New Delhi : Convinced that the players deserve better emoluments and Bob Houghton as the national coach, All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel announced Friday that the 30-probables for the Asian Cup in Doha will be given a 15 percent pay hike and that the Englishman will be in charge of the team till January 2011.
AIFF had earlier planned contracts as per their current rates, but it created discontent among a section of players. After a meeting with representatives of some of the top players, Patel felt that they deserved better pay to represent the country.
After a three-hour executive committee meeting here, Patel, the union civil aviation minister, said that India’s preparations for the Asian Cup is on course and players will be given contracts next month that will run till January.
“All players will be given a 15 percent hike on their present contract. Besides there were some players, who were not properly rewarded last year and we will decide on such cases, but purely on the basis of merit,” said Patel.
On Houghton’s case, Patel said: “I have spoken to Bob a few days back and all reports of his resignation are baseless. He had some issues which we have communicated to his agent. All these issues will address to everyone’s satisfaction.”
According to sources, Houghton resigned Monday after a fallout with AIFF general secretary Alberto Colaco.
Patel also termed Mahindra United’s decision to disband the club after the end of this season as unfortunate, but said that India under-19 team’s franchisee will be given to a sponsor and it will replace the Mumbai outfit in the I-League.
“The under-19 team’s franchise will be backed by a corporate house and the team will be based in Delhi. All players will be contracted with the AIFF and we will build the team for the 2014 World Cup. The team will also have a foreign coach,” he said.
Patel also said that I-League will be revamped from the next season to make it more spectator friendly.
“We have to revamp the I-League. It is a very good league and has a fan following, we just have to make it more popular. We have to do away with afternoon matches. Matches have to be in the evening and on weekends so that spectators can enjoy football,” he said.
The executive committee also decided that the Santosh Trophy will be held in July in Kolkata and the I-League will start in September.