There is confusion in Indian football circles about the future of Bob Houghton as India coach. While some sections of the media have already written that Houghton has been fired, some others say that the AIFF is looking at ways to get rid of him and others say that it is a way of telling the coach not to openly criticise the federation internationally.
The Technical Committee had in its report stated that it was not at all happy with the performance of the team in connection with the money spend on the squad for their 2011 AFC Asian Cup preparations. And that does surprise then what was then expected from the team at the Asian Cup? Getting points, moving on or maybe winning the title. One surely has to put into perspective where India currently is in Asian football and for that we did fine.
But the AIFF Executive Committee accepted the position of the Technical Committee and even went on to endorse them. An AIFF release said, "The Executive Committee expressed its concern over the performance of the National Team and also expressed its unhappiness regarding the conduct and derogatory remarks made by Mr Bob Houghton. The Executive committee has unanimously decided to seek legal opinion regarding its course of action."
So it isn't really clear what the federation can do as legal advice could tell them to keep Bob Houghton due to his contract until 2013 or compensate him, which could be in crores with over two years of the contract left.
What makes this decision tricky is that India play the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers in less then four weeks in Kuala Lumpur against Turkmenistan, Pakistan and Chinese Taipei. And if Bob is fired the new coach, who he is, will get less then a week to prepare his team. A mission impossible.
It will be interesting to see how this all develops.