Coaches leave everyone in splits ahead of SAFF Championship

New Delhi: They are yet to display their tactical acumen but a couple of coaches involved with teams competing in the SAFF Championship have surely left everyone in splits with their sense of humour.

Whether it was about Malvides` Hungarian coach Istvan Bela Urbanyi`s "three girlfriends" or Bangladesh`s Macedonian coach Nikolai Ilevski bringing the Cup closer to him, wit and humour dominated proceedings at the pre-tournament conference here today.

"My wife is sitting next to you, I have three girlfriends," Istvan said on a lighter vein when a scribe asked for his details.

Not to be left behind was Nikolai who said, "Bring the Cup closer to me" as he brought it from the centre of the table to his corner.”

Nepal`s British coach Graham Roberts, sitting next to Istvan, insisted "how hard it is to get a trial at Rangers".

Roberts, a one-time Rangers player, has played against the likes of Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Liverpool legends Ian Rush and Kenny Dalglish.

Almost all the teams believed they have the wherewithal to go all the way.

"Our group is strong. There are some young players in the side and they are giving their 100 per cent. Quite a few of our under-19 players improved by playing in competitions in Qatar. We did basic training but did not play any friendly," said Bhutan coach Hiroaki Matsuyama.

Sri Lanka`s coach D Chandrasiri said India will prove to be a strong contender but they are ready for the challenge.

"There are six players from the 2009 SAFF Cup side, including the captain," he said.

PTI