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AIFF is set to act strict

Singapore: Mohun Bagan have appointed Subhas Bhowmick as their technical director for the 2014-15 season, but the club officials may have to reconsider the decision after the All India Football Federation (AIFF) executive committee meeting to be held in the capital next Wednesday.

According to sources, the executive committee is set to put a bar on the I-League clubs from appointing technical directors who do not possess the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) ‘A’ license. Earlier, the rule was applicable only for head coaches of the I-League clubs.

To bypass the rule, several clubs, in the past few seasons, appointed coaches without the required licence as technical directors. While the actual power was vested with technical directors, all these clubs hired individuals with the required licence to make them head coaches on paper.

Some of the senior coaches like Bhowmick, Subrata Bhattacharya, Sukhwinder Singh and Bimal Ghosh were the biggest beneficiaries of this strategy. “This backdoor tactics has to be stopped,” said an AIFF official.

“This is a mockery of the AFC club licensing policy. The I-League committee had already taken a decision on it. The executive committee would only be requested to ratify the decision,” the official added.

Should the rule come into effect, Bhowmick, Subrata and the likes may find it difficult to continue coaching in I-League. Last season, Churchill Brothers won the I-League with Bhowmick at the helm, but the AIFF refused to give him the “best coach” award, saying it has no provision for technical directors.

Sources said the actual plan to keep coaches without licence away from the I-League was initially proposed by AIFF technical director Rob Baan, who strongly felt that only licensed coaches should be allowed to coach at the highest level of Indian football.