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AIFF's job posting for new head coach eliminates Indian candidates

AIFF job posting for the new head coach has set criteria that will eliminate any possible Indian candidate despite IM Vijayan asking Indians to apply.

AIFFs job posting for new head coach eliminates Indian candidates

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 20 Jun 2024 1:00 PM GMT

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has announced a call for applications for the position of Head Coach for the India Men's Senior and U-23 National Teams.

This comes in the wake of the recent sacking of Igor Stimac on June 17, following a struggle-filled five-year tenure. Stimac's departure has stirred controversy, with the former coach demanding compensation and accusing the AIFF of contract breaches.

While AIFF has eloquently laid down the criteria for the new coach and what the expectations are, in the process of doing so, AIFF has swiftly eliminated Indian candidates like Khalid Jamil, Clifford Miranda, and Mahesh Gawli.

The Bridge explores the difference of opinion between the technical committee and AIFF leadership.

Seeking new leadership

In response to the need for new leadership, the AIFF has commenced its search for a new head coach by posting a job invitation on various social media platforms.

The AIFF specified that the ideal candidate should have 10-15 years of coaching experience at the elite youth and senior levels, with a preference for those who have coached in World Cup and continental championship qualifiers.

"The Head Coach will work closely with the National Team Department, the National Team Director, and the Technical Director to strengthen the position and performances of the Men’s Senior National Team," AIFF stated.

The primary responsibilities of the new head coach include selecting, monitoring, and preparing the Senior and U-23 National Teams for various competitions, including the FIFA World Cup, AFC Asian Cup, SAFF Championship, and AFC U-23 Championship.


The AIFF has detailed the strategic and operational expectations for the new head coach, emphasizing the need for leadership in team culture, tactical and technical direction, and overall team performance.

The new head coach is also expected to lead the team in all matches, training sessions, and camps while offering guidance to the coaching staff on all on-field matters.

Applications for the position are open until July 3, 2024, with the AIFF indicating that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for interviews and required to give presentations.

The federation reserves the right to cancel or reject any application without providing reasons.

With Stimac's departure and the captain, Sunil Chhetri's, recent retirement, Indian football enters a new era. The AIFF seeks a coach who can lead the team to a new level of success and help them achieve their long-term goals.

Divergence in Coach selection criteria between AIFF leadership and Technical Committee

There appears to be a lack of consensus between the Technical Committee and the AIFF leadership regarding the selection of a new coach.

IM Vijayan, chairperson of the All India Football Federation's Technical Committee, mentioned in an interview with Times Now that the federation is open to considering an Indian coach if necessary. “Indian coaches are a good option. They will bring fresh ideas and new directions, and we will think about it. There are many of them, like Khalid Jamil, Renedy Singh, and Mahesh Gawli. But they will need to apply first," he said.

On the other hand, the AIFF has specific criteria for the new coach, including 10-15 years of experience in World or Continental qualifiers, a minimum of an AFC/UEFA Pro license, and a proven track record in elite youth and senior levels.

The federation is keeping an open mind and not limiting itself in this significant decision, showing a preference for coaches familiar with Indian football, particularly those involved in the Indian Super League (ISL). However, these requirements differ from those mentioned by Vijayan, indicating a disparity in priorities.

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