AIFF holds virtual meeting with Igor Stimac following poor performance FIFA World Cup Qualifiers 2026


New Delhi: The committee constituted by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) President Kalyan Chaubey held a virtual discussion with Senior National Team head coach Igor Stimac after the team’s performance following a loss to Afghanistan was questioned.

Present in the meeting were Menla Ethenpa, Member, Executive Committee and Chairperson, Finance Committee, Anilkumar Prabhakaran, Member, Executive Committee and Chairperson, Competitions Committee, M Satyanarayan, Acting Secretary General, AIFF, and Coach Stimac.

During the meeting, while commenting on his recent remarks in a press conference where he had said that he would resign if India failed to qualify for Round 3 of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers 2026, Stimac said his remarks were made in response to a question in the said press conference.

“A year ago, I said that we would try and qualify for Round 3 and currently we are second in the group and two teams qualify. We will discuss this issue further after the match against Kuwait on June 6, 2024,” Stimac told the committee as per the AIFF press release.

“The game against Kuwait on June 6 will be one of the biggest days in Indian football, as a win will immensely brighten our chances to qualify for Round 3 for the first time. The staff and the players are all aware of this historic moment that awaits us, and we will do everything in our capacity to win,” the coach added. “Fruitful discussions were had with the AIFF committee members. I appreciate everyone’s concern and hope we will join together to create history in June,” said the head coach.

Anil Kumar and Ethenpa told the coach to just focus on the games ahead and plan his preparation accordingly.
IM Vijayan, who is a member of the Executive Committee and the chairman of the Technical Committee, said, “I am happy that we had a good discussion with the head coach. In the World Cup qualifiers, we have two matches in hand with a chance to make Round 3 for the first time in history. It is time we focussed on the next two matches and stayed solidly behind the National Team so that they could do their best.”

The Acting Secretary General M Satyanarayan, promised all necessary support to the coach, his support staff and the team to prepare for the final two games in Round 2 in the best possible way.

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