Houghton hints he may quit in case of poor show in Asian Cup

Dubai: His contract runs till 2013 after a recent renewal but India football coach Bob Houghton has hinted that he may quit if his side does not produce a good show in the 2011 Asian Cup.

India have been clubbed in a tough group alongside Asian football powerhouses Australia and South Korea besides Bahrain and Houghton foresees "enormous outcry" back at home if his side fails to get a point in next year`s January 7-29 event in Doha, Qatar.

"To be honest, it might be time for someone else," Houghton said asked if there was anything left to do with the Indian team since winning two Nehru Cups (2007 and 2009) and qualifying in the 2011 Asian Cup via victory in the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup.

"You have to be realistic, if India goes out of the Asian Cup with no points there`s going to be an enormous outcry to sack the coach. Sometimes decisions are taken out of your hands," Houghton was quoted as saying.

The 63-year-old Englishman is here along with 30 Indian players as a preparatory tour for the Asian Cup.

India play three international friendlies this month -- against Iraq (November 11), Kuwait (November 14) and the UAE (November 18). They will also play against UAE club teams Fujairah and Hatta.

Houghton took over the charge of India coach in June 2006 and his contract was extended till 2013 under controversial circumstances earlier this year.

He had threatened to resign if his contract was not extended beyond the Asian Cup after reportedly coming to learn that All India Football Federation was looking for a coach.

Houghton was recently accused of racially abusing referee Dinesh Nair in an international friendly match between India and Yemen in Pune last month and the AIFF Executive Committee is looking into the matter.