Constantine slams SAFF Cup organisers for logistical chaos
Indian football head coach Stephen Constantine has slammed the SAFF Cup organisers for the logistical chaos during the event and said that the tournament was a ‘joke’ in terms of its organisation.
India won the tournament for the seventh time earlier this month in Thiruvananthapuram by defeating defending champions Afghanistan 2-1 in the summit clash. For Constantine, the title triumph was a much need respite after India lost five successive matches before winning one in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers under him after taking charge early last year.
“I don’t think going into the competition anyone thought we would get out of the group stage let alone win it! On top of the playing issues, we also had all sorts of problems from the organizational side of things,” Constantine said. “The hotels did not have enough rooms, the team buses were often late, no training pitches available and well you get the picture. All I will say is, it was a joke and SAFF really need to sort this out once and for all 7 teams in one venue with 2 unplayable training pitches,” he wrote on his personal blog.
Kerala Football Association Secretary Anil Kumar washed his hands off on the alleged organisational chaos. He said that KFA was responsible only for the main stadium and all the matters, including that of hospitality and training grounds, was at the hands of SAFF and All India Football Federation. “I agree that there were some issues regarding training pitches but I don’t agree that there were issues concerning transport of the players and officials. We were responsible for the main stadium only and all the matters, including hospitality and training pitches, were at the hands of SAFF and AIFF,” Kumar told a news agency.