AIFF officials leaving for Dubai to motivate players

New Delhi: AIFF general secretary Kushal Das and vice-president Subrata Dutta will leave for Dubai ON Wednesday to pep up the Asian Cup-bound Indian footballers, who were apparently low in morale following the Bob Houghton-Pradeep Chowdhury spat.

Leaving nothing to chance after the national team players reacted strongly to team manager Pradeep Chowdhury`s walk-out following differences with chief coach Houghton, Das and Dutta will try and motivate the players during their two-day stay there.

"We will just tell them that everything is normal and under control. They need not worry about anything. We have already appointed a new manager," Das told reporters on Tuesday.

"We are basically going to motivate them after all that has happened. We will also tell them that a senior person from the AIFF will be there with the team during the tournament to motivate the players," Das said.

He felt that the issue has been blown out of proportion but said the players should have maintained silence.

"It`s a trivial issue that was unnecessary blown out of proportion. Everybody has personal issues. But the players would have been better off maintaining silence, absolutely," he said.

The spat between the coach and manager took an ugly turn when the later decided to walk out following differences between them.

Backing their coach to the hilt, India players including skipper Bhaichung Bhutia and senior pros Mahesh Gawli and Deepak Mondal, lauched a scathing attack on Chowdhury.

The players issuing statements on a website apparently didn`t go down well with a section of AIFF top brass who felt that the players should concentrate on the game and not on other issues.