International football against Belarus so far: India coach Igor Stimac

National football team coach Igor Stimac said on Monday that India’s international friendly against Belarus next week is “so far” in progress, although AIFF, which is in constant contact with FIFA, has helped Russia’s invasion of Ukraine about “possible sanctions” against the European country. All officials of the Indian Football Federation (AIFF) said that India was trying to avoid playing against Belarus on March 26 as a result of a global sports boycott in Manama, Bahrain, Russia and Belarus.

FIFA has suspended Russia, but has not yet announced any measures for Belarus.

“It’s normal. We’re going to Bahrain to deal with them (Bahrain). Bahrain is organizing these games. So the game is up and running right now,” Stimac told a virtual press conference when asked about the state of the match. Against Belarus.

“We are in daily contact with FIFA about everything that is happening in Ukraine and the possible sanctions (Belarus), but as far as we are concerned, the game is up and running.” India, without Talismanic Sunil Chhetri, who is sidelined due to injury, will play against host Bahrain on March 23, three days after the Belarussian match.

These two international friendly matches are preparing India for the play-offs for the Asian Cup final in Kolkata in June. India will play Hong Kong, Afghanistan and Cambodia at Salt Lake Stadium from June 8-14 in Group D matches.

“We’re the team’s favorites, we’re taking the team and there’s nothing to complain about. But we should win on the field,” Stimac said when asked about the Asian Cup qualifiers.

“The other three teams will also fight to get the standings. We can’t take anyone seriously. We don’t have to look at the standings of the teams. We should win on the pitch and we will be prepared that way.” The 2023 Asian Cup Winners’ Cup will be held in China in 2023 and will be ranked among the top five teams. The matches of the six teams will be played in different countries.

He added that India will play four more international friendly matches before qualifying for the Asian Cup finals.

Stimac has said he intends to try different combinations in two international friendly matches in Manama to prepare for different scenarios in the Asian Cup qualifiers in June.

“We’re going to prepare different combinations. As candidates for the top spot in the team, we have to think about playing offensive football, moving forward with more players, taking more risks.” The coach said he would give new players opportunities in both games, but warned against gunfire by declaring the ISL player as an international player of quality.

“The pace of ISL is well below the pace of international football. Sometimes we are surprised with some ISL players, but when they come to international matches they can’t do anything. We have to be pretty sure of their quality in international matches,” said the Croatian.

“I want to look at some new faces. It’s important for me to know how much they can do internationally. I’m giving each player a certain minute on the pitch and seeing their ability.

“Both matches (against Bahrain and Belarus) will show where his team is at the moment. We have chosen our opponents carefully, they are better ranked teams, although I have said that the rankings do not matter.” He mentioned Roshan Singh and VP Suhair as young players to watch out for, and described Sahal Abdul Samad as one of his favorite players.

“Roshan has been consistent throughout the season, playing left or right, from both sides, making great crosses, helping a lot, his crosses are in sight, always finding players inside the area and creating chances. That’s what we need, especially. because we are favorites. ”Stimac also announced that after the match against Bahrain, three Mumbai City FC players will leave the team as the ISL team will have to prepare for the AFC Champions League.

He said that in the absence of Chhetri, goalkeeper Gupreet Singh Sandhu and defender Sandesh Jhinghan will wear the captain’s armband.


As for the ongoing ISL, Stimac said he has seen some of the most spectacular goals since the start of the league and that can be compared to the Premier League level.

He also said that most ISL goalkeepers, with the exception of Prabhsukhan Gill, have had a “nightmare” season, making “unnecessary mistakes” and scoring “fun” goals, even though he was part of football.

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