The All India Football Federation had set a performance target to the National coach Igor Stimac for a contract extension beyond the 2023 AFC Asian Cup, where the senior national team has qualified under his stewardship. While accepting the recommendation of the technical committee to extend Stimac’s tenure till the Asian Cup tournament, the AIFF executive committee, which met here on Monday, decided to have quarterfinal qualification in the Asian Cup as the minimum benchmark for Stimac to continue in his role after the tournament.
Stimac, who was appointed as the National coach midway in 2019, is receiving the “performance target” after the new executive committee was voted to power on September 2. “The newly elected executive committee, which had its second meeting, felt that like everyone the National coach should also have a target oriented contract extension,” said the AIFF general secretary Shaji Prabhakar while giving out the details of the meeting.
The AIFF executive committee also decided to nominate three former India stalwarts I.M. Vijayan, Arun Ghosh and Shabbir Ali for Padma Shri Award. Manoranajan Bhattacharya, who represented the national team for 11 years, has been nominated for the Dhyan Chand Award, while National team striker Jeje Lalpekhlua has been recommended for the Arjuna Award.
A three-member committee, comprising vice-president N.A. Haris, treasurer Kipa Ajay and member Avijit Paul, was formed to assess the progress of the National Training Centre in Kolkata and present a plan to the executive committee. “This is to ensure that the Training Centre, the construction of which started in 2019, is completed and used optimally for the training of the national teams.
It was also confirmed that the 30-city promotional U-17 women's league will be conducted before the FIFA U-17 women's World Cup from September 25 to October 11.
Among the other important decisions, the AIFF executive committee accepted the recommendation of the technical committee headed by I.M. Vijayan to discontinue the development side Indian Arrows and invest the amount spent on it for the creation of a new elite league for the youth.
“The idea behind this is to have a wider base for youth development and have a better national team at that stage. The structure of the league will be discussed by the appropriate committee and then referred to the technical committee for final decision,” Shaji said.
In all 34 state associations presented a development plan which after discussion will be integrated into the National plan of the new roadmap to be prepared by the AIFF, it was informed. The AIFF development committee has been entrusted with formulation of the new roadmap.
The meeting also decided to have a new scouting programme for the national football teams for both junior and senior talents. The functioning of the scouting program will begin once a technical director, who will be an Indian and aged below 55 years, is recruited.
The AIFF president Kalyan Chaubey informed the house that the FIFA President Gianni Infantino is likely to meet the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his India visit at the time of the U-17 FIFA World Cup next month. There will be a major "path breaking" announcement happening once the meeting takes place.