AIFF decides to sack Houghton
The AIFF Executive Committee, which met today, decided to accept the recommendation of the Technical Committee which in its review had expressed disappointment at the performance of the Indian team in the continental showpiece event held in Doha, Qatar.
India had lost all their three group matches — against Australia (0-4), Bahrain (2-5) and South Korea (1-4).
"In their report, the Technical Committee said that inspite of spending a huge amount of money and giving all the facilities, India`s performance was disappointing. So the AIFF Executive Committee accepted the opinion of the technical committee in its review and decided to remove Houghton," a top AIFF official told PTI on condition of anonymity.
Houghton`s contract was renewed last year to run till 2013 and sources said if he is to be removed now, the AIFF will have to give him a large amount of money for sacking him before the expiry of his term.
The AIFF is now seeking legal opinion how to get out of this contract.
"The Executive Committee expressed its concern over the performance of the national team and also expressed its unhappiness regarding the conduct and derogatory remarks made by Bob Houghton. The Executive committee has unanimously decided to seek legal opinion regarding its course of action," a statement of the AIFF said.
Houghton had taken over India coach in June 2006, replacing Syed Nayeemuddin under whom India had a series of poor performances.
Under Houghton, India played in the Asian Cup after a gap of 27 years by virtue of winning the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup.
He also guided India to two Nehru Cup international tournament wins in 2007 and 2009.