Igor Stimac, the head coach of the Indian football team, was handed a two-match ban by SAFF for his red card offence on June 30, Friday. The 55-year-old was involved in a heated argument with the match officials on June 27, Tuesday, during India’s 1-1 draw against Kuwait in their final Group A match of the SAFF Championship 2023 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru.
Due to his red card offence, the Croatian was also fined for INR 41,000 (USD 500) by the SAFF Disciplinary Committee. They deemed that it was necessary to suspend him for more than one match.
Earlier, on June 21, when India defeated Pakistan 4-0 in their campaign opener for the SAFF Championship 2023, Igor Stimac, the head coach of the home side had a skirmish with the opposition player, which led to the referee handing out a red card to him. At that point, the matter wasn’t referred to the SAFF Disciplinary Committee because it was deemed as a “less serious” offence. In the subsequent match on June 24 against Nepal, he sat out as the assistant coach Mahesh Gawli helped India win with a comfortable margin of 2-0.
The General Secretary of SAFF, Anwarul Haq was quoted as saying by PTI about the matter on Friday, “He (Igor Stimac) has been handed two-match ban and also fined USD 500.”
“Unlike the first instance (against Pakistan), the matter reached the SAFF Disciplinary Committee as it was a graver offence. He also used abusive language against the math officials while he was going off the field (after being shown a red card),” remarked Anwarul Haq.
On July 1, Saturday, India is scheduled to take on Lebanon in the second semi-final of the SAFF Championship 2023 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru. The assistant coach of India, Mahesh Gawli is expected to take charge of the national team from the sidelines as the head coach Igor Stimac will serve his ban.