Indian football season should stretch beyond March, admits Igor Stimac
Igor Stimac was appointed as India's head coach in May 2019|
National team coach Igor Stimac has clearly stated that the Indian domestic football season needs to stretch beyond March for the growth of the game in this part of the world. Football in India starts in October and continues for five to six months at the most before commencing in March.
While there have been talks to stretch the Indian domestic football season to accommodate more matches and provide adequate game time for footballers, no actions were taken. In the wake of India’s struggling situation on the International stage, national team coach Igor Stimac has asserted the importance of having a revamped and a longer domestic football calendar in the future which should go until mid-May.
"We have been working behind closed doors on many aspects. We were also in touch with FSDL (Football Sports Development Limited) to increase the length of the season and also to have a long term calendar season plus the need to restructure the Durand Cup and the Super Cup,” said Igor Stimac to WION.
"Going forward what will be crucial is the number of games. We cannot stop our season at the end of February and football needs to be played until mid-May. I am told that it cannot happen as it overlaps with the broadcast of the IPL but broadcast is not important, what is important is that players play more games to improve their football and bring more quality to the national team,” added the manager.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has already directed the AIFF to increase the number of matches to be played by each team per season, but the AIFF, which was set to re-structure its schedule, was denied by the Covid-19 pandemic situation. With the Croat manager raising his voice regarding the matter, things might speed up in the future.