New Delhi: India’s national football coach, Wim Koevermans, is set to get his contract extended by one year, according to All India Football Federation (AIFF) general secretary Kushal Das. Eight months are still left of Koevermans’ two-year deal with the AIFF.
“Despite a few setbacks, we are on the whole satisfied with his performance. His contract ends in June next year. In all probability, it will be extended by at least one year,” Das said.
Impressed with the Dutch coach’s style of working, the AIFF has decided to entrust the lanky coach, a member of the 1988 Euro Cup winning Netherlands squad, with additional responsibilities.
“Since there would be a few assignments for the national team in the near future after the two friendly matches next month, we have decided to ask Wim to coach the under-22 and under-23 teams along with the national team,” the secretary said. “We will discuss all these matters in the technical committee meeting early next month,” Das added.
This means, Koevermans will also coach India for the AFC Under-22 Championship qualifiers next July and the Asian Games in September next. Asian Games football is primarily for under-23 players, though four senior players are allowed in the squad.
Koevermans’ stint with the Indian national team started on a triumphant note in the Nehru Cup last year, but has taken a nosedive since then. Apart from losing friendly matches against Singapore, Palestine and Tajikistan, India also got defeated in the AFC Challengers Cup. The worst came when India lost to Nepal and Afghanistan in the SAFF championship in Kathmandu.
With this decision, the Dutch dominance in the technical matters of the AIFF is likely to continue as Rob Baan would also remain the technical director for another year. Das said the 68-year-old former technical director of Australia would now come to India once in a couple of months to monitor the development plans.
Meanwhile, Koevermans was not too happy with the way some of the national team players deserted the I-League clubs to join the proposed new league to be run by the federation’s marketing partners. He even questioned the wisdom of running a parallel league.