Indian Football Head Coach: Know your 4 shortlisted candidates ahead of AIFF's coach announcement
The Indian men's football team has been without a head coach since Stephen Constantine announced his resignation following the Blue Tigers' shock exit in the group stages of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
On March 15th, a full 60 days after the sudden resignation, the AIFF posted the job category of men's senior national team and U-23 men's team on their employment tab. The last date to express one's interest was 29th March and going by the reports, the highest governing body of football in India received over 250 candidates.
The AIFF trimmed the list down to 40 and forwarded the names to Shyam Thapa-chaired Technical Committee. After deliberate consideration of their CVs and vision to take Indian football forward alongside their salary demands, only four candidates remain.
The Technical Committee will interview the four candidates and finalize the head coach on Thursday, May 9. While big names like former England managers Sam Allardyce and Sven-Goran Eriksson did the rounds, they no longer remain in the fray. Here is everything you need to know about the 4 shortlisted candidates.
#4 Lee Min-sung
A legend in South Korean football, Lee Min-sung is the dark horse in contention. The 45-year-old had undergone the compulsory three-year military service and was the runners-up of the 2004 K-League with Pohang Steelers and 2008 K-League with FC Seoul.
Lee was also a part of the 2002 FIFA World Cup South Korea squad which reached the semi-finals of the tournament, having made a total of 67 appearances as a player.
Lee began his coaching career in 2010 as the assistant coach of Yongin City, a third division South Korean club. While he couldn't help them win promotion, World cup winning coach Marcelo Lippi made him his assistant for the 2012 season where they emerged as the champions of the Chinese Super League.
After trading sides as the assistant coach of numerous South Korean clubs like Chunnam Dragons, Gangwon FC, Ulsan Hyundai, and Chinese second division club Changchun Yatai, he finally became the assistant coach of the South Korean U-23 team a year before the Asian Games.
The team famously lifted the Asian Games trophy, preventing a lot of prominent players like Son Heung-Min and Hwang Hee-chan from undergoing compulsory military services.
Lee Min-sung has never had the experience of being the head coach of a club or country. It would be interesting to see if he still gets the nod ahead of the other competitors.