WC Qualifiers: Igor Stimac Says He Will Resign If India Fail To Reach Third Round


Head coach Igor Stimac on Monday said he will resign from his post if the Indian football team fails to reach the third round of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Stimac has prioritized qualification to the third round and secured direct entry into the 2027 AFC Asian Cup. Stimac told reporters, “If I don't take India to the third round, I will leave here with my pride, with respect for what I have done in my five years of work here. I will leave my post to someone else.” I will leave it for you.” The eve of India's home leg match against Afghanistan in Guwahati.

India can still progress to the third round but the task has become much tougher after last week's stalemate in the away leg against Afghanistan, which saw them gain just one point.

The Blue Tigers are currently second in the group with four points from three matches, one point ahead of Kuwait, who have three points from the same number of matches. India have never reached the third part of the qualifiers.

Stimac, who has been at the helm since 2019, received a contract extension last year that will keep him in charge until June 2026.

He said he was not surprised by Afghanistan's good performance against India as many of their players play in Europe.

wants long preparation camp

Stimac also called for longer preparation camps for the national team before major tournaments.

He said that whenever a long preparation camp was organised, the results were good.

“In my four years we had three long camps. One was right here five years ago before the games against Oman and Qatar, you remember how well the team played at that time.

“The second was for the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers in Kolkata, the team was flying – 3 games, 3 wins, 8-1 goal difference. The third long camp was before the tournament last year in which we performed brilliantly, the intensity could be seen And everyone knew what they had to do.”

Not enough Indian strikers

Expressing concern over the lack of new strikers in the ISL, he said that most of the players holding this position in the Indian Super League are from abroad.

“The scoring problem has been troubling us for five years, even before I came here the scoring problem was troubling us. I have mentioned that foreign players are occupying the scoring positions and that is helping us Loss is being incurred.

“It is not easy for them because apart from Sunil most of them are not playing their positions at the club this season.” Stimac also said that some important lessons were learned from the disappointing campaign in the AFC Asian Cup, where India lost all three matches.

“We need to make less silly mistakes. In the game against Uzbekistan, we controlled the match well, but the mistakes we made led to them scoring. We need to learn to punish the opposition for their mistakes , we have to learn this.” ,

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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