NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News  » Sports » India clubs ignore Houghton request to rest top players

India clubs ignore Houghton request to rest top players

January 05, 2009 11:09 IST

India's leading league clubs have ignored a plea from national coach Bob Houghton to rest players from some matches to keep them fresh for internationals.

The Briton is building a squad for the 2011 Asian Cup finals in Qatar and has asked clubs to omit internationals from fixtures outside the I-League, The Telegraph reported on Monday.

"If the national team does not perform well, spectators and sponsors will not want to be associated with the game," he told a meeting with club coaches, the paper said.

However, the coaches said they were under pressure to deliver results and the federation needed to implement a rule for Houghton's plan to work, the paper added, quoting unnamed sources.

Since taking charge in June 2006, the 61-year-old Houghton has persuaded I-League clubs to offer greater support to the national team, which has led to improved results.

In 2007, India hosted and won an international tournament before going on to clinch the AFC Challenge Cup last August, a victory that secured an Asian Cup berth.

Ranked 20th in Asia, India's next match is a friendly in Hong Kong on January 14.

© Copyright 2013 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.