This article was originally published in NDTV.com
National men's team coach Igor Stimac's contract has been extended till September 2022 keeping in mind the Asian Cup qualifiers, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) said on Monday. This was proposed by the AIFF's technical committee, headed by former India international Shyam Thapa. "The committee deliberated at length, and reached a consensus that in view of the external factors which has had a huge impact on the footballing world in general, and with the national team all set to begin their campaign in their quest to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup China 2023, head coach Igor Stimac be given an extension of his contract till September 2022," the AIFF said in a statement.
The AFC Asian Cup qualifiers are scheduled to be played from February to September next year.
One of the most high-profile coaches to manage the Indian men's national football team, Stimac was appointed to the top post in May 2019 for a two-year term, and has had mixed results since.
The previous contract of Stimac, who had coached Croatia to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, was valid till September after getting an extension in May 15.
While the team may not have won many games under the former West Ham United defender, Stimac has given opportunities to many promising youngsters in the team with the freedom to express themselves on the field.
The Croatian was in charge of the team's 2022 World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers where they were drawn in Group E.
While they could not advance to the next round of World Cup qualifiers, India finished third in the group with seven points to make the third round of the Asian Cup qualifiers.
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Thapa, chairman of the technical committee, asked Stimac to "come up with a detailed long-term plan to take Indian football forward together".
AIFF general secretary Kushal Das and the federation's interim technical director Savio Medeira were also present in the meeting.Comments