AIFF in search of new U-17 coach

NEW DELHI: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has stepped up the search for Under-17 coach Nicolai Adam’s replacement after the players revolted against the coach. The Under-17 World Cup is scheduled to be held in October in India.

According to AIFF sources quoted by The Hindu, Adam will be leaving shortly after “settling terms” with the AIFF and the Sports Authority of India. The allegations levelled by the players, who have been training under the German coach since April 2015, are serious “involving racial and physical abuse”.

The Hindu quoted the same sources as stating the new coach would be named in the next few days after Adam is officially relieved of the job. 

The development came barely a day after the AIFF put out a statement denying they had sacked the coach and publicly maintains they will not take a decision on his future until an investigation into the matter is complete.

Deccan Chronicle reports that the AIFF technical committee chairman Bhaichung Bhutia met the U-17 players on Thursday here to hear their side of the story. The former India captain had earlier gone on record saying it was difficult to sack Adam with so little time left for the World Cup, a view shared by the Sports Authority of India officials, who have funded the U-17 team for the last couple of years.

Goel seeks report

Sports Minister Vijay Goel has called for a report from the AIFF and his ministry on reports of the U-17 team’s coach Nicolai’s Adam being sacked.

“I learnt from the media reports about removal of Mr. Nikolai Adam, Coach of Indian U-17 Team for the FIFA World Cup. I have called for the factual report from the All India Football Federation and also from my Officers in the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. The Government will take appropriate action only after the report is received,” said in a statement. 

For the record, the U-17 team will be resuming their practice on February 1 in Goa.