A sensational claim has rocked the Indian sporting fraternity, with a report claiming that the national football team’s squad was picked by head coach Igor Stimac on the basis of an astrologer’s suggestion. Stimac is said to have shared players’ data with an astrologer, who responded by picking the names of players who were recommended for a particular day and those who should be avoided. In fact, the report claims that the head coach was put in touch with the astrologer by the All India Football Federation general-secretary Kushal Das.
Worried whether the Indian team would qualify for the Asian Cup, Das sought an astrologer’s help and put him in touch with the head coach of the team, Stimac. As names were shared by Stimac with the Astrologer, responses of “good”; “can do very well. Needs to avoid overconfidence”; “a below-average day”; “a very good day for him but might get over aggressive”; “not recommended for the day” came, as per a report in Indian Express.
The report claims that about 100 messages were exchanged between Stimac and the astrologer between May and June last year. During this period, India played a friendly against Jordan as well as three Asian Cup qualifiers, against Cambodia, Afghanistan and Hong Kong.
The messages, as per the report, didn’t just feature inputs over selection matters in the team but also saw Stimac discuss injury news and substitution strategies with the astrologer.
“Hi dear Bhupesh, it was a pleasure meeting you and discussing future work! I would kindly ask you to provide opinion on the following players,” one of the messages read, as per the report.
For a game against Jordan, Stimac allegedly sought advice over the selection of an attacking midfielder. After the astrologer gave his preference of selection, Stimac is said to have gone with the inputs received.
Even Kushal Das admitted that he put Stimac in touch with the astrologer.
“I met him at a meeting. He (Sharma) had worked for a lot of telecom companies and Bollywood personalities. What they presented was that astrological timings and the current phase of players can help motivate people into taking the right decisions,” Das told the paper.
“That time, I was worried if India would qualify for the Asian Cup and so was Igor, let me be very honest. It was not a comfortable situation. For me, the most important thing was that India should qualify. So I told him (Sharma) that I will put you in touch with the coach and if he likes it, he thinks your services can be utilised, he can get back to me. Igor was very convinced and they were in Kolkata throughout,” he added.
Das also revealed that the astrologer was paid INR 12-15 lakh for his services over two months.
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