Tue. May 21st, 2024

The lack of preparation time for the Indian football team ahead of the Asian Games 2023 has once again come under criticism from coach Igor Stimac. After being defeated by Saudi Arabia in the Round of 16 stage, Stimac believes that the result could have been even worse. The team faced doubts over their participation in the Asian Games and had to deal with conflicts with clubs regarding the availability of certain players. Consequently, the team selection process took a significant amount of time, and the chosen players were unable to practice together before traveling to China.

Stimac expressed his frustration, saying, “The big lesson from this tournament is – don’t send us anywhere if we can’t have our best players representing the country. Also, do not send us anywhere if you cannot provide us with ample time to work and prepare well. We were exposed here while representing India. We took it well, and Indian fans can be proud of these boys who came here unprepared and without having played a single training session together,” in an interview with RevSportz.

Facing a formidable Saudi Arabia, India put up a strong fight despite the uncertainty surrounding their participation. However, Saudi Arabia emerged victorious with a 2-0 win in the men’s football competition, courtesy of Mohammed Khalil Marran’s twin strikes in the 51st and 57th minute.

Despite the obstacles faced, the Indian team can hold their heads high for their commendable performance. The All India Football Federation (AIFF) sent a second-string side due to the rigid stance of the Indian Super League (ISL) organizers, who refused to release top players.

It is clear that the lack of adequate preparation time for tournaments like the Asian Games hinders the Indian football team’s ability to perform at their best. Stimac’s criticism highlights the need for proper planning and coordination to ensure the team’s success in future international competitions.

By admin