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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 24 April 2024

Can't expect national team to do well in Asian Cup: Igor Stimac

Igor Stimac says national team’s performance in Asian Cup in Doha, where it suffered three losses, was 'disappointing but not unexpected'

PTI New Delhi Published 05.02.24, 06:43 AM
Igor Stimac.

Igor Stimac. File picture

India football head coach Igor Stimac feels the national team cannot be expected to shine in tournaments like the Asian Cup until the best clubs of the country keep losing to sides from Bangladesh and Maldives.

In his report submitted to the All India Football Federation (AIFF), Stimac said the national team's performance in the Asian Cup in Doha, where it suffered three losses, was "disappointing but not unexpected".

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"I'm truly a realistic person... And for now we should be happy and satisfied when continuously participating at the AFC Asian Cup. The reason for saying that is very simple and logical," Stimac wrote in his report.

"...how to expect our NT (national team) to do well while our best ISL teams are losing heavily in AFC Champion League and suffering defeats in AFC Cup club competitions against teams from Bangladesh and Maldives?"

Stimac was spot on in his comments as Indian clubs rarely make it to the knock-out rounds of the continental level tournaments.

Stimac was also critical of the AIFF administration for not providing the available tools to strengthen the national team as other countries do.

"Apart from Australia, South Korea and Japan, all other participating teams had average time of 27 days for preparation. We had only 13 days," Stimac rued.

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