He flew halfway around the world for an interview. But eventually, he had to settle for a Skype call from an airport lounge after he was not allowed to enter the country for lack of proper paperwork.
Doru Isac — a Romanian manager who has worked as an assistant to Arsene Wenger, Carlos Queiroz and Bora Milutinovic — was one of the four shortlisted candidates to become Indian football’s technical director. Two others, Georgia’s Gaioz Darsadze and Jorge Castelo of Portugal, chose to appear for the interview via Skype while Scott O’Donnell was not interviewed as he held the same post till very recently. Isac, meanwhile, preferred to fly down to Delhi to meet All India Football Federation’s technical committee in person.
However, upon landing at Delhi’s IGI Airport on Monday morning, he wasn’t allowed to go past the immigration since he did not have sufficient paperwork.
While the immigration officers tried to help him complete the necessary formalities, it is learnt that Isac would’ve been able to leave the airport only in the evening. Since the interview was scheduled for Monday afternoon, he decided to appear for it via Skype. Isac is believed to have taken a flight back home late Monday evening.
Isac is considered to have strong credentials to take over the role from Savio Madeira, who is the acting technical director. The 56-year-old has vast experience of working in Asia, having spent major chunk of his coaching years in Japan and Qatar, with a few short stints with clubs and academies in France and Romania. He is currently the technical director of Yokohama Marinos, one of Japan’s most successful clubs.
However, no final decision has been made yet. The AIFF’s technical committee, headed by former India striker Shyam Thapa, will pass on their recommendation to the executive committee. “The AIFF will have to negotiate the salary and other terms with the preferred candidate. Our budget is in the range of $10,000 per month so the candidate needs to accept that,” the official said.
The appointment is set to be finalised by the end of this month and the new technical director is likely to be involved in the final selection process of the national team chief coach and a foreign coach for the under-17 women’s team, who will compete in the World Cup next year.
Among the other two candidates, Darsadze has worked as head coach of Georgia’s under-17 team and also managed the Georgia national team in 2005 before being made coaching education director at the Georgian Football Federation.
Meanwhile, Castelo, a PhD in Sports Science from the University of Lisbon, has served as assistant manager of Portuguese sides like Benfica and Sporting CP. He has a vast experience in Portugal’s top flight football and has assisted the likes of Sven-Goran Eriksson, Carlos Queiroz. He was with Shandong Luneng, a first tier club in China, in 2016 as assistant to Mano Menezes. —(With PTI inputs)