Goel asserts decision on U-17 coach's fate will be taken by Sports Ministry

NEW DELHI: Sports Minister Vijay Goel asserted Monday that the decision to sack or retain India’s U-17 football coach Nicolai Adam rests with his ministry, and NOT with the All India Football Federation, as it was from his department that the German national's salaray was being drawn.


Barely nine months before India hosts the FIFA Under-17 football World Cup, the AIFF had decided to terminate Adam's contract, reportedly after complaints of “physical and verbal abuse” by some of the players.


The AIFF has expressed its willingness to remove Adam, but the Sports Ministry is yet to take a call.


“There is no update, we sought a report from AIFF and we have received it. We made the appointment on being asked by AIFF. The ministry is paying salary to the coach. So, without ministry’s consent, nobody can remove a coach. The federation has no right to sack the coach,” Goel told PTI.


He added, “We are seeing the report and it cannot be analysed in two days. We will speak to coach, to players, many times there are some doubts. We will have to judge what is right or wrong. Federation will be given some weight because promotion of a sport is their responsibility.


“We have also to think that if a coach goes, then the incoming person should know the job. We will have to think about the image of our country and decide.”


Goel said in case Adam is eventually removed, they will quickly name a replacement.


“We will not delay. In case the coach is removed we will appoint another one fast. We will do it in two days.”


AIFF president Praful Patel had reportedly told Adam at a meeting last week to quit on his own or be sacked.


Sources told PTI that at least four boys complained to Patel through their parents that Adam and assistant coach Etibar Nizami Ibrahimov have abused them physically, which has made it very difficult for the AIFF to continue working with the duo.