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Constantine insists PIO players be given temporary passport

NATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM head coach Stephen Constantine still insists that People of Indian Origin players should be allowed to play for the country by giving temporary Indian passport for better results. 

Sports Ministry rules allow only Indian passport holders to represent the country, but Constantine clarified that he was talking about 'temporary passport' to be given to the PIO footballers. 

He said he was given a temporary passport by Rwanda government when he was the head coach of that country's football team last year. 

"I am not talking about naturalisation of a PIO to become an Indian citizen. What I am saying is, give the PIO players temporary passport to be able to play for India. Once they are not playing for the country, they will not be able to use these passports," Constantine said at a media interaction during a reception hosted for him by British High Commission here last night. 

"I got this temporary passport in Rwanda. I had this temporary Rwanda passport when I go for international matches (as coach) outside Rwanda. Once, the match is over, they (Rwanda authorities) will take away this temporary passport. I cannot buy any land or won any property in Rwanda because it was just a temporary passport," he added. 

The 52-year-old Constantine, who had served as India coach earlier from 2002 to 2005, however, said that it was not a long term solution. 

"I have some players of Indian origin who wants to play for India. But this idea is not a long term solution. It is just a temporary solution. For long term solution, you have to start from the grassroots and that is main thing India should focus on," he said.

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