Indian coach applicant doesn't notice football field

Former Republic of Ireland manager Brian Kerr has failed to land the job of national team coach in India, Paul Rowan reported in The Times (London). The job is believed to have been offered to Bob Houghton, the Englishman who previously coached China and Saudi Arabia. An unnamed senior football official was reported as saying: “The All India Football Federation feels Houghton will be more suitable. He knows the conditions better.” Kerr was interviewed by the federation on Wednesday. It appears he may have damaged his chances with his salary demands and insistence on appointing two of his own staff. The official, quoted by Reuters, said Houghton would receive an annual salary of about €150,000. Kerr is thought to have wanted double that.

Kerr was quoted in the Indian papers during the week, saying he had never seen India play and would initially have to listen and learn. “With a professional layout, good structure, clear thinking, strong support and effective implementation, they can improve a lot. But time is needed as a lot needs to be done,” Kerr said. A friend of the former Ireland manager, apparently travelling with him, was quoted in The Hindu newspaper as saying: “In my journey from the hotel to the football house, I didn’t even notice one football field. In Dublin, there are 400.”

See also: Four European finalists for Indian national coach (21 May)