The All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Tuesday (4 October) announced the contract extension of the India football team head coach Igor Stimac till AFC Asian Cup 2023. The decision to extend the contract was recommended by the AIFF's Technical Committee last month and was subsequently ratified by the Executive Committee in their respective meetings in Kolkata last month. There is also a provision in the contract that will automatically renew it if India make to the knockouts of the continental showpiece event.
Stimac signed the contract extension at the Football House in New Delhi. The 55-year-old from Croatia has been in charge of the Blue Tigers since 2019 and has successfully guided the team through to its second successive AFC Asian Cup qualification earlier this year when India topped Group D of the Third-Round qualifiers.
“I am extremely happy that the AIFF has placed the trust in the process that we have put in,” said Stimac. “We have had a very good run in the qualifiers, and we want to make sure that we keep building ourselves up till the Asian Cup and give a good account of ourselves in the continental stage.”
“Now that we have ensured qualification, we must make sure that we keep improving and finding our best combination till the Asian Cup,” he said. “Again, it is not an easy process, and there will be plenty of pain on the way, but if we can stick to the proper procedure and not take shortcuts, we can achieve our target of making it to the knockout rounds.”
The AIFF Secretary General Dr Shaji Prabhakaran said: “The new team in AIFF would like to see a forward momentum for the national team and we are determined to rebuild it with a fresh approach by developing a new plan exclusively for the senior national team.”
The Secretary General informed that the Federation will work closely with the head coach, the support staff and the players and the clubs as well in making sure a positive scenario is created for Indian football through the senior national team.