India draw up shortlist for coach's position

May 20, 2006

NEW DELHI, May 20 (Reuters) - England's Bob Houghton and Dutchman Clemence Westerhof are among four candidates to be interviewed for the job of India soccer coach, the national federation said on Saturday.

Former Ireland manager Brian Kerr and ex-Chelsea manager Ian Porterfield will also attend the interviews to be held next week, All India Football Federation (AIFF) secretary Albert Colaco said in a news release.

Houghton, 58, has managed China and Uzbekistan while the 63-year-old Westerhof guided Nigeria to the 1994 World Cup finals.

India decided to appoint a foreigner as their third coach in less than a year after a poor display in the two Asian Cup qualifiers against Japan and Yemen under Syed Nayeemuddin.

Former India captain Nayeemuddin had replaced Sukhwinder Singh, who was shown the door after poor displays in Pakistan and Fiji last year.

India, a major continental power during the 1950s and 1960s, faded as the professional game took roots in the region. Asian soccer authorities are now persuading India to rebuild by cashing in on their rapid economic growth.