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Indian Football Team

Every word of Igor Stimac's reply to AIFF after sacking

Published at :June 18, 2024 at 7:59 PM
Modified at :June 18, 2024 at 8:13 PM
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Ashish Negi


Igor Stimac has blamed the AIFF management for several issues surrounding the team.

The All India Football Federation (AIFF), the governing body of football in India, announced the decision to relieve Igor Stimac, the Indian football team’s head coach of his duties. This decision follows India’s poor performance in the second round of the World Cup Qualifiers, resulting in the team failing to progress to the third round.

In response to the AIFF’s decision, Igor Stimac has alleged that the team’s poor performance was partly due to the AIFF’s negligence as well. In an e-mail accessed by Khel Now, Igor Stimac addressed M. Satyanarayan, the acting general secretary of the AIFF, outlining his concerns and defending his tenure.

In his opening remarks, Stimac expressed his discontent, highlighting discrepancies in the AIFF’s communication regarding his termination. The official statement from the AIFF mentioned the termination of his contract without just cause, while the email sent to Stimac on his sacking referred to a unilateral termination. 

The official reply sent by Igor Stimac is as follows:

“I have just seen the article published yesterday on 17 June 2024 on the AIFF official website where it’s clearly stated that the AIFF has terminated my contract also I see that you sent me yesterday on my email the unilateral termination of my contract which termination represents the termination ‘without just cause’ following the Annexe 2 of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players. Publishing something like this before reaching the conversation with me is blatantly unprofessional and unethical.”

“I have even offered you to leave my position if others are ready to take their part of responsibility and do the same. You reluctantly refused to consider that as an option and that’s clearly stating how much you care about Indian football.”

“Now all the news published that “Igor Stimac is being sacked by AIFF“ and what is out all over the world and is damaging my future opportunities for the new job.

“Having in mind that I have spent over 5 years in India working hard and helping the country become recognized in the football world again this was the last thing I expected to happen from your side.

“In your letter that you sent me today on 17 June 2024, you mention my old statement about leaving my position if we don’t qualify but at the same time, you forget that my statement was given in a sincere belief that the AIFF will fulfil the promises given to me at that time. I never asked anything for myself, it was all about improving the care for the team, my staff and support staff.

“By this email, I want to remind you about the following:

  • Instead of improving our travel logistics, it all went from bad to worse. Our President Mr Chaubey didn’t mind publicly announcing that the team will get charter flights to reach Saudi Arabia before the away game vs Afghanistan so our fans still think that we have used charter flights to reach there not knowing that we travelled 3 days there and back to India before the most important games in our history.
  • The Afghanistan team reached India before us and slept all night while our players travelled 30 hours without sleep after the game in Abha City to reach the venue in Guwahati. 
  • We have been left to work without GPS equipment for over 200 days even though we continuously kept reminding you how important this was for our work. India was the only team at the AFC Asian Cup not having GPS equipment. 
  • Agreement between me and AIFF  GS ( at that time Mr Shaji Prabhakaran ) discussed and reached on 2-3-4 October 2023 upon contract extensions for me and my staff were ignored after you decided to remove GS Prabhakaran from his position. 
  • Even after having a meeting with President Mr Chaubey five months later on March 8 2024  in Kolkata when he again promised to me that the agreement would be recognized immediately and that my TM Velu, match analyst Joy and sport psychologist Shayamal would sign their contracts, it took you another 3 months to do so. In the meantime, we have worked without a match analyst for most of the days and without a sports psychologist.

“There were also several acts of contract breach by the AIFF side in the past contractual period:

  • President Mr Chaubey changed my public statement given to AIFF media.
  • President Mr Chaubey together with SAI officials changed my official players list for the Asian Games adding 3 senior players and allowing ISL clubs to decide which players will represent the country at the Asian Games.
  • The way you organized the travel for our team going to China and back was unforgettable.
  • President Mr Chaubey arranged the games for the SNT without consulting me and in that way destroyed our chances of reaching a satisfactory deal with FSDL officials upon the NT calendar from September 2023 to January 2024. 
  • President Mr Chaubey has cancelled my PC which was supposed to happen after the AFC Asian Cup 
  • You know personally very well that I have all the written evidence for this that I mentioned to you. 

“Hereby I am adding my lawyer to take over our communication because I don’t want to speak or hear from AIFF anymore as AIFF has caused me enough health problems with its acts against me in the past 2 years. 

“Your “show cause notice” and “final warning letter “ did stop me for speaking the truth to Indian fans and it did give me 2 stents just prior to the AFC Asian Cup but didn’t stop me giving it all to my team and fighting with my boys for the country.

“Based on the above, I kindly ask you to immediately, but not later in next ten days, organize payment to me for this termination of the contract without just cause in the amount which will represent a residual value of my employment contract that was prematurely terminated from AIFF side, and all that in connection to the article 6 Annexe 2 of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players. 

“Otherwise, I will start proceedings against AIFF in front of the competent FIFA Football Tribunal and sue AIFF. 

“I hope India will find a way out of the mess created not by me or anyone under my leadership in the last few years and will always be in my heart! Nothing personal and wishing you the very best in your future.”

Following Igor Stimac’s strongly-worded reply to the AIFF’s move to terminate his services, the feud between both sides looks set to escalate in the coming months.

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