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Indian Football: AIFF to name Doru Isac as technical director of national team

Doru Isac
Doru Isac
EXPERT COLUMNIST
Modified 26 Apr 2019
News

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has gone ahead to appoint Romanian Doru Isac as the technical director of the Indian national football team.

Before this role, Isac was the sporting director of J-League club Yokohama F Marinos. He takes over the mantle from Savio Medeira, who took charge after the departure of Scott O'Donnell.

Isac was one among the three final shortlisted candidates with the others being former Sporting Lisbon assistant coach Jorge Castelo and ex-Georgia national team manager Gaioz Darsadze.

The Romanian's name was proposed by the AIFF Technical Committee, chaired by former India International Shyam Thapa which included other members like Ishfaq Ahmed, Prosanto Banerjee, Pradip Datta, Sundar Raman and GP Palguna.

"The AIFF Technical Committee made the job easier for the AIFF Executive Committee by listing their order of preference with the Executive Committee taking the call on Isac's salary (in the range of $10,000 per month), announcement and tenure," a source close to the development said.
"Among the three, Isac was the most convincing with his presentation and plan for the development of the Indian football team, including its youth programme."

The Technical Committee interviewed Isac over Skype for about 40 minutes before being convinced that he's the right man for the Indian job. Isac flew down to Delhi from Boston in the United States but was denied an entry into the country because of a visa issue. He is believed to have given the interview over Skype from an airport lounge.

Isac has served in a host of roles, most famously serving as in the team of Arsene Wenger and Carlos Queiroz during their time at Nagoya Grampus Eight. Isac has also managed the Romanian U-19 team and the U-23 side of Houston Dynamo.

The others were also interviewed for the post but Isac's presentation seemed thorough and well-thought out for the AIFF Technical Committee, which preferred him over Darsadze and Castelo, who also served in the technical team of Benfica between 1987-1998.

Isac's first assignment will be to ensure India do well in the King's Cup in Thailand from June 5. India are slated to face Thailand on June 5 with the War Elephants looking to avenge their 4-1 at the AFC Asian Cup in January. The winner of this clash will go on to the final, while the loser will play a third-place playoff against either Vietnam or Curacao.

Post the King's Cup, India are expected to host the 4-nations Intercontinental Cup in July before their World Cup qualifiers in September.

In the coming days, the AIFF will interview and finalise on a head coach for the senior and U-23 team. The post has been vacant since Stephen Constantine's resignation right after the disappointing Asian Cup exit. Former Bengaluru FC coach Albert Roca, who served as an assistant to Frank Rijkaard at Barcelona, is the top contender for the job.

Published 26 Apr 2019
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