Indian football team coach Igor Stimac picked the national squad for the crucial Asian Cup qualification match against Afghanistan in June 2022 on the advice of an astrologer from Delhi-NCR, according to a report in Indian Express.
Interestingly, it is also said that the astrologer was introduced to Stimac by the All India Football Federation (AIFF). According to the report, the then secretary-general of AIFF, Kushal Das has admitted that he introduced the two to each other in May 2022.
The report mentions that Stimac had sent a list with the names of a probable 11 for the game, which was a must-win to remain in contention for the championship. The match was to take place on 11 June, and the list was shared on 9 June.
“The astrologer replied against each player's name with remarks like "Good", "can do very well. Needs to avoid overconfidence", " a below average day", "a very good day for him but might get over aggressive" and "not recommended for the day", it said.
India played four matches during May and June 2022. These were against Jordan, Cambodia, Afghanistan and Hong Kong.
The report further said that Stimac shared the list of players with the astrologer before every match. He also shared injury updates and substitution strategies.