Lee Johnson resigns, to join Constantine in India

Lee Johnson has stepped down as the Rwanda Football Association (Ferwafa) technical director as well as U-17 head coach after just 10 months into his two-year contract.
Ferwafa technical director Lee Johnson resigned yesterday after recieving an offer to be India National Football team Assistant coach. (File)
Ferwafa technical director Lee Johnson resigned yesterday after recieving an offer to be India National Football team Assistant coach. (File)

The 34 year old Englishman sent, in his resignation letter to Ferwafa, yesterday, confirmed that he accepted an offer as the assistant coach of the India senior national team as well as head coach of the Indian U-19 national team.

Johnson told Times Sport that, “I know this has probably come as a shock. It was a difficult decision to make but it was the right one for my career.”

The Englishman joins former Amavubi coach Stephen Constantine, who is currently the India head coach having stepped down as Amavubi coach in January after he received a better offer from the All India Football Federation.

Johnson, who was appointed in July, last year, oversaw his first assignment as coach of the U-17 side against the Uganda Kobs in the Caf Africa U-17 championship qualifiers and was tasked to overturn a four-goal deficit that was registered in the first leg in Kampala. With five days to prepare for the fixture, Johnson lost to the visitors 3-2 at the Umuganda stadium in Rubavu eventually getting eliminated 7-2 on aggregate but pleased his employers because of the fluidity and style he introduced to the youngsters in just five days.

With no more coaching responsibilities after Rwanda’s elimination, Johnson concentrated on building a youth football programme consequently creating the U-13, U-15 and U-17 development leagues that commenced in February.

Formerly a youth academy coach with Chelsea and Crystal Palace, Johnson has a passion for developing talent and said the youth development leagues would in the next five to 10 years produce quality players to join the Amavubi side.

Johnson was named Amavubi interim coach after Constantine’s departure and was in charge of the Rwanda U-23 friendly match against Tanzania U-23, a 1-1 draw in Mwanza that saw Rwanda’s only away goal in the past 17 months.

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