AIFF chief confirms whether Luis Norton de Matos will continue as India coach or not
The Portuguese coach is currently in Qatar with the India U19 team.
What’s the story?
If Luis Norton de Matos wants, he can continue as the coach of Indian U17 and U19 team said All India Football Federation (AIFF) President Praful Patel today. Portuguese De Matos was in charge of undertakings of the Indian side that played in the FIFA U17 World Cup and he is presently with the national U19 group that will partake in the AFC U19 Championship qualifiers in Saudi Arabia that starts on November 4th.
“De Matos has done a great job for the Indian team. I have complimented him. His contract is until the end of this World Cup. He is with the U-19 team. We will talk about this (extension of contract). If he is ready, India has a big heart to accept him,” Patel said at the FIFA U17 World Cup wrap-up press conference, as reported by Asianet.
Earlier this year, the then India U17 coach Nicolai Adam had to be sacked as all the players went against him. Patel said that it was the demand of the hour to bring Matos at the helm. He further added that the circumstances were such that he had to replace Adam, but they were happy with his job. Patel made it clear that if the players are unhappy then there is no point to continue with the coach.
The heart of the matter
Patel has also shared his thoughts on Matos’ comment that there was a big gap between Indian & other players. The AIFF chief said that India is a huge country and things are not very simple here. He thinks that it is hard for AIFF alone to take the football forward in India; they need support from state and district bodies.
India played well under De Matos at the FIFA U17 World Cup despite losing all their games. The Portuguese himself said after India's matches were over that he is likely to continue and with the AIFF chief's comment yesterday, the chances of Matos continuing at the helm have increased.
De Matos took charge very late on in the preparation stage of the India U17s but he has done everything he could do. The Colts showed promise against their more accomplished opponents. If they move on the right track, better things are expected from them. The AIFF should keep this core team intact, including the coach De Matos.