India head coach Igor Stimac was on Friday handed a two-match ban for his red-card offence after he argued with the match officials during the home side’s 1-1 draw against Kuwait in their last group match of the SAFF Championships football here.
Stimac was also fined USD 500 as the SAFF Disciplinary Committee deemed it a fit case for suspending him for more than one match.
He was also handed a red card against Pakistan in India’s campaign opener on June 21 but in that case the matter was not referred to the SAFF Disciplinary Committee as the offence was deemed “less serious” and he had to sit out of the subsequent match against Nepal on June 24.
But in this case relating to the red card in the Kuwait game on June 27, the matter reached the SAFF Disciplinary Committee which imposed a more severe punishment on the experienced Croatian coach and 1998 Wold Cup bronze medallist.
“He (Stimac) has been handed two-match ban and also fined USD 500 (Rs 41,000),” SAFF General Secretary General Anwarul Haq told PTI on Friday.
“Unlike the first instance (against Pakistan), the matter reached the SAFF Disciplinary Committee as it was a graver offence. He (Stimac) also used abusive language against the math officials while he was going off the field (after being shown red card).” In the tense match against Kuwait, Stimac engaged in an animated argument with the match officials and was eventually flashed a red card in the 81st minute.
In any case, Stimac was to sit out of India’s semifinal match against Lebanon on Saturday as one match ban was automatic but now he will not be in the dug out if the home team reaches the final. Assistant coach Mahesh Gawli will have to take his place.