AIFF gives strong reply to Stimac’s allegations

New Delhi, June 24 (IANS): The ongoing battle between the former India head coach and the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has a new development as the AIFF has officially responded to Igor Stimac’s comments via a statement posted on their website.

“While we do not believe it is appropriate to enter into a debate or indulge in a series of responses and counter-allegations with Mr. Stimac. However, it is important that there is an accurate public record of certain matters raised in Stimac’s communication. We, therefore, take this opportunity to clarify these here,” read the statement.

Stimac had accused the AIFF of negligence, not providing support and even went as far as calling Indian football ‘imprisoned,’ during his final address to the media which has been responded to by the governing body.

Stimac, who had been previously accused of using an Astrologer’s advise had denied the fact but the statement by the AIFF suggests otherwise.

“The AIFF also chose to ignore various misdeeds and negative statements of the coach over time, of which there are too many to traverse, only to ensure that India’s preparation for FIFA World Cup qualifiers were not hampered. The new AIFF leadership was shocked to note his dependence on an astrologer to determine player’s call ups, and team selections and took immediate necessary action to end the same.”

“His selection of support staff had also gone unquestioned and was the subject of disquiet among many players. Despite all the support, the coach always sought to deflect blame and according to him everything and everyone else was wrong and responsible for any given situation except himself. This sentiment was also shared by various players who had brought their concerns regarding Mr. Stimac’s coaching style and tactics to the attention of the AIFF on multiple occasions,” added the statement.

The final nail in Stimac’s coffin as the head coach of the national team was the loss against Qatar in the final game of the second round of the FIFA WC Qualifiers as the side missed the golden opportunity of progressing to the third round for the first time in the country’s history.

“The AIFF took the decision to terminate Igor Stimac’s contract for just cause, and in the interest of the nation and will continue to act to safeguard our football, players and the stakeholders. Change is difficult for all concerned and every transition is challenging for a system. The AIFF looks forward to turning the page and beginning a new chapter for Indian football along with its stakeholders and all the lovers of Indian football,” concluded the statement.


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