Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

India coach Igor Stimac has defended his action during India’s 4-0 thumping victory over Pakistan in their Group A opener of the SAFF Championship at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

Stimac was sent off towards the end of the first half after he was seen trying to stop a throw-in from a Pakistan player which led to an on-field scuffle between the two teams.

Later, Stimac took to social media to justify his action, adding that he would do something similar to shield his team, if needed.

“Football is all about passion, especially when you defend the colours of your country. You can hate or love me for my actions yesterday, but I am a warrior and I will do it again when needed to protect our boys on the pitch against unjustified decisions,” tweeted Stimac.

He also shared a video of the incident that earned him the red card. It is an indication that he did not regret the choice he made in that moment to defend his team.

Notably, Stimac’s passion for the game and the Indian team has never been in question. It is something that has gone a long way towards improving the team’s performance since his appointment in 2019.