After being despatched off throughout the India-Pakistan SAFF Championship soccer match for impeding a throw-in, head coach Igor Stimac was an unrepentant man.
“You may hate or love me for my actions, however I’m a warrior and I’ll do it once more when wanted to guard our boys,” he proudly declared on Twitter.
On Tuesday towards Kuwait, the Croat actually walked the discuss, getting despatched off once more for 2 yellow playing cards — one for thwarting one other throw-in and the second for relentlessly haranguing the fourth official.
Banished to the stands, Stimac sat with the followers, and at one level even stood along with his arms unfold out extensive like Christ the Redeemer. However the feeling was unmistakable that Stimac ought to have been that image of peace on the pitch.
After the 55-year-old obtained his marching orders, the match descended right into a fracas earlier than an personal purpose from Anwar Ali denied India a well-known win. Sunil Chhetri’s lament summed it up effectively. “The sensation that involves my thoughts is that of a loss,” the skipper mentioned.
It stays to be seen whether or not the All India Soccer Affiliation (AIFF) can have a phrase with Stimac. Shaji Prabhakaran, the AIFF Secretary Normal, refused to remark and informed The Hindu that the matter could be “dealt internally.”
There’s a likelihood that the SAFF disciplinary committee — which is anticipated to determine in a day or two — might transcend the standard one-match ban, for the pinnacle coach is now a repeat offender, and that too in back-to-back matches.
However India’s assistant coach Mahesh Gawli, often mild-mannered, thundered within the post-match briefing that Stimac did nothing flawed. “It was very unhealthy refereeing,” mentioned Gawli, who will take cost towards Lebanon in Saturday’s semifinal.
“For those who proceed utilizing such referees, requirements will drop. A Kuwaiti participant was saying unhealthy phrases [to Stimac], however solely our coach received the purple,” Gawli added.
Former India striker and Chennaiyin FC assistant coach Raman Vijayan empathised with Stimac and sought to give attention to the positives for India.
“Sure, we ought to be controlling our feelings, however these items occur,” he mentioned. “The most effective coaches on the earth lose their mood. Even the Rahim Ali [red-card] incident… when Sahal [Abdul Samad] was pushed, as a co-player you may’t be quiet. If we had gained the sport, we wouldn’t be speaking about this.
“It was actually pleasing to see India compete like an equal facet. We’re not parking the bus like earlier. We’re open and able to problem.
“[Not having Stimac for the next match] will have an effect on the staff. However these gamers have been enjoying often collectively. It shouldn’t be that huge a problem,” Vijayan added.