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AIFF sack head coach Igor Stimac

The decision comes following India's failure to progress to the third round of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Last Updated : 17 June 2024, 14:36 IST

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Bengaluru: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) issued a statement on Monday that a 'notice of termination' has been issued to Indian men's national football team head coach Igor Stimac and that the Croatian is "relieved of his obligations with immediate effect."

The decision comes following India's failure to progress to the third round of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

In a group comprising Qatar, Kuwait and Afghanistan, India finished in third place with five points.

While Stimac had promised to step down if India failed to reach the third round, he was unwilling to do so without a compensation, prompting the AIFF to act accordingly. 

Stimac, who has been at the helm since 2019 and was contracted till June 2026, oversaw a positive 2023 in which he led the team to the SAFF Championship, Tri-Nation series and the Intercontinental Cup titles. 

But this year, the team has failed to live up to the promise and fell flat in the AFC Asian Cup in Qatar and World Cup qualifiers, as goal-scoring proved to be an arduous task.

Stimac coached the Blue Tigers for 53 matches, notching up 19 wins, 14 draws and 20 losses. 

While the 56-year-old is yet to react to the news, the public sentiment regarding Stimac had soured considerably off late, and the defeat to Qatar in the final World Cup qualifier, which saw India slip to 125 in the FIFA rankings, proved to be the last straw. 

"Naming a replacement will take some time. There is no tournament coming soon, we will need to advertise and people will have to apply, so it is a process with the Executive Committee involved," an AIFF spokesperson said. 

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Published 17 June 2024, 14:36 IST

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