In a move that is sure to have raised a few eyebrows, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has ejected Australian Scott O’Donnell as the assistant coach to the Indian national side taking part in the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea starting September 19.
As revealed by Goal earlier, O'Donnell was to asssist Wim Koevermans in team affairs for the 2014 Asian Games. However, the change of plans will see Savio Madeira, the former Salgaocar FC stalwart, assist the Dutch coach in his place.
“We have received a request from the AIFF to change the name of the assistant coach,” explained an Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) source, to The Telegraph.
O’Donnell had been appointed the director of academies on FIFA’s recommendations by Indian football’s governing body. The academies at Kalyani, Mumbai, Goa and Bangalore come under his jurisdiction.
Sources close to the matter claim that FIFA were unhappy with the 46 year-olds extensive involvement in the national team as they felt the director of academies should rather focus his attentions to youth development and overall organization of the academies.
“FIFA gives special grant to the AIFF for having an academy boss and it doesn’t like him to be asked to concentrate on other assignments,” elucidated the source.
The preparation camp for the tournament will begin on 1st July and will be held up to 20th July, following which the Blue Tigers will head to Spain and Korea for practice matches. A final selection of twenty players from the original thirty called up to the camp is yet to be finalized.