Shillong, May 15: The All India Football Federation’s executive committee has appointed Igor Stimac (pictured centre) as the new head coach of the men’s team on a two-year contract, it was revealed today.
The announcement was made on the AIFF website and Stimac also tweeted his excitement at embarking on a new journey.
The journey begins finally 💪🏼🇮🇳 Thanks everyone @IndianFootball for the trust. I am excited & let’s accomplish the mission together 🇮🇳, it is possible only with the support of everyone in this beautiful country #Teamwork both on & off pitch. Namaste🙏🏼🇮🇳 from 🇭🇷 pic.twitter.com/3XKh0YH8Xt
— Igor Štimac (@stimac_igor) May 15, 2019
Stimac has more than 18 years experience in coaching, structuring and development football and footballers in his home country Croatia and abroad.
His major achievement was to guide Croatia to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Stimac’s last assignment was with Al-Shahania Club in Qatar.
The Croatian replaces Stephen Constantine, who was at the helm for nearly five years and who resigned after the AFC Asian Cup.
As a player, he was part the of the Croatia team that finished third in the 1998 World Cup and a member of the squad that qualified for the quarterfinals of the 1996 European Championship.
“Igor is the right candidate to coach the Blue Tigers. I welcome him on board,” AIFF President Praful Patel was quoted on the AIFF website as saying. “Indian football is going through a transition and I am confident his vast experience will guide us to higher echelons.”
Shyam Thapa, a former India international, a member of the bronze-medal winning squad in the 1970 Asian Games and who is currently the chairman of the technical committee stated that “Mr Stimac’s recommendation was unanimous.”
“He is a World Cupper and has guided Croatia to the World Cup as coach. Who else could have been a better candidate?” Thapa said.
Stimac’s first assignment will be the Kings Cup in Thailand where India play Curacao in their first match on 5th June.
(Photo: All India Football Federation)