Category: News

AIFF Technical Committee meets on Monday

NEW DELHI: All India Football Federation’s Technical Committee meeting was Chaired by Mr. Shyam Thapa, Chairman, AIFF Technical Committee at the Football House in New Delhi today (April 22, 2019).

Besides Mr. Kushal Das, General Secretary, AIFF, Technical Committee Deputy Chairman Mr. Henry Menezes along with other members of the Technical Committee-Mr. Ishfaq Ahmed, Mr. Pradip Datta, Mr. Prosanto Banerjee, Mr. G P Palguna and Mr. Sundar Raman were present in the meeting.

Mr. Sunando Dhar, CEO, I-League and AIFF General Manager, Ms. Swati Kothari were also present.

Having interviewed all the shortlisted candidates, the AIFF Technical Committee will be giving its recommendations to the AIFF Executive Committee to take the final decision as per the AIFF Constitution.

BFC U13s cruise 5-0 past Ananthapur Sports Academy to end Sub Junior League Zonal Stages unbeaten

Bengaluru: Rajan Mani’s Bengaluru FC U13s put on a clinical show to enter the final rounds of the Hero Sub Junior League unbeaten, following a 5-0 rout of Ananthapur Sports Academy at the Bengaluru Football Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Thursday. Ishaan Raghunanda scored a hat-trick, while goals from Chandan Biju and Gautam Rajesh ensured the Young Blues ended the Zonal Rounds with a perfect record.

In a game that the hosts dominated from start to finish, it was Ishaan that broke the deadlock in the 8th minute, taking a pass in his stride before slotting home from inside the box. Chandan doubled the lead 15 minutes later, holding off his marker to slot past Fayaz Khureshi in the Ananthapur goal to double the advantage going into the break.

Mani’s side continued to push forward in the second period, and took just eight minutes to add to their advantage. Substitute Aditya Kalasur played a long diagonal that sliced the Ananthapur defence, and Ishaan made no mistake slotting home off the upright. In the 64th minute, skipper Gautam Rajesh got his name on the scoresheet, rising high to nod home Kalasur’s corner into the far post to make it 5-0.

Ishaan completed his treble with just three minutes left to play in regulation time after he was found unmarked outside the area by Gautam. In space and with time at hand, his low drive was past the outstretched arms of Fayaz.

Bengaluru FC U13s will step up their preparations for the final round of the Hero Sub Junior League, set to be held in Goa between 14th and 22nd May 2019.

Former France World Cup coach applies for India job

NEW DELHI: Raymond Domenech who has coached the French national football team in two FIFA World Cups, has applied for the vacant position of head coach of the Indian football team, according to a report.

The post has been left vacant since Stephen Constantine resigned following the Indian team’s failure to make the knockouts of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 In January.

The Times of India reported on Wednesday that the 67-year-old has applied for the job.

It was under Domenech’s watch that France reached the final of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany where they fell short in penalties against Italy. The former defender had been head coach of France for six years from 2004-2010.

The report said that former England managers Sven Goran Eriksson and Sam Allardyce has also thrown their hat in the ring. Gianni De Biasi of Italy and Hakan Ericson of Sweden are some of the other prominent foreigners who have applied for the job.

Meanwhile former Bengaluru FC coach Albert Roca and NorthEast United coach Eelco Schattorie have also reportedly applied for the position so far.

Ever since inviting applications for the national team head coach job, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has indicated that they are not exactly looking to recruit a high-profile name. In the recent past, AIFF general secretary Kushal Das had also mentioned they would appoint a coach based on the team’s requirements and not get carried away by big names.


Arthur Kouassi pens Mohammedan contract extension

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club is delighted to announce that striker Desmos Arthur Kouassi has extended his contract with the club on Saturday (March 30, 2019). His current contract was due to expire on May 31, 2019.

The Ivorian has put pen to paper to commit till the forthcoming 2019/20 Calcutta Football League.  The deal was concluded after a brief meeting between the player and Mohammedan Sporting Hony. General Secretary Jb. Mohammad Qamaruddin.

“I am very happy to be extending my contract with the club. We are building a strong team and I am excited to be part of the future of Mohammedan Sporting Club. I have a lot more to offer and I will make sure I contribute to the cause,” the Ivorian said after extending the deal.

The 30-year-old, who joined Mohammedan Sporting in February, has featured in six Hero 2nd Division League games and contributed five goals and two assists.

Minerva Punjab awarded for Grassroots football development at FICCI GOAL 2019

NEW DELHI: The FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry) along with the AIFF (All India Football Federation) on 26th March 2019 organised GOAL 2019, the 6th International Convention on Business of Football in Federation House, Tansen Marg, New Delhi. Mr. Subrata Dutta (Senior Vice President); Smt. Sara Pilot (Chairperson, Women’s Football Committee) and Mr. Sunando Dhar (CEO of Hero I-League) represented AIFF at the convention, while Mr. Rohit Bharadwaj, Director of Sports of Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports from Government of India was also present.

Minerva Punjab FC were awarded for “Contribution for Developing Football at the Grassroots Level” at the opening ceremony. 

