The 'sleeping giant' woke up to a new dawn with the ISL putting Indian football on the global map, but the national team continued to paint a grim picture, plummeting to its worst-ever rankings in an eventful year for the sport.
Two men who possess experience of having coached in India as well as at the international level, Englishman Stephen Constantine and New Zealander Ricki Herbert, have been short-listed to take over from Dutchman Wim Koevermans as the new coach of the national football team.
In a relief to All India Football Federation, the Sports Ministry today cleared the country's men and women teams at no cost to the federation for the Asian Games, but delay in getting accreditation has forced the AIFF to cancel tickets to Incheon for the second time.
The All India Football Federation has decided against renewing national coach Wim Koevermans' contract beyond existing time frame of October 31 but at the same time has offered the Dutchman the job of Technical Director, overseeing the preparations of various national football teams.
Buoyed by their 1-0 win over a dour Pakistan in the last encounter, India will look to build on the momentum when they take on the arch-rivals in the second and final football friendly match here tomorrow, before leaving for Incheon to play in the Asian Games.
Sunil Chhetri`s goal in the final moments of the game proved a mere consolation as India went down 1-3 to third division Czech side TJ Domalice in their final practice match at the Domazlice Stadium in Czech Republic.
The third and final module of the AFC Pro-Diploma course 2014, Japan gained further momentum with course coordinator, national coach Wim Koevermans and the 12 participants visiting one of the premier professional football clubs of Japan, Cerezo Osaka FC and visiting its state-of-the-art facilities.