AIFF responds to Igor Stimac's allegations, says former head coach has 'sole intent of maligning' federation | Football News - Hindustan Times

AIFF responds to Igor Stimac's allegations, says former head coach has 'sole intent of maligning' federation

Jun 24, 2024 07:59 PM IST

AIFF issued a long statement on Igor Stimac's recent remarks following his sacking as India head coach.

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has issued a response to the remarks made by Igor Stimac following his dismissal as head coach of the Indian men’s team earlier this month. The AIFF criticized Stimac's recent media comments, accusing him of attempting to tarnish the federation's reputation and disparage its staff.

India coach Igor Stimac during FIFA World Cup qualifier(REUTERS)
India coach Igor Stimac during FIFA World Cup qualifier(REUTERS)

During a tumultuous interaction with the media on Friday, the former coach levelled multiple accusations against the AIFF and its president, Kalyan Chaubey. The federation has now refuted these claims.

“Mr. Stimac’s communication – apparently made with the sole intent of maligning the AIFF and showing its personnel in poor light – is not befitting of a professional who has served the organisation for over 5 years and was extended the full support of the AIFF during this period,” AIFF said.

Among many claims Stimac made, AIFF denied the former coach's allegation of being denied access to AIFF officials. According to the federation, Stimac had several in-person and virtual meetings with President Kalyan Chaubey throughout his tenure.

In his lengthy online press conference, Stimac said Indian football is "imprisoned" and held Chaubey responsible for the situation. Stimac also said he was "fed up of the lies and unfulfilled promises" during his tenure. "The sooner Kalyan Chaubey leaves AIFF, the better it is for Indian football," Stimac had said.

Stimac was appointed head coach following the departure of his predecessor, Stephen Constantine, in March 2019. However, Stimac's tenure ended after India lost to Qatar in the final second-round match of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers earlier this month.

The AIFF acknowledged Stimac's complaint about the unavailability of GPS equipment but clarified that the equipment was unavailable for only 50 days, not the over 200 days Stimac claimed. The federation labelled Stimac's statement as "obviously misleading" and an attempt to exaggerate the issue.

Regarding Stimac's contract, the AIFF admitted that specific instructions to include termination clauses favorable to the federation were not followed during the contract renewal process.

“The executed contract provides for a salary raise to US$ 30,000 per month from February 2024-January 2025 (as approved by the Core Committee) and US$40,000 per month from February 2024-January 2026 (without Core Committee approval for the said amount). The specific instructions regarding inserting termination clauses favourable to AIFF were also not followed before executing the contract. However, certain clauses for termination for cause were retained in the contract,” wrote the AIFF.

The AIFF also addressed Stimac's selection of support staff. The federation noted that while his requests for particular individuals were approved, it caused unrest among many players.

“Despite all the support, the coach always sought to deflect blame and according to him everything and everyone else was wrong and responsible for any given situation except himself. This sentiment was also shared by various players who had brought their concerns regarding Mr. Stimac’s coaching style and tactics to the attention of the AIFF on multiple occasions,” wrote the AIFF.

Did Stimac lie in AFC National Coaches Conference?

AIFF also wrote in their statement about a specific incident from the 3rd AFC National Coaches Conference, where Stimac allegedly told AFC officials that he had been provided “only four (4) support staff as the coach” of the Indian team. The federation stated it was shocked by the statement, adding that it is “well known that Mr. Stimac always had a contingent of between 13 to 16 support staff for every camp and tournament.”



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