Stimac may release Jhingan from camp to play in Croatia

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Mumbai, Aug 17 (IANS) National football coach Igor Stimac may release India defender Sandesh Jhingan from the national camp if he manages to finalise his move to play club football in Croatia.

Jhingan, who has signed up with ATK Mohun Bagan at the domestic level, is likely to get an offer from Croatian top division club HNK Sibenik. A clause in his contract with his Indian club allows him to join a club in Europe.

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Stimac, who has coached Croatia to qualify for the FIFA World Cup in 2014, said that he “may consider releasing Sandesh Jhingan from the ongoing camp”.

“Having in mind that the Croatian League has already had 5 rounds, and the players are fit, we are thinking as to how we can help Sandesh get into form as soon as possible, and also try to facilitate him get his place in the team. It’s important for him to get into the playing XI. So we may consider releasing him from the camp and bringing him back but allow him to stay with the club,” the coach informed.

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The national team’s camp started in Kolkata a few days back, and on Tuesday Stimac’s boys played a match against an Indian Football Association (IFA) XI and won 1-0.

The coach was happy with the outcome of the match and said they will play similar matches in future too.

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“I am really happy and grateful about the organisation of this game, and we will do our best to have games like this one,” Stimac stated post-match.

“We won’t mind having such matches regularly, and maybe in another seven days we may think and want another practice game like this,” the coach averred.

“Kolkata is a great football place and during the pandemic when it is difficult to find games, this is one of the best places to train.”

India will be travelling to Kathmandu later this month to play Nepal in two international friendlies in September.

“It is very difficult to organise matches under such circumstances. You need to understand that no one is able to come to India and if we want to go out to play, there are quarantine rules. So the options are very limited,” Stimac was quoted as saying by the AIFF.



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