Finally, after the pressure imposed by Indian national football coach Stephen Constantine, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has agreed to conduct a week-long preparatory camp for senior Indian football squad before they take on Guam in their next World Cup qualifier on 12th November in Bangalore.
Stephen Constantine who was present in the AIFF executive committee meeting on Monday at the Football House in New Delhi, repeatedly convinced the AIFF president, secretary and the representatives of IMG-R about the importance of national preparatory camp.
Despite having set the dates for the national preparatory camp before India‘s very crucial away match against Turkmenistan, the chief national coach failed to conduct the camp as the organizer of ISL, the IMG-R has decided not to release the national footballers for the preparatory camp.
They will only be released only after the inaugural match of the ISL on 3rd October. The national team will fly for Turkmenistan on 6th October. Stephen had asked the Federation top brass to conduct the preparatory camp from 29th September to 5th October.
On Monday, after Stephen’s statement over the importance of national preparatory camp, the AIFF top bosses asked IMG-R representatives to release national footballers before the national team’s next World Cup qualifier against Guam on 12th November.
However, former Indian coaches like Armando Colaco, PK Banerjee and former Indian footballers like IM Vijayan have been extremely peeved at the AIFF neglecting attitude on the national team’s preparation. Both Colaco and Banerjee, fumed at the AIFF bosses, said, “The AIFF bosses are spoiling the future of Indian football. It is not done that at the cost of a franchise-based football league national team’s preparation will be halted.”