Stephen Constantine, the chief coach of senior national football team, has lamented that the standard of Indian football has not advanced at all and the quality of football it has been now producing, is the same that Indian football produced ten years ago.

The chief national coach, in an exclusive interaction over phone from Thiruvanantapuram on Saturday late evening, has said, “I regret after having observed that the standard of Indian football has been in the same state it was ten years ago. It is frustrating for any proper lover of the game in this country.” According to Constantine, the key reason behind this deterioration is the football administrators’ lack of paying proper attention towards the national team and its build-up. 

The head coach clarified saying, “I need a preparatory camp of these senior footballers from 10th of December for the SAFF football championship. But, drawing surprise, it could not be started as national footballers were not released from their respective engagements in the ISL. Previously, the same incident happened when India’s World Cup qualifiers were on. I could not conduct preparatory camp properly. Naturally, how could one expect these footballers will do wonder without adequate preparation?”

The 52-year old British coach however said, “SAFF football championship is a platform where I can judge the condition of the senior footballers as well as I can see the quality of the youngsters. That is why I have selected a few quality young footballers like Koushik Sarkar, Arjun Tudu, P Jain in the national team for this tournament.”

Only with a draw against Nepal in their concluding group league match will ensure last four berth for Indian squad. Still chief national coach seems cautious. He said, “Nepal is a composed side. So it is going to be tough match for us.”

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