Wednesday , July 24 2024

Ex-Vietnam coach Troussier applies for Indian job after Park

Coach Philippe Troussier has applied to become the head coach of the Indian national football team, joining a list of nearly 300 candidates which includes Park Hang-seo, his predecessor in Vietnam.

The Times of India (TOI) reported Sunday morning that Troussier is among the applicants to the job.

The French coach’s most notable achievements are leading Japan to the 2000 AFC Asian Cup title and to the round of 16 in the 2002 World Cup. However, the “White Witch Doctor” – the nickname given to him during his time in Africa – has not been able to weave his magic ever since leaving Japan.

HLV Philippe Troussier tham dự họp báo vòng loại U23 châu Á 2024 vào tháng 9/2023. Ảnh: Hiếu Lương

Coach Philippe Troussier attends a press conference at the U23 Asian Cup in September 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Luong

Troussier’s most recent job as the head coach of Vietnam began in March 2023 and was supposed to last until July 2026. But the tenure soon ended on a sour note after just one year, as Vietnam failed to reach the 2026 World Cup third qualifiers. Earlier, the team were knocked out in the group stage of the 2023 Asian Cup.

Troussier is one of 291 candidates who sent their application to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) by the July 3 deadline. Among them, 100 candidates hold a UEFA Pro license, 20 hold an AFC Pro license, and three hold a CONMEBOL Pro license, the TOI reported.

Previously on June 27, TOI confirmed that another former Vietnam coach, Park Hang-seo, had also applied to the position. Park had a very successful run in Vietnam from 2017 to 2023, with notable accomplishments such as finishing second at the 2018 AFC U23 Championship, winning the 2018 AFF Cup, and claiming two consecutive SEA Games gold medals in 2019 and 2021, as well as reaching the 2022 World Cup third qualifiers for the first time.

The AIFF has also received applications from Miguel Herrera, Mexico’s head coach at the 2014 World Cup, and Winfried Schafer, who led Cameroon at the 2002 World Cup and won the African Cup of Nations the same year. All of these coaches are currently unemployed.

“As of now, the process is only at the shortlisting stage,” the TOI reported. “It might not be feasible for the federation to consider these big names since all of them will demand a big salary.”

These coaches’ expected salaries are thought to range from $50,000 to $80,000. The AIFF previously claimed that it could not meet the $50,000 monthly salary that Park received in Vietnam. India’s most recent coach, Igor Stimac, received $30,000 per month, but this was after raises following five years of work.

Nonetheless, AIFF President Kalyan Chaubey is pleased about the high-profile names that the job posting was able to attract. He hopes the recruitment process will conclude by the end of July, so India can best prepare for their upcoming friendlies in September.

“As we get ready to write a new chapter in Indian football, it’s crucial for us to have a coach who is committed to the development of Indian football, to understand our culture and help design the national football philosophy,” President Chaubey told TOI.

In the job announcement, AIFF expects candidates to have a minimum of 10 to 15 years of experience coaching youth and national teams. Experience with national teams is preferred, and experience in World Cup qualifiers and the Asian Cup is an advantage.

India are currently 124th in the FIFA ranking. Football is not very popular in the world’s most populous country, where cricket is the most loved sport. Morevoer, the AIFF’s financial resources are limited, and it is being threatened with a lawsuit by former coach Igor Stimac for unilaterally terminating his contract without fully settling the expenses.

The Croatian coach also revealed that the AIFF failed to meet the necessary conditions for the national team. In the 2026 World Cup second qualifiers, India had to transit and endure a 30-hour continuous journey from Saudi Arabia to India despite the previous promise of a private jet, while their opponents Afghanistan arrived early and had more time to rest. Moreover, they did not have GPS devices, typically worn by players to measure their performance during training and matches.

“We did not have GPS for 200 days despite repeatedly urging,” Stimac said. “India were the only team at the 2023 Asian Cup without GPS.”

However, the AIFF insists that Stimac’s statements are inaccurate and misleading, claiming it had provided full explanations to these issues to the coach during his employment period.

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