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'Clear payment within 10 days or...': Sacked Indian football coach Igor Stimac threatens to sue AIFF

Former India football coach Igor Stimac labeled his dismissal as "unilateral" and issued a threat on Tuesday, announcing plans to pursue legal action against the national federation through the FIFA Tribunal if his outstanding payments are not settled within the next 10 days.

football 'Clear payment within 10 days or...': Sacked Indian football coach Igor Stimac threatens to sue AIFF snt
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First Published Jun 18, 2024, 10:20 PM IST

Former India football coach Igor Stimac labeled his dismissal as "unilateral" and issued a threat on Tuesday, announcing plans to pursue legal action against the national federation through the FIFA Tribunal if his outstanding payments are not settled within the next 10 days.

Stimac strongly criticized All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Kalyan Chaubey, accusing him of repeatedly violating their contract. He squarely blamed Chaubey for India's inability to advance beyond the second round of the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. Stimac also disclosed that his tenure in India had significantly impacted his health and stated his desire to sever all ties with the AIFF permanently.

"I kindly ask you to immediately, but not later in next ten (10) days, organize payment to me for this termination of the contract without just cause in the amount which will represent a residual value of my employment contract that was prematurely terminated from AIFF side...," Stimac said.

"This amount should represent the remaining value of my employment contract prematurely terminated by the AIFF, in accordance with Article 6 of Annex 2 of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players. Otherwise, I will start proceedings against the AIFF before the competent FIFA Football Tribunal and file a lawsuit," he added.

On Monday, Igor Stimac was dismissed as the head coach of the team by the AIFF, with his contract terminated a year ahead of schedule following the team's elimination from the World Cup Qualifiers, despite facing what was considered a manageable draw.

Also read: 'Thank You AIFF': Indian football fans erupt with joy after head coach Igor Stimac sacked, meme fest explodes

The 56-year-old Stimac, who has been in ongoing conflict with Chaubey, criticized the AIFF in a formal notice for what he deemed an unjustified removal from his position.

"Publishing something like this (his termination) prior to reaching the conversation with me is blatantly unprofessional and unethical," Stimac said.

Appointed as head coach in 2019, Igor Stimac received an extension until 2026 from the sport's governing body in October last year.

Under the terms of his new contract signed on October 5, 2023, which lacks a severance clause, the AIFF could be liable to pay Stimac the full remaining value of his contract, totaling a significant Rs six crore.

Highlighting what he described as "several acts of contract breach" by the AIFF in the past, Stimac accused Chaubey of "changing my public statement given to AIFF media".

"President Mr Chaubey together with SAI (Sports Authority of India) officials changed my official players list for the Asian Games adding three senior players and allowing ISL clubs to decide which players will represent the country at the Asian Games," Stimac blasted Chaubey.

"The way you organised the travel for our team going to China and back was unforgettable."

Stimac further claimed that Chaubey canceled his scheduled press conference following the AFC Asian Cup, where India did not secure any victories or score a goal.

The Croatian, who won a bronze medal at the 1998 World Cup, stated that his dealings with the AIFF over the past two years have negatively impacted his health.

"Hereby I am adding my lawyer Mr Radic to take over our communication because I don't want to speak or hear from AIFF anymore because AIFF has caused me enough health problems with its acts against me in the past two years. Your 'show cause notice' and 'final warning letter' did stop me from speaking the truth to Indian fans and it did give me two stents just prior to the AFC Asian Cup but didn't stop me (from) giving it all to my team and fighting with my boys for the country," he said.

Finally, he asserted that the current turmoil in Indian football was not caused by him or his staff.

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