Minerva Punjab FC were chosen for the award ahead of all other clubs and academies in the country, due to Minerva’s laudable efforts to develop football at a regional and grassroots level. Minerva Punjab FC have been Champions of the AIFF U-15 I-League for the last three consecutive years. Minerva also won the inaugural AIFF U-13 League held last year and this season have already claimed the AIFF U-18 League trophy. 

Apart from the impressive win record of Minerva Punjab FC, Minerva also has the unique contribution of having supplied more than 50 players in various age group National teams directly from its residential football academy in Mohali.

Mr. Robert Klein, the CEO of Bundesliga awarded Minerva Punjab FC for their Valuable Contribution for Developing Football at the Grassroots Level. Mr. Ranjit Bajaj, the Owner of the club received the award on club’s behalf. “I am really happy that Minerva Punjab FC is being recognised for all the work we are doing to develop football at a regional level. We are devoted towards fulfilling our mission to produce players for the National Teams and this award comes as a great encouragement to us to carry on despite the obstacles.”

After the Awards ceremony the convention kicked off with a session on regional and national impact of the leagues (ISL and I-League) in the development of Indian Football. Mr. Ranjit Bajaj represented the only I-League club on the panel, Minerva Punjab FC and shared his perspective from the point of view of an I-League club owner. Mr. Sunando Dhar, CEO, I-League; Mr. Mandar Tamhane, CTO, Bengaluru FC; Mr. Indranil Das Blah, CEO, Mumbai City FC and Mr. Viren D’Silva, CEO, Kerala Blasters FC were also on the panel for the session. The discussion progressed from India’s 2026 World Cup hopes, the impact of the leagues in creating talent pool for the future and how the leagues have benefited the football ecosystem in the country. 

Lajong Signs Jose Carlos Rodriguez as Technical Director

Shillong 27th March: Shillong Lajong Football Club has announced the appoinment of Jose Carlos Rodriguez Hevia as the Technical Director, Coaching and Youth Development.

Jose is a Spanish Citizen and a UEFA Pro Licensed Coach with over 25 years of coaching/management experience at various levels. He started his Coaching career managing various Clubs across Spain. He was appointed as the Technical Advisor for Arsenal Soccer Schools in India from November 2014 to July 2016 based in Pune. During this period he was also a member of the Indian Super League team, FC Pune City from February 2015 to July 2016. He then moved to I-league Club Minerva Punjab for the 2017 season and was involved in both junior and senior teams. He had worked closely with a lot of the players that went on to represent India in the FIFA Under17 World Cup held in Indian in 2017. After his role in Minerva Punjab, Jose became a part of the joint venture between Madhya Bharat Sports Club and Celtic Soccer Academy which was set up to implement a football development model in Bhopal, India. 

The Spanish Coach is excited to return to India and work with Shillong Lajong Football Club. He said “On behalf of my family and in my own, I would like to thank Shillong Lajong FC and to all the people of the club responsible for choosing me as a new member of your successful club. It´s a new stage in my career and I´m very excited to take new steps forward with the Shillong’s community.

All my commitment, effort, knowledge, background and passion will be put everyday in the activities that I´ll have on my hands in order to help to the Club and all the stakeholders to reach the highest levels of excellence”

The Club is happy to welcome Jose to Shillong as he brings a wealth of experience and ideas to this new role. He will be actively working in the Clubs Youth Development to further improve Lajong’s footballing Philosophy focusing on Youth teams and coach education.

Club Managing Director Larsing M. Sawyan said “We are pleased to welcome Jose Carlos Rodriguez Hevia to Shillong Lajong. His appointment reaffirms the Club’s commitment to work on grassroots and youth development in a more focused and structured way and help in the development of local talent”.

Indian football growing exponentially, says Subrata Dutta

NEW DELHI: Hosting two FIFA World Cups in under four years, and top-notch performances by National Teams in International competitions have defined Indian Football in the last 5 years.

Speaking on the sidelines of FICCI’s GOAL Summit 2019, AIFF’s Senior Vice President, Mr Subrata Datta said: “Indian Football his growing exponentially. It has grown by leaps and bounds. The holistic development of Indian football over the last few years has been a major achievement, and all associated with it should be proud.”

“Indian football is being talked about in the nook and corner of the world, be it in terms of our National Teams, or the FIFA World Cups that we have hosted, and will host,” he added.

India hosted the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 in 2017 and is slated to the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2020. The performances of the Indian National Teams have been noteworthy as well, especially the senior team’s 4-1 win against Thailand in the AFC Asian Cup, the women’s team clinching the 5th successive SAFF title in a row, and the U-16 team reaching the quarterfinals of the AFC U-16 Finals, before going down by a solitary goal against Korea Republic.

“We have six FIFA approved stadiums, and we plan to add four more to them by 2022. The National Centre of Excellence which is coming up in West Bengal will be a state of the art centre which will help in the training of players, coaches, referees and officials,” the Senior Vice President explained.

“Today we have 60 accredited academies coupled with youth leagues and baby leagues. There are over 650 baby leagues being conducted with over 30,000 kids participating and this number will double over the years.”

