AIFF technical director Robert Baan will not extend his contract which ends in November this year. The 71-year-old Dutchman cited old age and demands of travelling in a big country like India as reasons for his decision.

Speaking to The Hindu on the sidelines of the AFC’s ‘D’ license instructors course at the LNCPE, Kariyavattom, Baan said he was satisfied that he had put in place a framework at the ‘top’ for his successor to work on. “We have put things in order at least at the grassroots level as the youth development programme is going on in full swing at a few centres. We have also started the ‘D’ license programme for coaches, where men in the age group of 35 were trained. It gives us confidence that they are teaching the right kind of skills to kids at the grassroots level.”

“My successor, preferably a youngster, should concentrate on the competition aspect. At present, there is virtually no competition for the seniors and the under-15, under-17, under-19 and under-21 teams. With India slated to host the under-17 World Cup in 2017, providing competitions to the junior teams is a must,” he said.

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