Stimac Sets Resignation Target for India's World Cup Qualification

Stimac Sets Resignation Target for India’s World Cup Qualification

Indian football team head coach Igor Stimac has set a bold target for himself and the team: qualification to the third round of the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. Stimac, who has been at the helm since 2019, has made it clear that failure to achieve this goal will result in his resignation.

“If I don’t take India to the third round, I will leave, with my pride, with my honor on everything that was done here in the five years of work,” Stimac declared. “I will leave my position to someone else.”

India’s path to the third round is fraught with challenges. They currently stand second in their group with four points from three games, one ahead of Kuwait. The Blue Tigers have never reached the third round of the Qualifiers before.

Stimac is not deterred by the odds. He believes that the team has the potential to achieve its goal, but it will require hard work and dedication. He has called for longer preparatory camps for the national squad ahead of big tournaments, citing the positive results achieved during previous extended training periods.

“In my four years, there were three long camps that we had,” Stimac said. “One was five years ago right here prior to games against Oman and Qatar, you remember how well the team played that time. Second was for the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers in Kolkata, the team was flying — 3 games, 3 wins, 8-1 goal difference. Third long camp was last year prior to the tournaments that we played brilliantly, could see the intensity and everyone knew what they had to do.”

Stimac also expressed concerns about the lack of Indian strikers in the Indian Super League (ISL), with most of the positions being occupied by foreign players. He believes that this is hurting the national team’s scoring ability.

“Scoring problem has been haunting us for five years, even before I came here,” Stimac said. “I have mentioned that foreign players are occupying scoring positions and that is hurting us.”

Despite the challenges, Stimac remains optimistic about the future of Indian football. He believes that the team has the potential to achieve great things, and he is determined to lead them to success.