AIFF Hits Back at Stimac – Denies Claims of Restricted Access and Autonomy

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The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has issued a response to the recent remarks made by Igor Stimac, following his dismissal from the position of head coach for the Indian men’s football team on Monday. In their statement, AIFF has accused Stimac of attempting to malign the federation and its personnel through his comments to the media.

Stimac, the former head coach, conducted a contentious press conference on Friday, where he leveled several accusations against AIFF. Among his claims were allegations of limited access to AIFF officials and issues related to his interactions with the federation.

AIFF, however, has categorically denied these accusations. The federation stated that Stimac had several in-person and virtual meetings with AIFF president Kalyan Chaubey during his tenure. The governing body of Indian football emphasized that Stimac’s claims of being denied access to AIFF officials were unfounded.

Igor Stimac

The AIFF’s statement also addressed Stimac’s comments regarding the unavailability of GPS equipment. While Stimac claimed that the equipment was unavailable for over 200 days, AIFF countered this by stating that the equipment was only unavailable for 50 days. The federation described Stimac’s claims as “obviously misleading and an attempt to exaggerate the matter for effect.”

The statement also delved into the specifics of Stimac’s contract situation. AIFF admitted that certain instructions regarding the inclusion of termination clauses favorable to the federation were not followed before the contract renewal was executed. This lapse, however, was not elaborated upon in detail.

AIFF also responded to Stimac’s selection of support staff, asserting that his demands for particular personnel were met without question. However, the federation noted that this caused unrest among many players. Despite receiving the support he requested, AIFF claimed that Stimac often deflected blame onto others, refusing to take responsibility for any adverse situations.

The federation highlighted that various players had approached AIFF with concerns about Stimac’s coaching style and tactics on multiple occasions. This, they argued, further demonstrated the coach’s inability to accept criticism and his tendency to attribute fault to others.

AIFF extends the contract of Igor Stimac till 2027

AIFF also questioned Stimac’s conduct and attitude towards the federation during his tenure. Citing an incident from May 2024 at the 3rd AFC National Coaches Conference in Malaysia, AIFF accused Stimac of falsely representing the number of his support staff to AFC officials. The federation claimed that Stimac “intentionally misrepresented facts, to gain sympathy from other nation’s coaches and the AFC at the reputational cost of India, the AIFF and Indian football.”

In response to Stimac’s comments about Indian football being “imprisoned,” AIFF stated that these remarks were an attempt to shirk his own responsibilities. “It is ironic that someone who was the prime person controlling the fortunes of the national team considers that Indian football is imprisoned and has not grown. It is fashionable to blame the entire system on the way out, especially when you do not wish to take any personal responsibility,” the statement read.

AIFF also expressed surprise at Stimac’s public revelation that he underwent heart surgery during his tenure. The federation refuted Stimac’s implication that AIFF was responsible for his heart ailment. They argued that this issue was raised to divert attention from the serious matter of Stimac’s medical fitness to coach.

Regarding the timing of Stimac’s dismissal, AIFF stated that the decision was made in the national interest to ensure the continued progress of football in the country. The federation claimed that they offered Stimac a chance to part ways on mutual terms and even extended a three-month severance fee, which he refused. “He was offered the opportunity to part ways on mutual terms. He refused the offer, making unreasonable and unprofessional demands in response. The AIFF was, thus, left with no option than to terminate Mr. Stimac’s contract for just cause and in compliance with the terms of the contract, offering him a 3 months’ severance fee,” the statement added.

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The AIFF acknowledged the difficulties associated with change and transition but expressed optimism about the future. “Change is difficult for all concerned and every transition is challenging for a system. The AIFF looks forward to turning the page and beginning a new chapter for Indian football along with its stakeholders and all the lovers of Indian football,” the statement concluded.

This comprehensive response from AIFF highlights their position on Stimac’s accusations and sheds light on the circumstances leading to his termination, aiming to clarify their actions and set the record straight regarding the former coach’s tenure.


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Ishayu Gupta
Ishayu Gupta
Mohun Bagan, Madrid and more!

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