Abu Dhabi: The All India Football Federation has refuted speculation they will part ways with national team coach Stephen Constantine after the Asian Cup tournament in the UAE.

Constantine has constantly been linked with rifts with players and fans as the Blue Tigers’ form has suffered of late.

Reports have emerged that the AIFF have no plans of handing Constantine an extension when his term runs out in March.

Constantine took charge in 2015, instigating an impressive upturn in performances. However, as results dipped, so did the coach’s relationship with his players, with a number of them reportedly requesting the manager be sacked last year.

Now, Kushal Das, General Secretary, AIFF has hit back at the rumours ahead of their Asian Cup kick-off against Thailand on Sunday in Abu Dhabi.

“It’s completely baseless and utter rubbish,” he said. “We’re completely focused on AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 and the team has been performing excellently under Stephen Constantine having risen to 97 from 173 in the Fifa ranking within less than four years. It is sad that media is indulging in baseless and silly speculation before such an important tournament of the national team.

“We all are focused on the massive tournament right now and we’ll only sit together to discuss this once his contract ends.”

The Asian Cup kicks off on Saturday, with India’s group rivals and tournament hosts the UAE taking on Bahrain.