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The Goan coach guided Dempo SC to their third I-League title and thereafter took the opportunity to have a dig at his critics…

Armando Colaco, the most successful coach the league has seen, sneered at the All India Football Federation (AIFF) officials after Dempo SC won their third I-League title on Friday evening.

The AIFF had named Colaco as an interim coach in June last year following the unceremonious exit of Bob Houghton. Under Colaco, India failed to progress from the second round of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers but they did manage to record a victory over Qatar in what was a practice match and not an international friendly.

Being a national coach and not getting involved in any controversy is something unheard of and the disastrous Caribbean tour provided an opportunity for Colaco to blast the organisers for their shambolic treatment the team was meted out and the friendly against Barbados was cancelled eventually.

The AIFF offered Colaco an extension of an year which wasn’t acceptable to the experienced coach and following the draw against East Bengal, he had a crack on the officials.

“I wanted a five year contract to coach the national team but they wanted to test my coaching abilities first…I have a permanent job at Dempo and I love my job. I am happy that I have been able to serve my club well for so many years,” Colaco was quoted saying in the Navhind Times.

He went on to speak on the trend of players demanding huge salaries while the standard of play continues to grow up. Ranti Martins, who scored 31 goals this season in the league, is all set to leave the Goan giants and join a club from Kolkata who are believed to be offering him a huge package.

“Ranti will think hard before leaving Dempo. Ranti and Dempo have a very close bond. I brought him here and we have cared for him so much. Dempo means much to him,” Colaco said.

“These days players demand very high salaries and sometimes it is beyond me to keep them here. In case anybody leaves, I will have to look for suitable replacements.”

With Dempo having several players who are past their prime, Colaco isn’t concerned one bit as he has full faith in the youngsters coming through.

“I know we have many ageing players in the current starting XI. They have served the club well for all these years. But we have many youngsters in the reserves who will be worthy successors when the seniors retire. Dempo certainly has bright future.”

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