Sunday, January 6, 2013

Wim Koevermans: I’m concerned about the national players who are affected in MohunBagan ban

National Coach Wim Koevermans was right here at the Garden city for a noble cause - an occasion to present the auctioned Indian football shirt and the football to the winner. 

This was an initiative by Toe To Heart, a Bangalore based NGO that financially and socially supports orphans and children from very poor or broken families. 

Koevermans freely interacted with the journos who were present at the event. The discussion ranged from Toe To Heart’s charity venture to his eagerness on utilizing the FIFA match days 2013, from India’s preparedness in bidding U-17 World Cup to the obvious MohunBagan’s ouster from I-League. 

A noble gesture from Kim, he’s keen to help an organization who is helping the kids in education, also, hopes to people should help a venture like Toe To Heart

Playing on a FIFA match day is a prime objective for Koevermans in 2013. To start with, India is playing its first internal game against Palestine in Guwahati on February 6. This will be followed by a training camp for the AFC Challenge Cup where India is grouped with Guam, Chinese Taipei, and Myanmar

Koevermans interacts a lot with the international Sunil Chettri, who is currently playing in Portugal - sometimes he plays, sometimes he is on the bench, however, he is training four times a week with quality good players. Coach monitors Sunil as much as the other players. Also, speaks to Indian Arrows coach Arthur Papas, thanks to his frequent visit to Kolkata to see I-League matches.

What about India’s U-17 World Cup bid, does that give a boost to the infrastructure? “If we are awarded the hosting rights, it will lift football in India in a very big way”, considers coach. There are a lot of stadiums, which needs to upgraded and renovated. Also, need to identify the host cities to bring in good training facilities. It will help develop football in India! 

What’s Koevermans’ take on MohunBagan ban?
For once he sounded cautious, however, more than the ban he is more concerned about his national team players who play for Bagan, “Something happened on the pitch and rules were applied. If people put rules in the book and something happens, you have to apply them, that’s the way it is! 2.5 years of ban is a tough punishment!” 

From the national team point of view he looked worried, “A lot of players can’t play at the moment, I’m not happy with that!” 

Koevermans is hoping something positive from the next meeting (which is scheduled sometime later this month) so that players can play some competitive matches.

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