According to the recent reports in various sports outlets, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) have extended Igor Stimac’s contract by a year. The football federation of India has decided to allow the manager to build the team for a year more. Under Igor Stimac, the Indian football team has produced some great youngsters. This was glaring during the FIFA World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 Joint qualifiers. Players like Chingalsena, Apuia and Brandon Fernandes enjoyed a great time on the field.
The Croatian manager had the contract till 30th September 2021. Though All India Football Federation were looking for new managers, they also were working on extending the contract of the 53-year-old as well. The team will play the upcoming AFC Asian Cup qualifying third-round under Igor Stimac.
How has Igor Stimac fared with Indian National Team?
The Croatian international took two years to break from the football management circuit after he resigned from the Qatari outfit, Al Shahania SC. The All India Football Federation (AIFF) appointed the manager on May 15th, 2019 for a period of two years. He was handed a two-year contract after Stephen Constantine left the national team after the AFC Asian Cup disappointment.
Under Igor Stimac, the national team has played only 15 games in two years. The pandemic, COVID-19, has not helped him as well. Under Stimac, the Indian national team has won only two games and has endured seven losses. They have drawn six games including the King’s Cup fixtures.
The major point of the Croatian gaffer’s tenure has been his use of the players. In 15 games, the manager has used 47 players handling debut to the likes of Suresh Wangjum, Apuia and Chingalsena. Under Stimac, the Indian team has approached the game with both an attacking as well as a defensive approach. The biggest achievement of Stimac is the draw against Qatar in FIFA World Cup Qualifying rounds. The team put up a resilient performance during the game in Qatar.
The time ahead is crucial for both India and Igor Stimac. Can he sail and take the team forward?