Igor Stimac Clarifies Decision to Change India’s Playing XI After Loss to Qatar

India struggled at the FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup Saudi Arabia 2027 Joint Qualification campaign, suffering a 0-3 defeat to Qatar. Coach Igor Stimac admitted that Qatar is a superior team playing at a different level. Stimac emphasized that the result was not his top priority, seeking answers for future games, with changes made to the lineup to give players a last chance to impress. Despite the loss, Stimac prioritized the World Cup qualifiers over the AFC Asian Cup, highlighting the need for time to prepare for the latter tournament. As a result, India slipped to third place in their FIFA World Cup qualifiers group.