Kolkata: With Armando Colaco refusing the one-year contract offered to him, Karim Bencherifa has now emerged as the frontrunner for the national coach's job, All India Football Federation senior vice-president Subrata Dutta said.

Bencherifa guided Salgaocar to their maiden I-League title last season and was named Best Coach by the Football Players Association of India in its awards show on Monday night.

"Colaco has refused the one-year contract and Bencherifa certainly has emerged a frontrunner. The emergency committee of AIFF will meet next month to decide on the next coach," Dutta said at the show.

Into his fifth season as a club coach in India, the Moroccan was also the coach of the year in 2007 and 2008, and had worked in Singapore and Malaysia before joining Churchill Brothers and Mohun Bagan.

As Churchill Brothers' coach, the Moroccan missed out on the I-League title in 2007-08 on goal difference to Dempo, did the same at Mohun Bagan, before finally lifting the trophy with Salgaocar.


(Agencies)