Igor Stimac made an outstanding recommendation for the national team: President of AIFF Kalyan Chaubey

According to the AIFF president, the head coach of India hopes for a large attendance for the pivotal World Cup qualifier against Kuwait in June, which will take place in Kolkata.
All things considered, including not having enough time to train, not having GPS vests, having injured important players, and being in the most difficult Asian Cup group, India’s fall to 117 in the FIFA rankings—their lowest position in seven years—was unfortunate but not unexpected.

Igor Stimac made an outstanding recommendation for the national team

India finished bottom of their group in the Asian Cup, which concluded last week with hosts Qatar maintaining the title and restoring their prestige following a terrible World Cup, after losing 0–2 to Australia, 0–3 to Uzbekistan, and 0–1 to Syria. Qatar moved up 21 spots and entered the top 50 worldwide rankings as a result of the accomplishment. Unexpected runners-up In the first rankings list of the year, which was announced on Thursday, Jordan rose 17 places to rank 70th in the world, ahead of Northern Ireland, Bulgaria, and Iceland.

India’s decline was sharp, much like that of China (down to 88 from 79) and Vietnam (105 from 94), quarterfinalists in the previous two editions who were eliminated in the first round in Doha last month. To put things in perspective, think of this: India did not qualify for the 2015 finals and placed last in their group in 2019.
Head coach Igor Stimac was informed by IM Vijayan, the chair of the All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) technical committee, that the outcomes in Qatar are now history. The matches in the March and June FIFA windows should be our primary emphasis. However, people’s attention has been drawn to the World Cup qualifiers.

India will go to the third round of the qualifications for the first time if they place in the top two of the group that also includes Kuwait and Afghanistan. Having defeated Kuwait 1-0 on the road, India has a strong chance of accomplishing so. Qualification for the Asian Cup finals in 2027 is also guaranteed with a third round spot.

Indian National Team

According to the minutes of the meeting, on February 10, Stimac told the technical committee, “Our game against Kuwait is the most important, whatever happens in March window (sic).” On March 21, India plays Afghanistan away, likely in Saudi Arabia, then on March 26, they host them in Guwahati. June 6th at home versus Kuwait and June 11th away versus Qatar are the upcoming games.

During the meeting, Stimac stated that he “will kindly request you as TC members to influence everyone” to get Kuwait’s home game played “at a venue where a big crowd can push us to victory.”

Kalyan Chaubey, the president of the AIFF, announced on Friday that Hyderabad, a Maharashtra center, and Kolkata have shown interest in hosting the match against Kuwait. “The head coach’s recommendation is final when it comes to the national team. Chaubey stated over the phone from Jabalpur that the various AIFF divisions tasked with making the decision will do so by consulting with all relevant parties.

Salt Lake Stadium has the largest capacity of any facility, holding close to 67,000 people. The Indian Football Association (IFA), which oversees football in Bengal, has world-class facilities, according to general secretary Anirban Dutta. “We also hosted the men’s FIFA under-17 World Cup.” “And Bengali football is a religion, so India can count on the support of the 12th player.”

India’s last match in Kolkata went back to the June 2022 Asian Cup qualifiers. In group D, there were over 40,000 spectators for each of the three matches, which saw India defeat Hong Kong 4-0. There were 61,486 spectators for India’s 2019 match vs Bangladesh. A former international who had a successful career here and member of the technical committee remarked that the audience in Kolkata can make a difference.

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