Monday, 5 January 2015

Is Constantine on his way to India?

Rwanda national football team head coach Stephen Constantine has been cleared as the head of the Indian national team by the All India Football Federation’s Technical Committee, according to media reports in India.

The 52-year old Britton, who has a two-year contract with Rwanda, has been linked to India’s top football job since Dutchman Wim Koevermans’ contract ended in October.

According to The Times of India, the largest newspaper in India, Constantine is expected to be announced officially next week as he makes a return to India having coached the national side from 2002-2005. A source who spoke to this newspaper said, “Constantine fulfilled our three criteria. Firstly, he comes within the pay package of the AIFF. We wanted a coach whose salary was below that of Koevermans. Secondly, we wanted a coach who has experience of coaching national teams.”

“The third criterion was that the new coach should have knowledge of Indian football, its geography and perhaps culture. Constantine fits well in all this,” the source added. During his threeyear stint as India head coach, India won the LG Cup against Vietnam in his first tournament in charge and, in 2003, the country won silver at the inaugural Afro-Asia Games with wins over Rwanda and Zimbabwe in the group stages before losing 1-0 to Uzbekistan in the final.

However, speaking to Times Sport, claimed he was unaware of the developments in India, insisting he’s only interested in delivering on his mission with the Amavubi.

He said, “I know there is interest from India, to what degree they are interested I don’t know. I have not received an offer so I cannot know how interested they are.

“There is no offer so I don’t have anything to think about other than my current job.” The Englishman guided Rwanda to a historic 68th position on the Fifa ranking last month, up from 134th in May when he took over the reins of the national team. India was ranked 171st globally, their lowest ever ranking.

However, the Rwanda Football Association spokesperson Moussa Hakizimana told this newspaper that, “We have not received any communication from him (Constantine) with regard to him being approached by India. As far as we know, he is on holiday with his family.”


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