Siliguri: Following a spate of mediocre outings, Indian football team coach Wim Koevermans today stepped down from the post soon after the country suffered a defeat in an international friendly, here.
After India lost to Palestine 2-3, Koevermans declared in the post-match presentation ceremony that that he isn't continuing as coach of the Indian national team.
"This was my last match as the coach of the national team and I will not be taking up the post of AIFF's Technical Director for private reasons," he said. "I have thoroughly enjoyed my stint and stay in India. It was a nice gesture by the players," he referred to the Guard of Honour which the players gave to Koevermans at the end of the match.
Koevermans' contract as the national coach with AIFF ends on October 31, 2014. "When I took charge I was told to change the style of play and there has been a huge improvement on that front. We created chances in every match that we played and played some good football. But that hasn't been enough," he stated.
"I never like losing. The boys stayed so much committed on the ground today," he said in reference to India's match against Palestine. "But it was visible that they had better players in almost every position. We gave them a very tough game and could have avoided conceding the first and the third goals. But that's football."
National team captain Sunil Chhetri, currently the highest-ever Indian goalscorer in international football, described the phase under the Dutchman as a "great journey". "He came across as someone who was a rare combination of being very knowledgeable and hard working at the same time. It's always been a pleasure working under him. The news came as a shock for me and I wish him luck for all his future endeavours."