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India's coach resigns: reports

4 May 2010 09:25

NEW DELHI (AFP) - India's football coach Bob Houghton has resigned over the delay in extending his contract beyond the Asian Cup next January, reports said on Tuesday.

Houghton, 62, sent his resignation to the All-India Football Federation (AIFF) this week while on holiday in South Africa, the Times of India said.

"Bob's biggest complaint is the breach of contract on the part of the federation," the Kolkata-based Telegraph cited unnamed sources as saying.

"A particular AIFF official began negotiating with some FIFA agents for a new coach to be appointed after the Asian Cup. He really wanted to stay but things were made increasingly difficult for him."

AIFF president Praful Patel, a federal minister, was trying to convince the Englishman to withdraw his resignation ahead of a meeting of the federation's executive committee in New Delhi on Friday, reports said.

But an AIFF official denied the coach had quit.

"I have no knowledge of Houghton's resignation," the federation's senior vice-president Subroto Dutta told the Telegraph.

"A final call on his demands will be taken in the executive committee meeting."

Houghton, who took over as the Indian coach in June, 2006, has also demanded a raise of 10,000 dollars to his monthly salary of 20,000 dollars, the Telegraph said.

He was also unhappy with the slow progress of preparations for the 2011 Asian Cup where India, ranked 132 in the world, are pitted against strong teams like Australia, South Korea and Bahrain.

Houghton, a former Fulham midfielder, coached China for two years from 1997-1999 and then worked with Uzbekistan in 2005 before joining India.

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