Asian Cup last month, the AIFF
Executive committee on Wednesday decided to sack the national coach
Bob Houghton from his post.

The AIFF Executive Committee, which met today, decided to
accept the recommendation of the Technical Committee which in
its review had expressed disappointment at the performance of
the Indian team in the continental showpiece event held in
Doha, Qatar.

India had lost all their three group matches -- against
Australia (0-4), Bahrain (2-5) and South Korea (1-4).

"In their report, the Technical Committee said that
inspite of spending a huge amount of money and giving all the
facilities, India`s performance was disappointing. So the AIFF
Executive Committee accepted the opinion of the technical
committee in its review and decided to remove Houghton," a top
AIFF official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

Houghton`s contract was renewed last year to run till
2013 and sources said if he is to be removed now, the AIFF
will have to give him a large amount of money for sacking him
before the expiry of his term.

The AIFF is now seeking legal opinion how to get out of
this contract.

"The Executive Committee expressed its concern over the
performance of the national team and also expressed its
unhappiness regarding the conduct and derogatory remarks made
by Bob Houghton. The Executive committee has unanimously
decided to seek legal opinion regarding its course of action,"
a statement of the AIFF said.

Houghton had taken over India coach in June 2006,
replacing Syed Nayeemuddin under whom India had a series
of poor performances.

Under Houghton, India played in the Asian Cup after a gap
of 27 years by virtue of winning the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup.
He also guided India to two Nehru Cup international tournament
wins in 2007 and 2009.


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