Indian Football Technical Director: AIFF Panel recommends 3 candidates for job, including ex-Sporting Lisbon assistant
The All India Football Federation's (AIFF) Technical Committee has finalised 3 candidates and completed their interviews for the role of the technical director of the national team.
The panel has also forwarded its recommendation to the AIFF Executive Committee, which will take a final call in the next couple of days.
The Indian national football team setup is without a coach since India's Asian Cup exit in January, following which Stephen Constantine resigned from the job. The AIFF decided to also appoint a technical director for the national team before deciding on a coach.
The AIFF Technical Committee, headed by ex-India forward Shyam Thapa, sat down on Monday to personally interview the three shortlisted candidates - Jorge Castelo, Gaioz Darsadze and Doru Isac.
Castelo is a former Sporting Lisbon assistant coach and was part of the coaching staff when Sunil Chhetri was at the Portuguese club in 2012. Gaioz Darsadze was the Georgian national football team manager in 2005 and 2006, while Doru Isac is serving as the sporting director of Yokohama S Marinos. Isac has interestingly worked with former Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger at Nagoya Grampus Eight and has also worked with current Colombia coach Carlos Queiroz.
"The committee personally interviewed the candidates on Monday but one of them, Isac, had to be interviewed via Skype. Isac, a Romanian, landed in India hoping for a Visa On Arrival but he wasn't granted one. Each candidate was interviewed for about 40 minutes to an hour and then the committee jotted down their preferences for the AIFF Executive Committee," a source close to the developments said.
The AIFF Executive Committee will study the recommendations in the next few days, speak to the applicants and then finalise the technical director, keeping in mind the salary demands of the candidates and the AIFF's own budget.
As for the national team coach, the AIFF Technical Committee will wait for Abhishek Yadav, AIFF's director of the national teams, to filter the applications that the AIFF has received for the post and reduce it to 10. The panel would meet again once it receives 10 profiles from Yadav and then sit down for the interviews.
Apart from Thapa, AIFF general secretary Kushal Das, Henry Menezes (Technical Committee Deputy Chairman) and I-League CEO Sunanda Dhar and AIFF General Manager Swati Kothari were present at the meeting.
Other members of the AIFF Technical Committee are Ishfaq Ahmed, Prosanto Banerjee, Pradip Datta, GP Palguna and Sundar Raman, who were all present during the committee's selection process.
The Indian national team will be active during the months of June, July and September. Apart from playing the King's Cup in Thailand from June 5-8, India will also host the Intercontinental Cup in July. The Blue Tigers will then take part in the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers in September.