Indian Football

AIFF reportedly hired an astrology agency to 'motivate' the Indian squad ahead of Asian Cup qualifiers

Arjun Singh Devgan
India topped their Asian Cup qualifier group to qualify for the final tournament
India topped their Asian Cup qualifier group to qualify for the final tournament / Indian Football Team Twitter

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) reportedly splurged 16 Lakh rupees to hire an astrology agency to motivate the Indian men's national side ahead of their recently concluded 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.

Igor Stimac's side lived up to their favourites tag in the Asian Cup qualifiers, beating Cambodia, Afghanistan and Hong Kong to remain unbeaten and thereby qualify for the 2023 Asian Cup on successive occasions for the first time in their history.

"A motivator was appointed for the National team ahead of the Asian Cup. Later on, it came to light that the company which was engaged, was an astrological firm. Plainly-speaking, an astrologer was appointed to motivate the team. Huge payment to the tune of Rs 16 lakh was made," PTI claimed in a report.

Former India goalkeeper, Tanumoy Bose was not too pleased with such a step by the AIFF and hit out at the federation for becoming a laughing stock.

"At a time when the AIFF repeatedly failed to conduct proper youth leagues, and many prestigious tournaments were forced to shut down, incidents like this will further tarnish the image of Indian football," he said to PTI.

"The CoA (which is running the show in AIFF after the suspension of president Praful Patel) must go deep into this appalling incident and find out who all are responsible behind it. There are many scams waiting to see the light of the day," Bose added.