Pradhyum Reddy believes that the All India Football Federation (AIFF) must get their scheduling right if they want to aid the Indian clubs in succeeding in continental competitions. Having won the I-League, Bengaluru FC would feature in the AFC Champions League play-off this season and should they fail to make it into the group stage, they shall thereby participate in the AFC Cup.
On being asked whether they would find it tough in the Asian competitions as Pune FC struggled this term while Churchill Brothers and East Bengal paid the price in their domestic season by succeeding in the AFC Cup.
“The scheduling will be the most important thing. If the AIFF wants Indian teams to succeed they have to schedule games appropriately. We know what happened to Churchill and even East Bengal pretty well,” said Reddy.
The former Shillong Lajong coach wasn’t too pleased with Ashley Westwood being suspended for two matches following his alleged rant against the fourth official when they played Mohun Bagan earlier this month.
“I’d rather be the number two and work under Ashley Westwood, but it’s a team effort. It’s harsh decision by the AIFF to give him such a lengthy ban. I don’t understand why it happens to foreign coaches. Even Oscar Bruzon has been suspended. There is definitely some language barrier between the two (foreign coaches and match officials). He (Westwood) should have been there today.”
Reddy also took time to praise Sajjan Jindal, owner and president of Bengaluru FC for having taken the right steps in ensuring they succeed.
“They have conceptualized the structure and working of our team. He has been in the committee of the I-League and so he knows how it works. He sees things from a director’s perspective and he has appointed the CEO and other people in our club. They were very keen to do things differently and to be as professional as possible.”
Bengaluru notched yet another victory on Goan soil as they came back to win 2-1 against Sporting Clube de Goa.
“We couldn’t have scripted it any better. It was a fantastic team effort from the kit man to the fans who have come all the way to support the team. This is what the players expect growing up as a kid, the fans to cheer for your team till the end of the game. I wouldn’t want to single out any player. Credit has to go to Ashley Westwood and the fans.”