ANI Photo | AIFF Technical Committee meets Indian men’s football coach Stimac following Asian Cup

The All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) Technical Committee met senior men’s national team head coach Igor Stimac virtually on Saturday to review the performance of the Indian Football Team at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup Qatar 2023 and chart the way forward.
The Technical Committee chairperson, IM Vijayan, kicked off the proceedings in the presence of Acting Secretary General M Satyanarayan and committee members Pinky Bompal Magar, Shabbir Ali, Victor Amalraj, Climax Lawrence, Santosh Singh, Chief Technical Officer Vincent Subramaniam, Technical Director Sabir Pasha, and India head coach Igor Stimac.
Acting Secretary General Satyanarayan said as quoted by an AIFF release, “We have seen the National Team go through highs and lows over the last year, but we can be proud of our players and the effort that they put in every time they take the pitch. However, the area we should concentrate on is the game at the grassroots level, so that our national team becomes stronger in the future.”
India did not reach the knockout stages of the AFC Asian Cup, crashing out in the group stage after losing all its matches to Australia, Uzbekistan and Syria. The tournament was eventually won by Qatar.
Vijayan said, “I welcome all members to this meeting, and I would like to, first of all, say to the head coach that the results in Qatar are now a matter of the past. Our main focus should be on the matches ahead in the March and June FIFA windows and we should get the best possible results from them.”
The India head coach highlighted the importance of the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against Afghanistan (March 21 and 26), followed by the home game against Kuwait (June 6), which could decide whether India heads into Round 3 of the Asian Qualifiers, which would also guarantee direct entry into the AFC Asian Cup 2027.
Stimac said: “The mission to beat Kuwait in the away game and get three points has been accomplished. Now the two games against Afghanistan and the home match against Kuwait will be extremely crucial.”
The Committee was informed by the Acting Secretary General that apart from Hyderabad, three state associations–Maharashtra (WIFA), Odisha (FAO), and West Bengal (IFA)–have expressed interest in hosting the World Cup Qualifier against Kuwait on June 6 and that the Federation is yet to arrive at a final decision on the same.

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