Monday, June 17, 2024

‘I am a warrior, will do it again to protect our boys’: Igor Stimac on scuffle with Pakistan players

Indian national men’s football team head coach Igor Stimac has justified his actions during India’s 4-0 victory over Pakistan in their opening Group A match of the SAFF Championship at Sri Kanteerava Stadium and explained that he intervened during a tense moment to protect his team from “unjustified decisions”.

The highly-anticipated match between the two rivals witnessed a significant amount of drama, with Stimac being shown a red card due to his actions.

In Wednesday’s match, India’s head coach was sent off for interrupting a quick throw-in from Pakistan. Assistant coach Mahesh Gawali deputised for him on the touchline after the break.

“Football is all about passion, especially when you defend the colours of your country. You can hate or love me for my actions yesterday, but I am a warrior and I will do it again when needed to protect our boys on the pitch against unjustified decisions,” Stimac tweeted.

The incident happened just before half-time when the ball rolled outside the pitch and Pakistan defender Abdullah Iqbal prepared to take a throw-in. However, Stimac was observed approaching him and knocking the ball out of his hand, resulting in an altercation between players from both teams.

Referee Prajwal Chhetri, along with other officials, intervened to bring an end to the commotion. Once the situation was resolved, Stimac was shown a red card, resulting in his absence from the touchline for the second half of the match.

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