Pandemic has made Indian football team more resolute: Chief coach


The “current situation all around” due to Covid-19 would motivate the Indian men’s football team to perform well in the upcoming World Cup 2022 and Asian Cup 2023 Qualification fixtures beginning here on June 3, chief coach Igor Stimac said on Saturday.

“We do not have to do anything extra to motivate them. They are all very good professionals and I don’t have any problem in lifting their spirits,” said Stimac.

“They are well aware of the situation [in India] and have shown full commitment on the training ground. I can assure you that they will do everything possible to do well on the pitch.”

The Sunil Chhetri-captained India will play Qatar (June 3), Bangladesh (June 7) and Afghanistan (June 15) in the combined qualifying tournament.

The 53-year-old coach, whose contract with the national team was extended until September, said that the pandemic situation had made the Indian team “more resolute in their endeavours”.

“They are very much aware of what’s happening in India. So many families are suffering right now. We have a chance to make the people of India happy with our performance. We need to take this opportunity and bring back a few smiles to the people’s faces,” he said.