Indian Football

Igor Stimac Reveals Desire to Give Chances to Overseas Indian Footballers to Play in the National Football Team

Mudeet Arora
Igor Stimac wants Indian foreigners to play for the national team
Igor Stimac wants Indian foreigners to play for the national team / Pakawich Damrongkiattisak/Getty Images

The Indian national football team's coach Igor Stimac has dropped another hint about his preference to include Indian footballers playing overseas (Overseas Citizens of India, aka, OCI) in the national team setup.

The Blue Tigers have been left shocked by UAE in an international friendly in Dubai recently as they fell to a dismal 6-0 loss.

And Stimac was up for the discussion of bringing in overseas players of Indian descent to play for their country, as allowed by many other nations.

"Sometimes I get the impression that we have too much opinion of ourselves when it comes to opponents like Afghanistan or Bangladesh." Stimac was quoted saying in his interview with AIFF media.

He added, "Let me remind you that Afghanistan has allowed overseas citizen players to play for the national team. They now have 13 players coming from European leagues. They are competing in Germany, Poland, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden. They also have two players playing in Australian clubs, and one player in the USA top division. Bangladesh has introduced a 3+1 policy, and their league is extremely competitive too."

The Indian national team will now return to action in June when they take on Qatar, Bangladesh and Afghanistan in their World Cup qualifying games. The Blue Tigers' main aim from these games will be to attain qualification for the AFC Asian Cup in 2023.