AIFF Faces Potential $360,000 Payout if Igor Stimac is Sacked, Unlikely to Happen

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) may have to pay $360,000 in compensation if it decides to terminate Igor Stimac’s contract as head coach of the senior India men’s football team.

Stimac, who is under contract until June 2026, is unlikely to step down despite recent setbacks.

Igor Stimac has expressed his disappointment after India’s contentious 1-2 defeat to Qatar, which dashed their hopes of advancing to the third round of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers. However, Stimac remains encouraged by the team’s performance, particularly in their first match following the retirement of Sunil Chhetri. An anonymous member of the India contingent in Doha quoted Stimac saying he felt heartbroken but was impressed by the team’s resilience and positive attitude.

AIFF Faces Potential $360,000 Payout if Igor Stimac is Sacked, Unlikely to Happen
Indian Football team head coach Igor Stimach. Photo Credit: Hindustan Times

“The confidence and the positive attitude the team displayed have made him feel that he should continue for now,” the official said. During the post-match press conference, Stimac voiced his frustration, stating that the result was unjust and that India “should have scored three in the first half to kill the game definitely. But there is something which is missing in Indian football, and that’s clinical reactions inside the box.”

AIFF’s Future Plans and Financial Constraints

AIFF President Kaylan Chaubey revealed plans to utilize FIFA windows effectively by hosting a three-nation tournament in September, and potentially participating in the Merdeka Tournament in October. The final FIFA window in 2024 is in November.

Stimac had previously mentioned in March that he would resign if India failed to make it to the third round. Currently on holiday like the players, Stimac was unavailable for comment. Despite this, the AIFF’s financial constraints make it difficult to terminate his contract, as it would involve a severance package of nearly $360,000 (approximately ₹3 crore).

Technical Committee’s Role and Recent Controversies

An AIFF official stated that the technical committee’s inputs would be considered, and a mutually agreed termination is not off the table. However, for now, Stimac remains in his position. The coach also highlighted several controversial decisions, including a disallowed goal against Malaysia in the Merdeka Tournament and a dubious penalty awarded to Iraq in the King’s Cup.

AIFF’s Appeal for Justice

After Qatar equalized in the 73rd minute with a contentious goal by Youssef Aymen, AIFF President Chaubey has written to FIFA, the Asian Football Confederation, and the match commissioner regarding what he described as a “grave supervision error.” Chaubey urged these bodies to explore the possibility of sporting compensation to address the perceived injustice.

Also Read: AIFF Demands Investigation Over Controversial Goal in Qatar World Cup 2026 Qualifier

Stimac’s Unlikely to Resign as India Head Coach

Igor Stimac, under contract until June 2026, is unlikely to step down as head coach of the senior India men’s football team. Despite a disappointing defeat to Qatar that ended India’s chances in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers, Stimac expressed satisfaction with the team’s spirit post Sunil Chhetri’s retirement.

Stimac emphasized the team’s positive attitude and his intention to continue coaching, citing the need for improved clinical reactions in Indian football. This commitment comes despite his earlier statement that he would resign if India failed to advance in the qualifiers.

AIFF President Kaylan Chaubey affirmed AIFF’s dedication to hosting tournaments and utilizing FIFA windows effectively. However, the potential severance package of $360,000 (₹3 crore) poses a financial challenge for the federation. Stimac’s future remains uncertain pending the technical committee’s input, with options like a golden handshake being considered.

Stimac highlighted controversial refereeing decisions in recent matches, underlining the need for fair officiating. Chaubey has formally addressed FIFA and AFC regarding perceived injustices, urging sporting compensation to rectify errors.

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