Igor Stimac set to remain India senior men’s team coach till AFC Asian Cup 2023

India men's senior team head coach Igor Stimac on Tuesday signed a contract extension that will see him stay in charge of the team till the end of the AFC Asian Cup 2023.

The decision to extend Stimac’s contract was recommended by the AIFF’s Technical Committee last month

The decision to extend Stimac’s contract was recommended by the AIFF’s Technical Committee last month | Photo Credit: REUTERS

India men's senior team head coach Igor Stimac on Tuesday signed a contract extension that will see him stay in charge of the team till the end of the AFC Asian Cup 2023.

India men's senior team head coach Igor Stimac on Tuesday signed a contract extension that will see him stay in charge of the team till the end of the AFC Asian Cup 2023.

The decision to extend the contract was recommended by the AIFF's Technical Committee last month, and was subsequently ratified by the Executive Committee in their respective meetings in Kolkata last month.

“I am extremely happy that the AIFF has placed the trust in the process that we have put in,” said Stimac. “We have had a very good run in the qualifiers, and we want to make sure that we keep building ourselves up till the Asian Cup and give a good account of ourselves in the continental stage.”

The 55-year-old has successfully guided the team through to its second successive AFC Asian Cup qualification earlier this year, when India topped Group D of the Third Round qualifiers.

“Now that we have ensured qualification, we must make sure that we keep improving and finding our best combination till the Asian Cup,” he said. “Again, it is not an easy process, and there will be plenty of pain on the way, but if we can stick to the proper procedure and not take shortcuts, we can achieve our target of making it to the knockout rounds.”

Stimac became the head coach of the Indian men’s team in 2019. As a coach, Stimac helmed Croatia’s qualification to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. During his tenure as the national coach of Croatia, he handed debuts to the likes of Mateo Kovacic, Ante Rebic, Alen Halilovic, and Ivan Perisic. He also played a pivotal role in developing the likes of Dario Srna, Daniel Subasic, Ivan Strinic, Kovacic, Perisic, and other players.

As a player, he was part the of the Croatia team which finished third at the 1998 World Cup in France. He was also a member of the team which qualified for the quarterfinals of 1996 European Championship in England.

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