Coach Karim Bencharifa has completed AFC A licence module A in Singapore and will be completing module B in January 2010. The module A was held from May 25 to June 6, Karim told us from Singapore. Many countries like Singapore, Iran and Australia who conduct this license course divide this into two modules of 2 weeks each.
Karim Bencharifa has done Bachelor of Sports from Morocco and also an A licence course in Morocco which qualifies him to coach top teams of Morocco as well as the national team of Morocco. So the fact is that Mohun Bagan coach is qualified enough and have done A license but surprisingly AFC does not recognize this A license and asked him to do A license again. When Karim sent his papers few months back to AFC, they said that they recognize A license done only in Europe and Asia and not Africa.
Morocco is presently ranked 55 in world and India is 147. At one point, Morocco even were in the 30s in FIFA world ranking and it is surprising that an A license from such a football nation is not considered valid by AFC. However, when AFC went through his papers, they said that the Diploma from the University of Leipzig in Germany which Karim has done few years back is equivalent to AFC B license and so he will have to do ONLY AFC A licence.
Of the present coaches of I league, Mohun Bagan coach Karim Bencharifa is the most qualified coach and he definitely stands out especially over the so called famous coaches of Kolkata. The officials of the National Club of India has chosen a very much qualified person to coach their team as per guidelines of AFC. In 2008-09, in his first year with Mohun Bagan, team won 3 trophies out of 5 and finished runners up in I league where they were title contenders till last round.
Regarding this year’s team, coach said, "We will try our level best to perform well this year also and hope our performance will make the fans happy. I will meet with my team on July 15th at 3 pm in Mohun Bagan ground."
After few days practice in Mohun Bagan ground, team will have a residential camp in Kalimpong from July 30 to August 8.