India national football team

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India
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Blue Tigers
Blue Bolts
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
Captain Sunil Chhetri
Most caps Baichung Bhutia (107)
Top scorer Sunil Chhetri (45)
Home stadium Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata
Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi
FIFA code IND
FIFA ranking 171 Steady (12 February 2015)
Highest FIFA ranking 94 (February 1996)
Lowest FIFA ranking 171 (December 2014)
Elo ranking 180 Steady (12 February 2015)
Highest Elo ranking 113 (1996)
Lowest Elo ranking 180 (December 2014)
First colours
Second colours
First international
Unofficial:
 Australia 0–2 India British Raj
(Sydney, Australia; 3 September 1938)
Official:
 India 4–2 France 
(London, England; July 31, 1948)[1]
Biggest win
 India 12–0 Ceylon 
(Bangalore, India; 29 December 1963)
Biggest defeat
 South Korea 8–0 India India
(Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; 16 August 1976)
Asian Cup
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.[2] They won gold medals at two Asian Games and one silver at the Asian Cup.

History[edit]

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.[2]

The period from 1951 to 1962 is considered the golden era in Indian football. Under the tutelage of legendary Syed Abdul Rahim[3] 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[4] 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.[5] After the result the AIFF immediately made it mandatory to wear boots.[6] India then went on to finish second in the 1954 Asian Games held in Manila.[7] 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.[8]

Then in 1962 India went on to win the 1962 Asian Games where they beat South Korea 2–1 in the final.[9]

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.[10]

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.[11] Then all of a sudden India managed to qualify for the 1984 AFC Asian Cup after twenty years out of the Asian Cup tournament.[12] But India during the competition failed to make any impact.[13] 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.[14]

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.[14]

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.[15]

In 2011, India started off their campaign by participating in 2011 AFC Asian Cup for which they qualified after 27 years. India lost all three matches but did manage to perform well in patches.[16]

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.[17]

Home Stadium[edit]

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.

Kit[edit]

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–)
Away
Home
Away
Goalkeeper
Home
Away

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.[18]

Team Sponsor Period
Japan Panasonic 2010–2012
India ONGC 2013–

In 2010, Panasonic signed a deal to sponsor the Indian team's football jersey.[19] However, in December 2012, they decided not to renew their contract.[20] 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.[21]

Coaching staff[edit]

Position Name
Head coach England Stephen Constantine
Assistant coach India Shanmugam Venkatesh
Goalkeeping coach Brazil Rogerio Ramos
Fitness coach Australia Daniel Deigan

