The Indian national team will have a three-week preparation camp under the supervision of new head coach Wim Koevermans. The All India Football Federation (AIFF) is planning to conduct the camp in Delhi, but it could be shifted to a different place as the proposed venues were not to the liking of Koevermans.
Wim Koevermans has named a list of 37 probables including new Sporting Clube de Portugal star Sunil Chhetri for his first assignment with the Indian national team [+ read more]. The Dutchman will meet the players for the first time at the preparation camp and he will work out further plans on his team during the camp.
AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das would like to give the new coach the best possible time to prepare the Indian team for the Nehru Cup 2012, which is scheduled to be played from August 23 to September 2. But the AIFF could face another club vs country row ahead of the tournament as most clubs have already stated their displeasure on the plans for the preparation camp.
„We have requested the clubs to release the players 21 days in advance. The clubs want to release them 14 days in advance,“ Kushal Das told at the sidelines of an AIFF Coaching Seminar in Navi Mumbai on Monday. „Wim is a new coach and needs time to get to know the players. We would talk to the clubs.“
„We scheduled it for three weeks in keeping with coach Wim Koevermans‘ advise. He wanted more time to have a look at the boys,“ Das added.
Former India captain Baichung Bhutia has also raised his voice in support of the AIFF’s plans to give the Indian team enough time to prepare for the Nehru Cup.
„Everyone should support India’s cause for betterment of football and if the country win everyone, the clubs, the players and even media would be benefitted,“ Baichung told in Navi Mumbai. „All should also support newly appointed senior coach Wim Koevermans as his experience would surely help Indian football.“
But the AIFF could face another problem besides the club vs country row ahead of the preparation camp. India coach Wim Koevermans has signified that the venues in Delhi are not to his liking and not up to the mark to prepare the national team. The AIFF has been looking for alternative training facilities, but Delhi seems to be still the main choice of the federation. Kushal Das has also named Bangalore as a potential venue, if Delhi fails to meet the needed criterias.