NEW DELHI - India's national team coach
Bob Houghton has denied reports that he made a racist remark to
a match official after the country's football federation said it
was seeking legal advice over the matter.
"Further to reports in the media that I made a racist remark
to a fourth official last year, I wish to categorically deny
that allegation," Houghton said in a statement, responding to
reports about a friendly against Yemen last year.
The All India Football Federation discussed the issue
surrounding the well travelled English coach at its executive
committee meeting earlier this week.
"The Executive Committee... expressed its unhappiness
regarding the conduct and derogatory remarks made by Bob
Houghton. The Executive committee has unanimously decided to
seek legal opinion regarding its course of action," the AIFF
said in a statement.
Houghton said he had coached teams in China, the United
States and Uzbekistan, among other places, and never faced such
Local media claims the AIFF wants to sack Houghton, who took
over the coaching reins in 2006 and has a contract till 2013.
India captain Baichung Bhutia and striker Sunil Chhetri have
already vouched for the coach.
"I think it is patently unfair to accuse him of being a
racist," Chhetri was quoted as saying in Saturday's Hindustan
Bhutia said: "Bob can't say such things against anyone. I
was there during the match. I am playing under him for the past
three years and can assure that Bob is not racist."
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