Houghton to appear before AIFF panel on Monday

New Delhi: National football coach Bob Houghton will appear before a three member AIFF panel to present his case on the charges levelled against him,
including the alleged racial abuse of an Indian referee during an international friendly last year.

Houghton was issued a show-cause notice on March 26 why action should not be taken against him on several counts, ironically hours after he guided India to the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup final rounds.

"Yes, Houghton is appearing before the panel tomorrow," All India Football Federation general secretary Kushal Das said.

After the hearing, the three-member panel of AIFF vice-presidents Subrata Dutta and Ankur Dutta and treasurer Hardev Jadeja is expected to give its recommendations on actions to be taken, if any, to the Executive Committee which will take a final decision.

Houghton has already arrived here and he watched the I-League round 21 match between Indian Arrows and Pune FC at Gurgaon.

The Englishman was issued show-cause notice on several counts, including his alleged racial remarks against referee Dinesh Nair during India`s international friendly against Yemen in Pune in October last year and "derogatory" comments against Indian football.

He was accused by Nair of calling him `b****** Indian referee`. Houghton had denied the charge and the national players have also sent a signed letter to AIFF president Praful Patel in support of the coach.

Houghton was served the notice a few hours after India topped the group in the AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers with a 1-1 draw against Turkmenistan in Kuala Lumpur last month. Houghton, who took over the senior Indian team in June
2006, becomes the first manager of the national football team to be issued a show cause notice by the AIFF.