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AIFF denies rumours of parting ways with Stephen Constantine after Asian Cup

Constantine began his second spell in India in January 2015, when India were languishing down to the 173rd spot in the FIFA rankings. 

AIFF denies rumours of parting ways with Stephen Constantine after Asian Cup
Image Credits: PTI

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has rubbished all speculations stating that it is parting ways with national team head coach Stephen Constantine after his contract ends in January 2019.

Reacting to the same, AIFF general secretary Kushal Das said that India's football governing body is completely focused on the AFC Asian Cup at the moment and that they would hold the discussion regarding the coach only after the tournament. 

"It's completely baseless and utter rubbish. We're completely focused on AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019. The team has been performing excellently under Stephen Constantine having risen to 97 from 173 in the FIFA ranking in less than 4 years. It is sad that media is indulging in baseless and silly speculation before such an important tournament of the National Team," Das said in an official statement. 

"We all are focused on the massive tournament right now. We'll only sit together to discuss this once his contract ends on 31st January 2019," he added. 

Constantine began his second spell in India in January 2015, when India were languishing down to the 173rd spot in the FIFA rankings. 

Thereafter, he was then handed two extensions-- first was a 14-month extension in November 2016 before he was given another extension in February this year. 

Under the Englishman, the Indian men's football team have experienced a meteoric rise in the rankings , including achieving their best FIFA spot since February 1996 when they were placed 96th in July last year.

However, there were reports of rifts between the team's star players, including captain Sunil Chhetri, and the coach in the recent times. 

India, who are currently placed 97th in the FIFA ladder, are currently preparing for the upcoming AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 in Abu Dhabi, where they will square off with Thailand in their first match at the Al Nahyan Stadium on January 6.