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Report: Igor Stimac leads race to become next India head coach

Written by: Neelav Chakravarti

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Hakan Ericson, Lee Min-sung and Albert Roca are also being considered for the vacant position.

With the final selection process for Indian national team's head coach slowly upcoming, according to latest reports, Igor Stimac is tipped to don the role. IANS has stated that he leads the race after AIFF reportedly shortlisted four candidates, who will be shortlisted by the technical committee on 9th May 2019.

The Indian FA has reduced the list of 250 candidates to just four, with Stimac being joined by Hakan Ericson, Lee Min-sung and Albert Roca. 

The shortlisted candidates will be interviewed by the technical committee led by Shyam Thapa.

According to IANS' federation sources, Stimac is considered to be primed for the hot seat.

In the IANS report, a source stated, "The Croatian coach has been highly recommended by his national federation. Moreover, his salary demands fit into the federation’s budgetary allocations."

Also, it is being alleged that AIFF is not willing to pay more than $25,000 per month, including income and tax expenses.


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Other than his coaching credentials, Stimac was a famous player too! The defender played for Croatia between 1990 and 2002, and finished third in the 1998 FIFA World Cup. He also was part of Yugoslavia's squad which won the Youth World Cup in 1987. The AIFF is particularly pleased with his work with the Croatian national team, who he led to the 2014 World Cup. Although he was replaced before the competition due to poor results.

According to reports, Stimac's main rival to the post, is former Bengaluru gaffer Albert Roca. The Spaniard has good relationships with some Indian players like Sunil Chhetri.

According to IANS' sources, "Roca would have been a good choice because of his experience in India, but the salary could be a problem. He has asked for more than $30,000 per month, which is beyond the federation’s limit. To add to it, he has never handled a national team before."

India will be participating in the Kings Cup, whose national camp will start on 20th May.

Also, it has been reported that Min-sung and Ericson are below the pecking order due to a lack of experience in working with a senior national team.

Published: Sun May 05, 2019 11:49 AM IST

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