India national football team
|Association||All India Football Federation|
|Sub-confederation||South Asian Football Federation (SAFF)|
|Confederation||Asian Football Confederation (AFC)|
|Head coach||Stephen Constantine|
|Asst coach||Shanmugam Venkatesh|
|Most caps||Baichung Bhutia (107)|
|Top scorer||Sunil Chhetri (45)|
|Home stadium||Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata
Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi
|FIFA ranking||171 (12 February 2015)|
|Highest FIFA ranking||94 (February 1996)|
|Lowest FIFA ranking||171 (December 2014)|
|Elo ranking||180 (12 February 2015)|
|Highest Elo ranking||113 (1996)|
|Lowest Elo ranking||180 (December 2014)|
Australia 0–2 India
(Sydney, Australia; 3 September 1938)
India 4–2 France
(London, England; July 31, 1948)
| India 12–0 Ceylon
(Bangalore, India; 29 December 1963)
| South Korea 8–0 India
(Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; 16 August 1976)
|Appearances||4 (First in 1964)|
|Best result||Runners-up: 1964|
The India national football team is governed by the All India Football Federation (AIFF). Since 1948, the AIFF has been affiliated with FIFA, the international governing body for football. In 1954, the AIFF became one of the founding members of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). At the peak of its success during the 1950s and 1960s, the team was automatically advanced to play in the 1950 FIFA World Cup (all the other Asian teams withdrew), but they did not go to the tournament in Brazil due to the cost of travel, lack of practice time, team selection issues and valuing the Olympics over the FIFA World Cup. They won gold medals at two Asian Games and one silver at the Asian Cup.
- 1 History
- 2 Home Stadium
- 3 Kit
- 4 Coaching staff
- 5 Squad
- 6 Results and fixtures
- 7 Competitive record
- 8 Honours
- 9 Records and statistics
- 10 Managers
- 11 See also
- 12 Notes and references
- 13 External links
India qualified by default for the 1950 FIFA World Cup finals as a result of the withdrawal of all of their scheduled opponents. But the governing body, the AIFF, decided against going to the World Cup, being unable to understand the importance of the event at that time. Reason shown by AIFF was that there was the cost of travel (although FIFA agreed to bear a major part of the travel expenses), lack of practice time, team selection issues and valuing the Olympics over the FIFA World Cup.
The period from 1951 to 1962 is considered the golden era in Indian football. Under the tutelage of legendary Syed Abdul Rahim India became the best team in Asia. India's football team started the 1950s with their triumph in the 1951 Asian Games which they hosted Later next year they went on to participate in the 1952 Olympics, but lost 10–1 to Yugoslavia. Like before four years earlier, many of the team played without boots. After the result the AIFF immediately made it mandatory to wear boots. India then went on to finish second in the 1954 Asian Games held in Manila. At the 1956 Olympic Games they finished fourth, which is regarded as one of finest achievements in Indian football. India first met hosts Australia, winning 4–2 with Neville D'Souza becoming the first Asian to score a hat trick in the Olympics and also making India the first Asian team to reach the Olympic semi-finals. They lost 4–1 to Yugoslavia, and lost the third place play-off match 3–0 to Bulgaria.
Then in 1964 India played in its most memorable tournament yet. The 1964 AFC Asian Cup where they finished as runners-up thanks to then manager Harry Wright. India won their first match against South Korea 2–0, then lost 2–0 to the hosts Israel then won 3–1 against Hong Kong which gave India second in the tournament.
After the Asian Cup India football went downhill. Failure in many Asian Cup qualification tournaments meant that the next time India reached a quarter-final stage was as host in the 1982 Asian Games. Then all of a sudden India managed to qualify for the 1984 AFC Asian Cup after twenty years out of the Asian Cup tournament. But India during the competition failed to make any impact. India would then fail to make the Asian Cup for another 27 years.
Although India failed to qualify for the 2004 Asian Cup, the senior team did well by showing off a silver-medal winning performance in the inaugural Afro Asian Games, with victories over Rwanda and Zimbabwe (then 85 places ahead of India in the world rankings) along the way, losing the final by just 1–0 to Uzbekistan.
As a result, India football has steadily earned greater recognition and respect, both within the country and abroad. India's LG Cup win in Vietnam under Stephen Constantine was one of the few bright spots in the early part of the 2000s. It was India's first victory in a football tournament outside the subcontinent after 1974. In November 2003, then India coach Stephen Constantine was named AFC Manager of the Month.
In 2006 Bob Houghton was later appointed coach of team. His appointment saw a general progress in India’s performances crowned by victory in 2007 Nehru Cup in August 2007. Houghton then led India to the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup title as they beat Tajikistan 4–1 in August 2008. Winning the AFC Challenge Cup qualified India for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup for the first time since 1984. He also oversaw the Indian team to its second consecutive Nehru Cup trophy by winning 2009 Nehru Cup.
In 2012, India won the 15th edition of Nehru cup by beating Cameroon 5-4 in penalties as the full-time score was tied at 2-2, making it the third successive Nehru cup win for India.
The Indian football team does not have a permanent home stadium as of 2011 due to so many football stadiums not meeting FIFA guidelines. The only stadiums that are FIFA and AFC approved are the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium also in New Delhi, Nehru Stadium in Chennai, Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune, and most recently approved after a renovation the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata and Bangalore Football Stadium in Bangalore.
India's traditional football jersey colour is blue. The team is known to have used blue shirts with white stripes in the past, as well as a more recent design with light blue and dark blue stripes, both of which are illustrated below.
|Asia Cup (2007)||Panasonic/Nike (2010-2012)||ONGC/Nike (2013–)|
As of 2014, Nike is the official kit provider to the Indian national football team. In August 2013, they launched new kits with the help of team captain and striker Sunil Chhetri, and midfielder Lenny Rodrigues.
In 2010, Panasonic signed a deal to sponsor the Indian team's football jersey. However, in December 2012, they decided not to renew their contract. The team went without any sponsor for more than 7 months in 2013, until the All India Football Federation (AIFF) signed a sponsorship deal with the Indian multinational oil and gas company ONGC.
|Head coach||Stephen Constantine|
|Assistant coach||Shanmugam Venkatesh|
|Goalkeeping coach||Rogerio Ramos|
|Fitness coach||Daniel Deigan|
The following players have also been called up to the squad within the last twelve months.
Results and fixtures
|World Cup Qualifier 12 March 2015||India||v||Nepal||Guwahati, India|
|Stadium: Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium
|World Cup Qualifier 17 March 2015||Nepal||v||India||Kathmandu, Nepal|
|Stadium: Dasarath Rangasala Stadium
FIFA World Cup
India qualified only once for the World Cup, by default for the 1950 FIFA World Cup finals as a result of the withdrawal of all of their scheduled opponents. But the governing body AIFF decided against going to the World Cup.
AFC Asian Cup
Asian Games Records
(Under-23 team since 2002)
AFC Challenge Cup record