Salgaocar beat Nepal’s Sankata Club to crown champions in 4th CEM Gold Cup

GOA: Salgaocar Football Club beat Sankata Club, Nepal 4-2 to win the 4th CEM Gold Cup 2019, organised by Karbi Anglong Sports Association at KASA stadium, Diphu, Assam on Thursday. Salgaocar led 1-0 at break.

The Greens dominated from the start and their superiority mirrored on the scoreline when striker Devendra Murgaonkar sent a powerful shot from inside the box, past the Sankata Club goalkeeper, after receiving an assist from Selwyn Costa. At the other end, Sankata Club also found a few opening but Salgaocar defenders did a good job of keeping the slate clean.

The second period was no different but there were more goals to boot for the Goans.  Salgaocar kept the pressure up and Devendra scored again as he hoodwinked a host of rival defenders and slotted it past the advancing goalkeeper, off well laid cross from Ronaldo Oliveira.

Salgaocar then slammed two more goals to all but seal the title. The third goal came when Ronaldo split the rival defence open with a free kick to mount more pressure on Sankata. Selwyn then killed the contest with a superb shot past a hapless rival goalkeeper. The Greens did concede two goals but were never threatened by the Nepalese opposition.

Salgaocar coach Anthony Levino Pereira was overjoyed with the performance of his team. “The most important thing was winning the tournament and we have achieved that. The boys performed exceptionally well. We dedicate this win to our club boss Shivanand Salgaocar – President of Salgaocar F C and his daughter Swati Salgaocar – Vice President, Youth Development and family,” Pereira stated.

Bengaluru FC B host LoneStar Kashmir in 2nd Division League

Bengaluru: Group A leaders Bengaluru FC B will be keen to build on their winning momentum when they take on LoneStar Kashmir FC in their fifth game of the Hero 2nd Division League at the Bengaluru Football Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Friday.

Having set the pace at the top with four successive wins in their group, three of which came on the road, the Blue Colts will look to make the most of the second half of the group games which takes place over the course of the next two weeks.

“The players had a short break after their last game in Delhi. We have been training regularly and some of our players were part of the first team for the ISL’s final League stage game against Jamshedpur. While it is not easy to push players without competitive games, we played a friendly in between which has helped us during this break,” said BFC B Head Coach Naushad Moosa on the eve of the game.

While Bengaluru’s away game in Srinagar was postponed, they have already faced their opponents earlier in the season. Back in October, the Blue Colts ran out 7-0 winners over LoneStar Kashmir in the J&K Invitational Cup. However, with the visitors having improved their team since then, Moosa expects his side to avoid complacency.

“We played against LoneStar in Srinagar at the start of the season. But I don’t want my players to be casual in their approach for this game. It’s important to stay focused and take this game seriously. It’s been five months since then and they have added two foreigners and a few Indian players to strengthen their squad. Which means they will be a different side to the one we faced. Our objective is to stay on top of the group and we will have to be at our best to take anything away from this game,” added Moosa

On the team news front, the Blue Colts will miss the services of midfielder Emanuel Lalchhanchhuaha after the youngster picked up an ankle injury in training. Meanwhile, a few key players have returned to the squad, having been part of the first team in the ISL.

The game kicks off at 3.30 pm at the Bengaluru Football Stadium tomorrow.

India U-23 suffer narrow loss to Qatar

DOHA, QATAR: The India U-23 team suffered a narrow 0-1 defeat to Qatar U-23 in their first match under the tutelage of new gaffer Derrick Pereira at the Aspire Academy ground 5 in Doha, on Monday, March 11.

Three of the starting XI players were from the Indian Arrows setup, while the likes of Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem, Anwar Ali, Rahul KP, and Komal Thatal were a part of the India U-17 World Cup squad two years back.

India got off the blocks early, with Mehtab Singh, Komal Thatal and Rahul KP coming close in the early exchanges. However, it was Narender Gahlot, who had the best chance in the first half for India, as he jumped higher than the rest to send a powerful header towards the goal. However, it was saved by Qatari keeper Yazan Naim Hussein.

Despite the chances created by Pereira’s boys, it was Qatar, who got the breakthrough close to the half time break, when a Salmin Atiq pass from the right was met by Amro Abdelfatah Surag, who made no mistake as he bulged the back of the net.

While large parts of the second half was played with both the teams trying to breach each other’s defences, Derrick Pereira made a number of changes. Boris, who had come on for Rahul KP, missed a tap-in after Daniel Lalhimpuia had set him up with a square ball.

Rahim Ali, perhaps, had the best chance of the match, when he found himself in front of an open goal, just 12 yards away from his target. However, he scuffed his shot, as it flew over the bar in injury time.

With this preparatory game done, Derrick Pereira and his boys will now turn their attention to the AFC U-23 Championship Qualifiers in Uzbekistan, later this month.

India U-23 Team: Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem, Mehtab Singh, Sarthak Golui, Anwar Ali (Asish Rai 90′), Narender, Rahul KP (Boris Singh 56′), Vinit Rai, Abdul Sahal (Rohit Kumar 65′), Lallianzuala Chhangte, Daniel Lalhlimpuia (Rahim Ali 85′), Komal Thatal (Liston Colaco 65′).