Indian national football team coach Wim Koevermans resigns
Indian national football team coach Wim Koevermans stepped down after India lost 2-3 to Palestine in a friendly match in Siliguri.
The decision comes after a number of matches where India have not been at their best for long spells.
Koevermans also said that he would not take up the Technical Director’s post either.
Enjoyed my stint in India: Koevermans
At the post-match presentation after India’s loss, Koevermans said: “This was my last match as the coach of the national team.
“And I will not be taking up the post of AIFF's Technical Director for private reasons.
Koevermans’ contract with the AIFF will end on October 31. The players even gave the coach a guard of honour after the match.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my stint and stay in India. It was a nice gesture by the players.” he referred to the Guard of Honour which the players gave to Koevermans at the end of the match.
India won the Nehru Cup in 2012 under Koevermans but failed to win the SAFF Cup when they lost to Afghanistan in the final and also failed to qualify for the 2013 AFC Challenge Cup.
India needs to focus on youth: Koevermans
“When I took charge I was told to change the style of play and there has been a huge improvement on that front. We created chances in every match that we played and played some good football. But that hasn't been enough," he added.
He also spoke about how the structure in place needed to improve for Indian football to flourish.
“There needs to be more focus on youth and youth competitions. The under-19 competition should be stretched for the whole year and there should also be meets for the under-15s and under-17s. We also need to bring about improvement in the I-League. If that does not happen, we will stay put at a certain level.
“Hopefully, the Indian Super League will come good for the football in the country.” he concluded.
It’s been a great journey with Wim: Sunil Chhetri
India’s captain Sunil Chhetri spoke highly of Koevermans and his impact on the side.
“He came across as someone who was a rare combination of being very knowledgeable and hard working at the same time.
“It's always been a pleasure working under him. The news came as a shock for me and I wish him luck for all his future endeavours.”