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'It's easy to complain': NEUFC coach Juan Benali hits back at Igor Stimac

Juan Benali, head coach of NorthEast United FC, gave a strong reply to Igor Stimac for his comment on the lack of quality in ISL clubs.

Its easy to complain: NEUFC coach Juan Benali hits back at Igor Stimac

Juan Benali


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 11 Feb 2024 5:23 AM GMT

Following the exit of the Indian men's football team from the Asian Cup 2023, a lot has been said by different stakeholders about the state of Indian football.

NorthEast United FC head coach Juan Benali didn't mince his words while replying to recent comments of the National team coach Igor Stimac.

In a media statement last week, Igor Stimac questioned the quality of the Indian clubs playing in the Indian Super League and the need for a better youth system in the league.

Reacting to Stimac's comments on Saturday in the pre-match press conference, Benali said," I don’t criticize what they do in the national team. Don’t criticize what we’re doing in the teams. Come, sit with us, and see what we’re doing. It’s easy to complain from far away."

"Many players deserve to be in national teams, from Northeast United, from other teams," he added further.

Igor Stimac also complained about the lack of a youth system and said, "How we expect our NT (national team) to do well while our best ISL teams are losing heavily in AFC Champion League and suffering defeats in AFC Cup club competitions against teams from Bangladesh and Maldives?"

Talking about the youth setup comment, Benali said," I heard the national team coach complaining that India didn’t win Under-19, Under-17. How will they win in the first team? Well, it’s very easy. Come to see the games. Go to see the Under-19s. Make competition for the reserve teams and then complain. Take the young players to the national team."

"Not only the same players for the last four years and you complain. And you complain about the job we’re doing in the teams. We’re also coaches, okay?" he added further.

India recorded a poor campaign at the Asian Cup 2023 with three group stage losses against Australia, Uzbekistan, and Syria and failed to score any goal in the process.

Indian men's national team will face Afghanistan in their next international assignment in the World Cup qualifiers.

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