The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Constantine not confident

Jamshedpur: Coach Stephen Constantine said on Friday it would be unrealistic to expect great results from the Indian football team in the Afro-Asian Games and feared that “big” losses against formidable opponents can have a negative impact on the side in the long run.

“The Afro-Asian Games is a bit ill-timed for us. We will be up against Nigeria, Cameroon, Japan and South Korea who are regulars at the World Cup. These will be difficult games.”

Constantine added he will not release the East Bengal players named in the national squad even if the club takes part in the JVC Cup in Vietnam. “I’m sure you will not expect me to release the players during the preparation of such a tough tournament.”

East Bengal’s stand

A Staff Reporter in Calcutta adds: Following Constantine’s comment, East Bengal coach Subhas Bhowmick said he has had a word with the national team coach. He added the club is yet to decide how many players will be released to join the national team.

“He has a right to say what he has, but the club also has a right to decide whether it will release so many players.”

East Bengal’s participation in the JVC Cup is not certain as there are financial constraints and the schedule of the October 31-November 8 event clashes with Afro-Asian Games and Durand Cup.

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