Hiddink is likely to chalk out India plan

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By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 9.06.11
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New Delhi: If everything falls into place, Dutch soccer guru Guus Hiddink could be visiting India shortly to personally chalk out the All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) highly ambitious plans to introduce “total football” at the grassroots level.

The AIFF, according to its general secretary Kushal Das, is currently in talks with a reputed Holland-based sports management company, Orange Sports Forum (OSF), for getting technical assistance to overhaul the country’s football system.

The company has some big names in its list of advisors, including Hiddink, who guided South Korea to the World Cup semi-finals in 2002.

He has also coached national teams of Russia and Australia and is currently the manager of the Turkish national team. One of world’s most highly paid coaches, Hiddink has earlier handled glamour clubs like PSV Eindhoven, Real Madrid and Chelsea.

Das, who returned from Amsterdam on Wednesday, told The Telegraph it would be a huge breakthrough if AIFF managed to rope in the Dutch sports management giants.

“The talks with OSF were very fruitful and they would be coming India later this month to give us a presentation,” Das said. “They are keen on a tie up with the AIFF and even Hiddink has expressed his willingness to come down to India to help in chalking out the master plan.”

OSF’s role, Das said, would be to draw a system in line with “total football”, the Dutch style of play that has made them famous all over the world. “Our idea is to run the entire system as per the plan to be given by their experts,” Das said.

“At the same time, I have told them that their technical experts should also gradually pass on the knowledge to our local coaches and technical staff for future use. The company would also help the AIFF in appointing a full time technical director,” Das said.

Since the departure of British coach Bob Houghton under controversial circumstances, the AIFF has been planning to appoint a technical director , preferably a foreigner.

Though more than 70 foreign coaches have already applied for the job, the federation’s executive committee, at its last meeting, decided to first appoint a technical director, followed by a permanent coach for the national team.

Armando Colaco, the current coach, has been given a four-month tenure till the end of the pre-World Cup campaign.

The AIFF general secretary, who has been batting for “possession football of late”, said the financial burden on the federation for this big project won’t be unbearable.

“The money could be raised from the market as several corporate houses, including a few from the Netherlands, are keen to help out India in raising its football standards. I am hopeful things would be finalised shortly,” he said.