FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017: India's head coach set to sign a new deal
What's the story?
All India Football Federation (AIFF) conducted a technical committee meeting yesterday in Bangalore. The meeting yielded many new measures for the growth of age groups like the Indian U-17 and the U-19 sides. In one of the decisions, it is believed that the current U-17 head coach, Luis Norton De Matos will extend his contract with the national side after the FIFA U-17 World Cup in October. The meeting also concluded that a team comprising of the U-17 and the U-19 youngsters will have a developmental team in the I-League this season.
On De Matos's contract extension, a source close to the Times of India revealed that "he is extremely mature and level-headed. So we might extend his contract. But a final decision will only be taken after the under-17 World Cup."
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The technical committee meeting was headed by AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das along with chairman Shyam Thapa, Henry Menezes, Director of Scouts Abhishek Yadav, GP Palguna, Pradip Dutta, Ishfaq Ahmed and Prosanto Banerjee.
The heart of the matter
AIFF has been pleased by the work done by the 63-year-old Portuguese manager, De Matos and have hence decided to offer him an extension. The idea to play the youngsters in I-League was taken in consultation with the coach who was in agreement with the view of testing the young talents week in week out against the top teams.
AIFF have also decided to send the combined team to Portugal next year in a bid to let the side play in the lower leagues of the country. The decision was finalized after talking with De Matos who was eager on taking the boys to his homeland for further training. AIFF were inspired to take this decision after seeing the Chinese FA sending their youth teams to play in Germany's fourth tier.
The former Benfica B coach was appointed eight months ago to prepare a formidable host team for the FIFA U-17 World Cup. For his ideas and philosophy to be implemented more effectively, De Matos needed more time with India's young guns to build a good base for the future. The Indian board members have identified the need and in a sensible decision, have reportedly offered De Matos an extended period with the future Indian stars.