Former Indian captain Baichung Bhutia has responded to the recent report that current Indian head coach Igor Stimac consulted astrologers to select his team before the 2022 Asian Games Qualifiers. India eventually finished at the top of their group in spite of losing the first game to Jordan.
The AIFF has also issued a show-cause to the coach for his comments on players not being released for national team duty. It is apparently a breach of contract for Stimac, which has been followed by the recent report.
Baichung Bhutia comments on Igor Stimac astrologer story
“This is not a new thing. In fact, Brazilian coach (Luiz Felipe) Scolari used to follow such things a lot. Many world-renowned coaches, especially African, American, and European coaches, used to follow this. South American and African countries also follow it a lot. They follow lots of astrologers. Scolari is one of the biggest examples. He decides the teams and all via astrologers,” Bhaichung told India Today.
“In African football, there is a spiritual thing like hudo. Before the match, a lot of people do and follow lots of spiritual things.
“In Kolkata football as well, it (superstitions) is highly followed. Coaches Khalid Jamal and Subhash Bhowmick used to keep flowers at opponents’ goalposts,” he added.
“It is up to the individual coach. More than you and me, a coach’s job is important. Consult a bus driver or astrologer for the sake of the team.
“I am not a believer in astrologers, but many people believe that. The most important thing to note is, if he does anything wrong, he will be sacked.
“If you look at the performance of Stimac… If he consults an astrologer and does well then what is wrong with it? Obviously, it will not give you a win,” he added.
Igor Stimac helped India win the Intercontinental Cup this year, as well as the SAFF Championship. Now, they will be weakened for the Asian Games with clubs unwilling to release their star players since the dates of the ISL are coincide with the Asian Games.