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Houghton hits out at AIFF

sports Updated: Feb 27, 2011 00:04 IST

A bitter Indian football coach Bob Houghton Saturday hit back at AIFF for its decision to initiate steps to sack him, saying that the charges levelled against him by the national federation were "nonsensical".

The AIFF has decided to take legal advice to see if Houghton's contract, which runs till 2013, can be terminated without giving compensation to him on the ground that the Englishman had used "derogatory" remarks against the federation.

Reports have said that the AIFF could take into account Houghton's alleged "racial" remarks against Indian referee Dinesh Nair during a friendly against Yemen in Pune last year.

Houghton on Saturday issued a statement through his manager, saying that he had not uttered a single word which could be construed as racial.

"Further, to reports in the media that I made a racist remark to a fourth official last year, I wish to categorically deny that allegation," Houghton said in the statement.

"I have no doubt that everyone I have worked with in India would confirm that I do not have a racist bone in my body and have treated all of them with the utmost respect.

Houghton also said that his comments about the lack of infrastructure in India was not a new thing and he had not done anything wrong.

"My comments were limited only to facilities in India. They reflect exactly the comments made by Asian Football Confederation President Mohammed Bin Hamman on a visit to India during my time as head coach, when he described India as '100 years behind' other Asian countries.