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Igor Stimac under scrutiny after humiliating defeat to Afghanistan

Indian football coach Igor Stimac faces mounting pressure from AIFF and SAI following the team's defeat against Afghanistan, prompting discussions on his future leadership.

Igor Stimac under scrutiny after humiliating defeat to Afghanistan

Igor Stimac (Source: AIFF)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 29 March 2024 2:27 PM GMT

The head coach of the Indian national men's football team, Igor Stimac, is facing mounting pressure from the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and the Sports Authority of India following the team's recent defeat against Afghanistan. With hopes for the third round of World Cup Qualifiers hanging by a thread, Stimac's leadership is under intense scrutiny.

Stimac, who has been in charge since 2019, received a contract extension last year until June 2026, with an automatic extension clause until 2028 if India qualifies for the third round of the qualifiers. However, the team's current winless streak of six matches and the recent loss to Afghanistan have cast doubts on Stimac's future.

In the pre-match press conference before the Afghanistan game, Stimac stated that he would resign if India fails to qualify for the third round. The AIFF's technical committee, led by IM Vijayan, is reportedly unanimous in their belief that it's time for a change in leadership.

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has also raised concerns over Stimac's coaching methods and the AIFF's long-term vision for Indian football. With Stimac's salary entirely funded by the AIFF, questions have been raised about the effectiveness of the investment, especially given the team's poor performances.

In response to the growing discontent, AIFF President Kalyan Chaubey held a virtual meeting with senior Federation members to discuss the situation. A five-member committee has been formed to engage in discussions with Stimac and seek further clarification on the matter.

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