Indian football team's chief coach Wim Koevermans on Wednesday looked a worried man as he spoke about the side's future, with seven of the current national team players not having any contract with I-League clubs.
"I am really worried with the situation we have in India right now. It's a threat for national team. Two boys from disbanded Arrows (Allwyn George), five from IMG-R (Syed Rahim Nabi, Nirmal Chhetri, Subrata Paul, Gourmangi Singh, Sandesh Jhingan) and one from Mumbai Tigers (N Mohanraj) will be without clubs.
"Now what are these boys supposed to do? Just practice? And how do I react to this situation as a national coach," Koevermans said after his team's 0-2 defeat to Afghanistan in the the SAFF Championship final.
The Dutchman wasn't amused that the AIFF has so far failed to break the deadlock by talking to the I-League clubs.
"I thought that by now, AIFF would have spoken to the clubs but what I have gathered is that the clubs are not taking these players. You have to understand there is a vast difference between playing club football and then coming to play international football."
Talking about the final, Koevermans rued the missed chances.
"Look at the number of chances we created but we simply couldn't put the ball at the back of the net. Wish I had a magic wand by which I could tip on their head and they would score," the coach said.
"I am very proud of the boys in the manner they played the tournament. We created chances against Pakistan, did that against Bangladesh. The only match we didn't play well was the Nepal game. I congratulate the Afghans but we were the better team on the day."
Asked about the decision to keep skipper Sunil Chhetri in the bench for an hour, the coach said, "I wanted to go with the winning combination. It wasn't a gamble. I knew that when Sunil would come in, he would create chances and he did. But he also couldn't convert."