AIFF offers Stephen Constantine job of India football coach
India have offered Englishman Stephen Constantine the job of coaching their national team coach for a second time, as they look to shed their reputation as football`s sleeping giant.
New Delhi: India have offered Englishman Stephen Constantine the job of coaching their national team coach for a second time, as they look to shed their reputation as football`s sleeping giant.
Constantine, currently the head coach of Rwanda, was in charge of India from 2002 to 2005 during which the side managed to achieve a best-ever FIFA ranking of 109.
Football`s popularity has been growing steadily in the cricket-mad nation and many of the matches in the recently concluded Indian Super League (ISL) drew tens of thousands of supporters.
However India currently rank 171st in the world, more than 100 places behind Constantine`s current charges who are 68th.
In a statement on their website, the All India Football Federation confirmed they had approached "Stephen Constantine to become the head coach of the senior men`s national team and the U23 team."
Reports said the 52-year-old -- who has also coached Nepal, Sudan and London club Millwall -- had been offered a three-year deal worth up to $20,000 a month.
Former New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert had also been in the running but just missed out to the Englishman, the reports said.
The position became vacant after Dutchman Wim Koevermans resigned in October after the India`s 3-2 home defeat against Palestine in a friendly.
Organisers of the 10-week ISL managed to attract big-name stars such as France`s Nicolas Anelka and Italy`s Alessandro Del Piero, somewhat overshadowing the local talent.
Although India have never appeared at the World Cup finals, FIFA president Sepp Blatter has described the country as the game`s "sleeping giant".