Igor Stimac’s contract extension: Pros and Cons
The new contract will see Igor Stimac stay at the helm till 2026.
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) on October 5 announced the renewal of Igor Stimac’s contract as the head coach of the national team. This renewal comes with a unique clause which states Stimac’s contract will be extended for another two years if India manage to qualify for the third round of the World Cup Qualifiers.
This decision has certainly been welcomed by fans and sections of the media. However, it is crucial to analyze the pros and cons of this contract extension to understand its potential impact on the Indian football team.
Continuity of the project
One of the most significant advantages of extending Igor Stimac’s contract is the continuity it brings to the development of Indian football. The sport requires long-term planning and consistent efforts to improve. Stimac has been actively involved in a project aimed at nurturing young talents and improving the overall performance of the national team. The contract extension ensures that this project doesn’t face abrupt disruptions, allowing the coach and the team to build on the foundations they’ve laid.
Igor Stimac has been known for his strict discipline and professionalism. Under his leadership, the Indian national team has shown improved discipline both on and off the field. This discipline is vital for the growth of football in India as it instills good habits and values in the players. The extension of his contract will likely ensure that these standards of discipline are upheld, which bodes well for the future of Indian football.
Strengthening of Different Aspects of the Game
Stimac has been actively working on strengthening various aspects of the Indian football team’s gameplay. From improving the defense to enhancing possession and passing skills, his efforts have been commendable. The extension of his contract provides an opportunity to continue this work, refining and evolving the team’s playing style, which could lead to more competitive performances on the international stage.
Bold interviews in the media
Igor Stimac has not shied away from giving bold interviews and highlighting issues within Indian football. While this transparency is appreciated by some, it has also landed him in trouble with the AIFF. The federation had issued a show cause notice to him for his candid remarks. In future, similar events could create friction between the coach and the governing body. Such conflicts can be detrimental to the team’s stability and progress.
Negligence of calling up players from I-League
The I-League has been an important platform for nurturing young Indian talents. Critics argue that Igor Stimac has been negligent in calling up players from the I-League, favoring those who play in the Indian Super League (ISL) instead.
While the ISL has gained prominence in recent years, the national team should not overshadow the potential talent in the I-League. Neglecting players from the I-League has limited the pool of talent available to the national team, especially in the forward department as the ISL clubs favour foreign strikers for that role .