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Under-17 Coach Nicolai's Future Hangs in Balance, Sports Minister Vijay Goel Says We Will Decide

Barely nine months before India hosts the FIFA Under-17 football World Cup, national coach Nicolai Adam was to be shown the door after complaints of "physical abuse" by some of the players, according to sources.

Press Trust Of India

Updated:January 30, 2017, 8:26 PM IST
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Under-17 Coach Nicolai's Future Hangs in Balance, Sports Minister Vijay Goel Says We Will Decide
File image of India Under 17 coach Nicolai Adam. (AIFF Images)

New Delhi: Sports Minister Vijay Goel has asserted that the decision to sack or retain India's U-17 football coach Nicolai Adam rests with his department, indicating that the issue would not be resolved any time soon.

Barely nine months before India hosts the FIFA Under-17 football World Cup, national coach Nicolai Adam was to be shown the door after complaints of "physical abuse" by some of the players, according to sources.

The All India Football Federation has expressed its willingness to remove the German, but the Sports Ministry is yet to take a call.

"There is no update, we sought a report from AIFF and we have received it. We made the appointment on being asked by AIFF. The ministry is paying salary to the coach. So, without ministry's consent, nobody can remove a coach. The federation has no right to sack the coach," Goel told PTI.

He added, "We are seeing the report and it cannot be analysed in two days. We will speak to coach, to players, many times there are some doubts. We will have to judge what is right or wrong. Federation will be given some weight because promotion of a sport is their responsibility.

"We have also to think that if a coach goes, then the incoming person should know the job. We will have to think about the image of our country and decide."

Goel said in case Nicolai is eventually removed, they will quickly name a replacement.

"We will not delay. In case the coach is removed we will appoint another one fast. We will do it in two days."

It was learnt last week that AIFF president Praful Patel had told Nicolai, in a meeting, to quit on his own or be sacked.

Sources told PTI that at least four boys complained to Patel through their parents that Nikolai and assistant coach Etibar Nizami Ibrahimov have abused them physically which has made it very difficult for the AIFF to continue working with the duo.

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