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Coaching licenses and Indian coaches - AFC's turn to be lenient

On May 14th 2014 the AIFF met to discuss  a few important issues. One of them was whether to allow any I league side to appoint a head coach or technical director without a valid AFC ‘A’ Certificate. AIFF has finally become strict on this issue and announced that it will not relax the rules further. In their decision, it is also said that a coach or technical director without the desired certificate cannot even train the team, sit on the reserves bench, or even visit the dressing room.

In this scenario, clubs like Mohun Bagan and United Sports will suffer the most. Mohun Bagan has appointed Subhash Bhowmik as their technical director for the upcoming season and Subrata Bhattacharya already holds a similar post for United Sports. However, AIFF has referred to the AFC to save themselves from the ignominy of getting into a tussle with its member clubs. So, is there a way out for Mr. Bhowmik or Mr. Bhattacharya?

We look into the AFC Club Licensing guidelines in this regard and try to find out what are the actual regulations and what might act as a respite for two of the most successful and experienced coaches of the country.

AFC License

AFC Club Licensing Regulations

Snapshot from the AFC Club Licensing Regulations PDF

Under the section, “Personal and Administrative Criteria”, it is clearly stated that a licensed applicant (club) can appoint a head coach if the coach holds a “recognition of competence” issued by AFC. A “recognition of competence” is provided by AFC in cases where the Head Coach of the first squad does not meet the required certificate as defined under a) and b) (refer the PDF snapshot) above but has been a head coach at professional level or national team in the last five years preceding his application/appointment as head coach.

Bhowmik and Bhattacharya satisfy these criteria and so they can indeed be hopeful of AFC clearing them of this limitation and allow them to serve Indian football at the top level for another year.

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