The AIFF held their Executive Committee meeting yesterday, but the president Praful Patel arrived an hour late and no discussions were held on the pressing issues. Decisions were just taken or presented to the members present.
It was decided that the federations president will take up the contract issue with Bob Houghton and he later on informed the media about it in a press conference.
"I myself spoke to Houghton a few days back and reports that he has resigned are completely baseless. He has certain issues (with the AIFF) as expressed by his agent. But that does not mean he is no longer coach. He continues to be India coach and he will be there for the Asian Cup," Praful Patel said.
"The executive committee has authorised me to take appropriate steps (in the Houghton issue)," he added.
Houghton's resignation a media hoax?
That is what the AIFF president is indirectly saying.
So the question is, has he not been informed that Bob send the AIFF an email on Monday informing them about his resignation? And that Bob confirmed this to different journalists.
Not only the media, but the executive committee itself wasn't clear on the issue as the president himself will take up the issue when Bob returns to India.
Will Praful Patel ask Bob to stay until the end of the Asian Cup? Will his contract be extended until 2013 as Bob wants? And what about the salary rise Bob has asked for?
Questions over questions, but no real answers.
And if Bob is following all this tamasha, the real question is if he wants to continue under such circumstances.
In a positive decision, the AIFF has finalised to give contracts starting from next month to January 2011 to 30 players chosen for the 2011 Asian Cup preparations.
The contracts will include a 15 percent hike from what the players received in the 2009/10 season. Some players, who had longer contracts or were likely to be offered higher salaries by clubs, might be offered more.
The issue of Mahindra United pulling out of the I-League was discussed, but the AIFF was in no position to do anything about it.
The size and format of the next I-League has not be finalised yet.
As of now it is only fix that an India Junior national team will play in the I-League next season based in Delhi. While the AIFF president said at the press conference it would be the Under-19s, the AIFF website stated it would be the Under-21 side.
Praful Patel also said at the press conference that many corporates had come forward to field teams in the I-League, but he didn't mention any names as pull out of the I-League would have sadly been more realistic to talk about.
Before the president arrived certain executive committee members charged the General Secretary Alberto Colaco about the handling of the Bob Houghton issue plus also questioned him what he has done for the development of football in the last few years.
These members wanted a discussion if the General Secretary should continue, but once the AIFF president arrived this matter was no longer discussed.
Praful Patel said, “Alberto Colaco (incumbent) will be there till January 2011 and we have asked a head hunter firm to give us a list of candidates. After that we will short list and call for interview.”
It surely sounds an interesting way to find a new General Secretary.
Only will it serve Indian football...