The Executive Committee of the All India Football Federation agreed on Monday to extend the contract of men’s national team coach Igor Stimac till the end of the AFC Asian Cup 2023, when the committee met in Kolkata.
Stimac had, in June, led the national team to the tournament proper of the Asian Cup when the team won Group D in the third round of qualifications that were held in Kolkata. The Committee also recommended that should India make it to the quarterfinals of the Asian Cup, the coach’s contract should be automatically renewed.
This will be Stimac’s third contract extension after he took charge of the national men’s team in May 2019 on a two-year tenure. In 2021, he was given a contract extension of a few months till September of that year. He was then given another tenure extension of one year which was to end this month, reported PTI.
This was the first time the executive committee was meeting after former national team goalkeeper Kalyan Chaubey had been elected as president of the AIFF.
At the start of the meeting, the members were informed that the Fifa President Gianni Infantino may travel to India in the last week of October, to call upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the way forward for Indian football.
On the matter of the National Awards, the Committee recommended that Arun Ghosh, Shabbir Ali and IM Vijayan be nominated for the Padma Shri, Manoranjan Bhattacharya for the Major Dhyan Chand Award, and Jeje Lalpekhlua for the Arjuna Award.
The Technical Committee’s recommendations to use Indian coaches in all age groups, to discontinue the Indian Arrows project and replace it with the Elite Youth League, and to appoint more female coaches for the Women’s National Teams, were also endorsed by the Executive Committee.
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The Executive Committee also decided to expand the scouting network in India.
It was suggested by the Committee that the AIFF write to the South Asian Football Federation requesting to postpone the SAFF U15 Women’s Championship, which is set to take place in November 2022.
The maximum age for the recruitment of the Technical Director, for which an advertisement was put out, has been raised from 50 to 55. It was also decided in the meeting that the AIFF would resume its annual awards ceremony.
Technical Committee Chairman IM Vijayan proposed the committee to look into the feasibility of starting an institutional league, to revive the institutions that have long served Indian football over the years. The proposal was met with positive feedback by the members.
The 34 State FAs have submitted proposals for their respective State Development projects, something that the State Development Committee will look into. Additionally, all State FAs have been asked to propose the name of an eminent footballer from their respective state for appointing them as the brand ambassador of each State FA. The nominations of the proposed eminent footballers as the brand ambassadors will be made by the Technical Committee.
A three-member committee headed by Vice President NA Haris has been formed to look into the various aspects of the National Centre of Excellence in Kolkata and submit a report on the how to take the project forward for the optimum use of the national teams.