India hires Igor Stimac as coach for World Cup qualifying

The Indian soccer federation has hired former Croatia international Igor Stimac as coach

India New Coach

FILE - In this Monday Oct. 14, 2013 file photo, Croatia manager Igor Stimac, center, watches his squad during a team training session at Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland, ahead of their World Cup qualifying Group A soccer match against Scotland on Tuesday. India’s soccer federation has hired former Croatia player and coach Igor Stimac to lead the national team in its 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell, File)


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

NEW DELHI (AP) — India will try to qualify for the World Cup with former Croatia international Igor Stimac as coach.

Stimac, a defender on the national team when Croatia reached the World Cup semifinals in 1998, signed a two-year contract, the Indian soccer federation said Wednesday.

India has never qualified for the World Cup. The country will begin the second phase of Asian qualifying for the 2022 tournament in September.

“Indian football is going through a transition, and I am confident his vast experience will guide us to higher echelons,” federation president Praful Patel said in a statement.

Stimac previously coached Croatia’s national team and Qatari club Al-Shahania.

He resigned as Croatia coach after completing a 2014 World Cup qualifying group. Niko Kovac, Stimac’s former teammate, then led Croatia to a playoff win over Iceland.

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