The All India Football Federation (AIFF), at its executive committee meeting on Wednesday, unanimously decided to seek ways to give senior national coach Bob Houghton the boot. The AIFF will seek legal opinion on this as Houghton is on contract till 2013.
"The (executive) committee was not happy with the derogatory remarks passed by the head coach (Houghton) at the Asian Cup finals, as well as his and the team's conduct, despite all the facilities given to him. It is now up to the lawyers to sort out the issue, including the financial aspect of the terms of his contract (till 2013). This is why legal counsel has been sought," said Kushal Das, the AIFF general-secretary.
"The (executive) committee decided that the performance at the Asian Cup was not satisfactory. They were concerned about the display and were quite unhappy about the exclusion of new players."
According to an official who didn't want to be named, it was more of Houghton's attitude towards the AIFF and its officials that went against the Cape Town based Englishman under whom India won two Nehru Cups and the AFC Challenge Cup which gave them the right to compete at the Asian Cup after 28 years. Houghton was charged with repeatedly criticising the AIFF and club officials for not having done enough for football. That he reportedly made a racist comment against a referee during a friendly too was mentioned.