Power hungry men with only private interests, Igor Stimac fires salvo at AIFF

Ousted India football coach Igor Stimac on Friday launched a stinging attack on AIFF (All-India Football Federation) president Kalyan Chaubey, saying the sooner he leaves the post, the better it would be for the future of football in the country, where the globally-loved sport is not growing at all.

It came as no surprise that Stimac’s first direct interaction with the Indian media after his sacking on 17 June would be full of fireworks. The Croatian World Cupper has already made it known in a letter to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) that he will settle for nothing less than a compensation for the two-year period of his contract until 2026.

Speaking at the online press conference from Croatia, Stimac pulled no punches, calling India’s football administrators ‘power-hungry’. Stimac was sacked as head coach following the team’s failure to reach the third round of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. A day later, the Croat threatened to file a lawsuit against the AIFF at the FIFA tribunal if his outstanding dues were not cleared in 10 days.

‘’I came with an open heart to Indian football, but your football is imprisoned. It will take a couple of decades for things to improve, which I don’t see happening,’’ Stimac said during the no-holds-barred virtual media session, which stretched over one-and-a-half hours.

‘’Not surprised about parting ways. Most of my senior players knew I had decided to leave even if we had qualified for the third round (of the World Cup qualifiers). It was impossible for me to go on without proper support, full of lies and people who had only private interests,’’ Stimac added, calling his sacking “unilateral and unprofessional”.

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