Constantine insists on grassroots development in Indian football
National coach Stephen Constantine feels that most of the Indian footballers do not have strong command on the basics of the game primarily due to a lack of football culture in the country.
Englishman Constantine, who took over as India coach earlier this year in his second stint, said not focusing on grassroots development over the years has led to the players learning the basics very late in their career.
"Ten years down the line after I left the India coach's job in 2005, I can see the country has moved ahead in some areas but in some other areas, there has been little improvement," Constantine, who also served as India coach between 2002 and 2005, said at a media interaction on Thursday.
India had suffered a disappointing 1-2 loss to Guam, a country 33 places below India in FIFA rankings, in their 2018 World Cup second round qualifying away match last month.
As a temporary solution to this problem Constantine re-insisted that People of Indian Origin (PIO) players should be allowed to play for the country by giving temporary Indian passport for better results.
"I have some players of Indian origin who wants to play for India but this idea is a temporary solution. For the long term solution, you have to start from the grassroots and that is main thing India should focus on," he added.