Indian Football - India U17 coach Nicolai Adam sacked by the AIFF

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Following a disappointing run in the Granatkin Cup in Russia, Adam has been shown the door with less than nine months to go for the U17 World Cup...

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has relieved Nicolai Adam of his duties as the Head Coach of the Indian U-17 National Team with less than nine months to go for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, to be held in India. 

Adam, a former Azerbaijan U-19 coach, has been in the firing line ever since his squad fared poorly in the AFC U-16 Championships and BRICS Cup in the last six months.

The tipping point with the Indian FA seems to have been reached when India U-17 finished last among 16 teams in the recently concluded Granatkin Memorial Tournament in Russia. In the tournament, India U-17 could only win one of their five matches and lost out to lowly-ranked Tajikistan in the 15th place play-off.

It is understood that Praful Patel, the AIFF President, held talks with Adam late on Tuesday evening and persuaded him to step down with immediate effect, leaving the Indian colts in disarray with the home World Cup starting on 6th October later this year.

Appointed in early 2015, Adam's assembled squad were not impressive in the three home tournaments conducted last year. They did not make the playoffs in the AIFF Youth Cup held in May last year, not even winning a game.

Losses became regular results in the AFC U-16 Championship and BRICS Youth Cup in Goa in September and October of last year as well. Combined, India U-16 squad lost five of the six games they played in those two tournaments.

However, there were improvements to the scorelines in recent times. Adam's boys won 2-1 against junior MLS (Major League Soccer) side Orlando City U-17 in the States. Also, Belarus U-18 were defeated 1-0 in the run up to the Granatkin Cup.

Allegedly, the AIFF had spent close to ₹ 8 Crores on the services of the German national. This decision by the officials at the Football House in New Delhi comes across as surprising, given the proximity to the World Cup - the first ever FIFA tournament that the nation is going to host.

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