Credit: Twitter

Credit: Twitter

The Sporting world was in shock after claims regarding the Indian Football Association using an astrologer to select last year’s Asian Cup qualifiers. Reports say around 100 messages between national coach Igor Stimac and the astrologer Bhupesh Sharma from the Delhi NCR area were found in May-June 2022. 

Also Read:  Paul Pogba provisionally suspended by NADO Italia for anti-doping offence

These claims also state how AIFF (All India Football Federation) secretary-general Kushal Das introduced Sharma and Stimac in May 2022. The Stimac shared the Indian Playing XI against Afghanistan and Sharma gave his thoughts on the team. The process continued in the May-June 2022 period when the Blue Tigers played four games and earned Bhupesh Sharma a reported sum between INR 12-15 lakh.

The development was reported by Indian Express, who quoted Kushal Das stating, “I met him at a meeting. He (Sharma) had worked for a lot of telecom companies and Bollywood personalities. What they presented was that astrological timings and the current phase of players can help motivate people into taking the right decisions,” 

He added, “That time, I was worried if India would qualify for the Asian Cup and so was Igor, let me be very honest. It was not a comfortable situation. For me, the most important thing was that India should qualify. So I told him (Sharma) that I will put you in touch with the coach and if he likes it, he thinks your services can be utilised, he can get back to me. Igor was very convinced and they were in Kolkata throughout.”

Also Read: Sunil Chhetri and wife Sonam Bhattacharya welcome newborn baby boy

Addressing these claims, Igor Stimac spoke about how he was asked to share the team with Bhupesh Sharma and check out his suggestions. The former Croatian national team coach said, "Bhupesh was recommended to me and I was convinced (by others) that I have to check upon his possible effects in sports…No more than that. I requested another foreign assistant coach which was never even considered and was shocked to find out the size of Bhupesh’s contract.”