India football coach Bob Houghton resigns

India coach Bob Houghton has resigned after five years in

charge.

The All India Football Federation said Saturday the departure

was ”due to personal reasons.”

The English coach, whose contract was due to run to 2013, helped

India qualify for the 2011 Asian Cup earlier this year after a gap

of 24 years. During the tournament he repeatedly called on the

country’s football federation to overhaul its domestic

infrastructure.

Houghton had faced allegations of racism from a prominent Indian

referee, which Houghton denied. The allegations led to a

disciplinary hearing by the AIFF.

”Based on the report of the inquiry committee, the AIFF feels

that in the absence of any definitive and concrete evidence the

allegations against Mr. Houghton cannot be sustained and therefore

the AIFF agrees to withdraw all charges and allegations made

against him,” the statement said.

Houghton had been facing the inquiry from a three-man panel

after referee Dinesh Nair alleged that he had been racially abused

during an international friendly against Yemen last year.

The AIFF said he was leaving of his own accord.

”Mr. Houghton, for his personal reasons, does not wish to

continue working in India and in his position as the head coach of

the Indian football team,” the AIFF said. ”The parties have

mutually agreed to terminate the employment contract of Mr.

Houghton.

”AIFF thanks Mr. Houghton for his services to the Indian

football team for the last about five years and Mr. Houghton

expresses his gratitude to the AIFF for having given him an

opportunity to coach the Indian football team and wishes the Indian

football team all the very best for its future endeavors.”