The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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The Jahar, Stephen battle turns ugly

Calcutta: Chief national coach Stephen Constantine went up to congratulate coach Jahar Das as India made their way into the last 16 of the AFC Under-17 championships. But behind that handshake, there was another story to tell.

Das made it clear that Constantine’s presence is not really to his liking and that he is set to lodge an official complaint to the project director Ranji Gupta against the chief coach.

Das informed that the Anglo-Cypriot coach had tried to insult him in front of his wards, and that has led to the fall-out. “Constantine said this is not the best 20 and that he will change the squad, that too without my consent,” an angry Das said.

“Constantine doesn’t have the experience I have, and he has no idea whatsoever about Indian conditions. So he has no business interfering into my work process,” he said.

Das further informed he changed the location of his practice to avoid confrontations with the chief coach who helped the senior Indian team to a silver medal in the Afro-Asian Games.

In fact, the former India international said he will quit if Constantine accompanies the team when they play the last 16 in Japan. Constantine, contrarily, looked quite keen to be with the team when they play in Japan in September. “Yes, probably I’ll be with the team, if the AIFF wants,” he said.

The chief coach added his next destination will be the Subroto Cup in Delhi from where three boys will be selected for a training session in Portugal.

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