New Delhi: National Football coach Bob Houghton has been issued a show-cause notice that why action should not be taken against him on several counts, including the alleged racial abuse of an Indian referee during an international friendly last year.
Houghton has been asked to present his case before a four-member panel constituted by the All India Football Federation on April 11, a top source in the AIFF told PTI.
"He has been sent show-cause notice on several grounds, including his alleged racial remarks against referee Dinesh Nair and derogatory remarks against Indian football. The AIFF is also unhappy with the performance of the national team under him in Asian Cup and in the run-up to it," the source said.
Houghton was served the notice a few hours after India topped the group in the AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers with a 1-1 draw against Turkmenistan in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.
Houghton, who took over the senior Indian team in June 2006, becomes the first manager of the national football team to be show-caused by the AIFF.
He was accused by Nair for calling him 'b****** Indian referee' during India's international friendly against Yemen in Pune last year.
Houghton had denied the charge and the national players have also sent a signed letter to AIFF president Praful Patel in support of the coach.
AIFF vice-presidents Subrata Dutta and Ankur Dutta as well as treasurer Hardev Jadeja will be in the panel.
Sources said that the AIFF is also considering filing a criminal case against Houghton if his reply to the panel regarding the racial abuse case is not satisfactory.
According to sources, the report submitted by the match commissioner on the India-Yemen international friendly has mentioned the alleged racial remarks by Houghton.
"The match commissioner's report is sacrosanct under FIFA rules and if Houghton's reply on the racial abuse case is not satisfactory, there can be recourse to filing a criminal case," the sources said.