The Executive Committee of the All India Football Federation found itself in a peculiar situation when they met in Delhi on Wednesday. Caught between the devil and deep sea over whether to replay the Air India-Fransa National Football League match, their attention shifted to national coach Syed Nayeemuddin -- whether he should be sacked following the poor showing of the national team in the Asian Cup qualifiers against Japan and Yemen.
According to a source, team manager and former India coach and player P K Bannerjee is believed to have spoken in confidentiality to AIFF president Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi informing him that Nayeem was overburdening the players, while secretary-general Alberto Colaco is said to have informed the president that the coach had usurped a three-day stock of vitamins for the players in a single day.
Colaco is also said to have told Dasmunshi that the coach should be put up in a hotel suite instead of a similar hotel room made available for the players.
Another complaint against the national coach was regarding East Bengal wingback M. Suresh. It is learnt that Nayeem, who himself prefers to treat players suffering from niggling injuries, left Suresh's ankle injury in worse shape after having a go at it during the camp.
The AIFF will again meet on Thursday and decide Nayeem's fate.
Dasmunshi, it is learnt, said sacking Nayeemuddin wouldn't be easy as he is contracted to coach the national team until the Asian Games. However, a decision whether to initiate a process to search for a new coach, foreign or Indian, will be taken by tomorrow evening.
Meanwhile, Western India Football Association president and Aviation minister Praful Patel put up a strong case for Air India, saying technically Air India deserved three points and three goals as Fransa did not turn up for the scheduled NFL match.
Patel is said to have told the committee that replaying the match would be against the rules of the AIFF and NFL in particular. As a result, the case has been referred to the Appeals Committee, which has been given 10 days to study it and execute a decision.
It was also decided that the Santosh Trophy will be held in Jammu and Kashmir this September.