Indian football team head coach Stephen Constantine faces visa issues after accepting AIFF's contract extension
What's the story?
Stephen Constantine may have accepted the All India Football Federation's (AIFF) offer for a two-year contract extension, but the national team head coach's arrival in India is now under jeopardy, as the Englishman is facing visa issues.
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The 55-year-old is currently in his second stint as the head coach of the Indian football team, which he has led to a 13-match unbeaten run over the last two years. Under him, the Blue Tigers have managed to qualify for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, and have also achieved their best FIFA ranking (96) in two decades.
The heart of the matter
Constantine, whose contract is set to run out at the end of March, was offered a two-year extension by the AIFF, after a technical committee meeting was held in Mumbai earlier this month.
While the India head coach took his time over the new contract deal, he had finally accepted the offer on Tuesday. This new deal will see Constantine at the helm of the Indian dugout till the end of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
However, certain complications with Constantine's visa renewal, which is said to have delayed his arrival in India. The 55-year-old has applied for a fresh visa, however, and is expected to travel to New Delhi soon, once the problem is sorted out.
Constantine's immediate concern will be India's last AFC Asian Cup Qualifier against the Kyrgyz Republic on 27 March. Although this is a dead rubber for India, the Blue Tigers will look for the three points, in an attempt to better their FIFA rankings.
Constantine has been one of India's best coaches over the years, and the results speak in his favour. A 13-match unbeaten run is no mean feat, especially in international football, and the AIFF has done well to recognise Constantine's achievements and reward him with another two years in the dugout.