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Senior players' influence under Stimac leads to Indian Football team's decline

Senior players' influence under Igor Stimac contributes to the Indian football team's recent poor performance and internal discord, prompting concerns about team unity and hindering opportunities for emerging talents.

Senior players influence under Stimac leads to Indian Football teams decline

Igor Stimac (Source: AIFF)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 28 March 2024 10:05 AM GMT

The Indian football team's recent poor performance is being attributed to the significant influence wielded by senior players under coach Igor Stimac as per a report from News 9. Despite Stimac's assurances of securing FIFA World Cup third-round qualification, the team's recent track record tells a different story.

Recent setbacks, including a lackluster showing in the AFC Asian Cup and unexpected losses to teams like Afghanistan, have left the squad struggling to find its footing. This issue of player power isn't new, as complaints in this regard even contributed to the departure of former coach Stephen Constantine.

Stimac's approach seems to align more with influential players rather than challenging their authority, exacerbating the problem further. Sources within the national team have confirmed the dominance of a select few players over technical and tactical decisions, creating a stifling environment for junior players who risk being sidelined if they oppose the established hierarchy.

The fear of repercussions has led to a culture of silence among players, perpetuating the issue. Stimac's dismissive response to player discontent has only added to the frustration within the squad. This discontent not only affects team unity but also highlights a growing divide between senior and junior players.

Moreover, the influence of senior players extends beyond the national team, impacting transfer moves and club affiliations. This hampers the progress of emerging talents who face obstacles in securing opportunities and are discouraged from pursuing certain career moves.

Observers have noted a lack of technical and tactical training under Stimac's leadership, further compounding the team's issues. While the All India Football Federation (AIFF) is open to investigating these matters further, it seems clear that addressing the influence of senior players is crucial for restoring the team's performance and unity.

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