"Thought coaches pick the football team?" - Fans fuming after reports emerge of India gaffer Igor Stimac consulting astrologer

Igor Stimac has knitted together some strong results for the Indian men
Igor Stimac has knitted together some strong results for the Indian men's national team. (Image Courtesy: Twitter)

For nearly a year now, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) hiring an astrologer to 'motivate' the national team players ahead of some crucial matches has come to the limelight.

The frustration surrounding the situation were rekindled on Tuesday (September 12) after a report from the Indian Express revealed that senior men's team head coach Igor Stimac's lineup and squad selection were also heavily influenced by the advice of the said astrologer.

According to the new report, between May and June of 2022, Stimac consulted Bhupesh Sharma, an astrologer from Delhi NCR, before each match while finalizing his team and sharing injury updates and substitution strategies.

These revelations give rise to plenty of questions regarding the integrity of the country's team selection criteria and fans have criticized the move.

While some have condemned the actions of the coach on the social media platform X (previously known as Twitter), others couldn't help themselves from yakking about the shambolic turn of events.

Here are some of the reactions:

"Someone was waiting for the right time" - Supporters ring in support of Igor Stimac and allege sabotage

While everyone has been criticizing Stimac for consulting an astrologer and jeopardizing integrity, questions have also been raised about the timing of the report.

The Croatian gaffer has been critical of plenty of stakeholders in Indian football for the past few weeks, so much so that he was issued a show-cause notice by the AIFF for his recent comments. Is the resurfacing of these year-old incidents an attempt to tarnish his image and credibility?

The fans have had their say:

Whether it's convenient timing or just purely coincidental, some serious allegations have been raised against the national head coach and Stimac might have to clear his name. But for now, he has found plenty of support from Indian football fans, who believe there is an attempt to scapegoat the plainspoken head coach.

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Edited by Ritwik Kumar
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