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Indian soccer crew coach Igor Stimac sought astrologer’s assist to pick out taking part in XI in June 2022: Report

Igor Stimac throughout an Indian soccer crew coaching session. Picture: X/ @IndianFootball

Indian soccer crew head coach Igor Stimac sought the assistance of an astrologer to find out the crew’s taking part in XI for an Asian Cup qualifier towards Afghanistan in June 2022, a report in The Indian Categorical said on Tuesday.

The report mentioned that Stimac had paid the astrologer a sum of about “Rs 12-15 lakh”. Stimac and Bhupesh Sharma, the astrologer, shared 100 messages amongst them between Could and June 2022. This was a time when India had performed 4 matches, towards Cambodia, Afghanistan, Hong Kong and Jordan.

The sport towards Afghanistan was a must-win sport for India, who had been injury-ridden, and Stimac despatched a “probable XI” checklist of gamers to the astrologer, 48 hours earlier than the sport, on 9 June 2022. The sport occurred on 11 June, 2022.

“Hi dear Bhupesh, it was a pleasure meeting you and discussing future work! I would kindly ask you to provide opinion on the following players,” Stimac had messaged Sharma, in keeping with the report.

The Croat then shared the date, time and hometown of 4 gamers, the report added.

“Hi dear friend, you can check charts for each player from the list for 11 June. Kick off time is at 20.30,” Stimac had messaged.

“Good”; “can do very well. Needs to avoid over confidence”; “a below average day”; “a very good day for him but might get over aggressive”; “not recommended for the day”, had been the astrologer’s replies relating to a number of the gamers.

Following the pleasant defeat to Jordan, Stimac had additionally had a dialogue on the gamers’ particular person performances with the astrologer.

In a separate interplay, the astrologer had knowledgeable Stimac that it was not an “ideal day or phase” for an unidentified attacking midfielder. Stimac then requested the astrologer to match him with three different attacking gamers, and the astrologer shortly replied. That participant then got here on as a second-half substitute towards Jordan.

Stimac had additionally messaged Sharma earlier than the match towards Cambodia, saying that three gamers had been coming back from accidents and wished to “save them” for the second sport.

Based on the report, the then AIFF president Praful Patel was “not aware” relating to the problem.

Nonetheless, Kushal Das, the then secretary-general of AIFF, mentioned that he had launched Stimac to the astrologer.

“I met him at a meeting. He (Sharma) had worked for a lot of telecom companies and Bollywood personalities. What they presented was that astrological timings and the current phase of players can help motivate people into taking the right decisions,” Das was quoted as saying by The Indian Categorical.

“That time, I was worried if India would qualify for the Asian Cup and so was Igor, let me be very honest. It was not a comfortable situation. For me, the most important thing was that India should qualify. So I told him (Sharma) that I will put you in touch with the coach and if he likes it, he thinks your services can be utilised, he can get back to me. Igor was very convinced and they were in Kolkata throughout,” he added.

“Since we used his professional services for two months, we paid him around Rs 12-15 lakh. That didn’t seem a huge amount since India qualified for the Asian Cup,” Das mentioned, relating to Sharma’s contract.

These developments come at a time when India are within the prime 100 of the FIFA rankings.

Stimac, in the meantime, is in the midst of one other controversy, as he’s concerned in a struggle with the Indian Tremendous League (ISL) on the discharge of gamers for nationwide duties, that features the Asian Video games ranging from 23 September. The Asian Video games in Hangzhou is about to coincide with the beginning of the 2023-24 ISL season, commencing from 21 September.




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