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Asia Cup will be tough: Constantine

March 11, 2004 15:49 IST

India's chief football coach Stephen Constantine warned that the upcoming under-17 Asia Cup tournament will 'not be an easy' assignment for the Indian colts and said he hopes to rope in more talent for the Japan-bound squad.

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"The Asia Cup tournament in Japan will not be easy for India given that they have to play teams like Iran and Kuwait in their group," Constantine, who is in Kolkata to oversee a training camp for the under-17 side at SAI eastern region complex, said.

India, who booked a ticket to the final stage of the tournament by winning the qualifiers with an emphatic 4-0 victory over Afghanistan after a 1-1 draw with Nepal, will head for Japan in September.

The Anglo-Cypriot coach said the final stage will be different considering the prowess of the Middle East countries, who have strong youth development programmes, good coaches and facilities.

To increase the pool of probables for the under-17 side, he said some new faces may be inducted from among the talent found at the Subroto Cup tournament.

All India Football Federation secretary Alberto Colaco assured that the under-17 team would not be disbanded after the Japan event.

"Some of these boys will be sent to Tata Football Academy and there will be other foreign assignments for them as well," he said.

India under-17 coach Jahar Das said a number of boys could not attend the camp due to injury or examinations, but would be considered before the final selection.

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