Squad[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following 20 players were named for the world cup qualifying matches against Nepal 12 and 17 March 2015.[22]
Caps and goals have been updated as of 5 March 2014.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Subrata Pal (1986-11-24) November 24, 1986 (age 28) 60 0 India Salgaocar
1GK Karanjit Singh (1986-01-08) January 8, 1986 (age 29) 20 0 India Salgaocar
1GK Arindam Bhattacharya (1988-03-25) March 25, 1988 (age 26) 5 0 India Bharat FC
1GK Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (1992-02-03) February 3, 1992 (age 23) 1 0 Norway Stabæk
2DF Aiborlang Khongjee (1987-12-09) December 9, 1987 (age 27) 3 0 India Shillong Lajong
2DF Arnab Mondal (1989-09-25) September 25, 1989 (age 25) 11 1 India East Bengal
2DF Saumik Dey (1984-08-20) August 20, 1984 (age 30) 0 0 India East Bengal
2DF Keegan Pereira (1987-11-07) November 7, 1987 (age 27) 0 0 India Bengaluru FC
2DF Rino Anto (1988-01-03) January 3, 1988 (age 27) 0 0 India Bengaluru FC
2DF Pritam Kotal (1993-08-09) August 9, 1993 (age 21) 0 0 India Mohun Bagan
2DF Raju Gaikwad (1990-09-25) September 25, 1990 (age 24) 17 0 India East Bengal
2DF Rowilson Rodrigues (1987-03-26) March 26, 1987 (age 27) 1 0 India Dempo
2DF Augustin Fernandes (1988-10-13) October 13, 1988 (age 26) 1 0 India Salgaocar
2DF Prabir Das (1993-12-20) December 20, 1993 (age 21) 0 0 India Dempo
2DF Sandesh Jhingan (1993-07-21) July 21, 1993 (age 21) 0 0 India Sporting Goa
3MF Mehtab Hossain (1985-09-05) September 5, 1985 (age 29) 34 2 India East Bengal
3MF Cavin Lobo (1988-04-04) April 4, 1988 (age 26) 0 0 India East Bengal
3MF Lalrindika Ralte (1992-09-07) September 7, 1992 (age 22) 12 0 India East Bengal
3MF Francis Fernandes (1985-11-25) November 25, 1985 (age 29) 26 1 India Dempo
3MF Lenny Rodrigues (1987-05-10) May 10, 1987 (age 27) 20 0 India Dempo
3MF Eugeneson Lyngdoh (1986-09-10) September 10, 1986 (age 28) 0 0 India Bengaluru FC
3MF Anthony D'Souza (1987-03-07) March 7, 1987 (age 27) 0 0 India Pune
3MF Alwyn George (1992-03-01) March 1, 1992 (age 23) 9 1 India Dempo
3MF Romeo Fernandes (1992-07-06) July 6, 1992 (age 22) 0 0 Brazil Atlético Paranaense
3MF Dhanpal Ganesh (1994-06-13) June 13, 1994 (age 20) 0 0 India Pune
3MF Mandar Rao Desai (1992-03-18) March 18, 1992 (age 22) 0 0 India Dempo
4FW Balwant Singh (1986-12-15) December 15, 1986 (age 28) 1 0 India Mohun Bagan
4FW Robin Singh (1990-05-09) May 9, 1990 (age 24) 14 1 India Bengaluru FC
4FW Sunil Chhetri (1984-08-03) August 3, 1984 (age 30) 74 43 India Bengaluru FC
4FW Jeje Lalpekhlua (1991-01-07) January 7, 1991 (age 24) 22 8 India Mohun Bagan
4FW Jackichand Singh (1992-03-17) March 17, 1992 (age 22) 0 0 India Royal Wahingdoh

Recent call-ups[edit]

The following players have also been called up to the squad within the last twelve months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Subhasish Roy Chowdhury (1985-09-27) September 27, 1985 (age 29) 8 0 India East Bengal v.    Nepal, November 19, 2013
GK Shilton Paul (1988-06-10) June 10, 1988 (age 26) 0 0 India Mohun Bagan v.    Nepal, November 19, 2013
GK Sandip Nandy (1975-01-15) January 15, 1975 (age 40) 4 0 India Sporting Goa v.  Afghanistan, September 11, 2013
DF Gouramangi Singh (1986-08-25) August 25, 1986 (age 28) 71 6 India Bharat FC v.  Afghanistan, September 11, 2013
MF Syed Rahim Nabi (1985-12-14) December 14, 1985 (age 29) 61 8 India Mohammedan v.  Afghanistan, September 11, 2013
DF Nirmal Chettri (1990-10-21) October 21, 1990 (age 24) 10 0 India Dempo v.  Afghanistan, September 11, 2013
DF Nallappan Mohanraj (1989-02-23) February 23, 1989 (age 26) 4 0 India Sporting Goa v.  Afghanistan, September 11, 2013
DF Narayan Das (1993-09-25) September 25, 1993 (age 21) 3 0 India Dempo v.  Palestine, 6 October 2014
DF Denzil Franco (1986-06-06) June 6, 1986 (age 28) 24 1 India Atletico de Kolkata v.  Palestine, 6 October 2014
MF Shylo Malsawmtluanga (1984-10-24) October 24, 1984 (age 30) 3 0 India East Bengal v.    Nepal, November 19, 2013
MF Jewel Raja Shaikh (1990-01-19) January 19, 1990 (age 25) 24 4 India Dempo v.  Afghanistan, September 11, 2013
MF Clifford Miranda (1982-06-11) June 11, 1982 (age 32) 50 6 India Dempo v.  Palestine, 6 October 2014
MF Lalkamal Bhowmick (1987-01-02) January 2, 1987 (age 28) 1 0 India Mohun Bagan v.  Palestine, 6 October 2014
MF Arata Izumi (1982-07-31) July 31, 1982 (age 32) 8 0 India Pune v.  Palestine, 6 October 2014
FW Dawson Fernandes (1990-07-27) July 27, 1990 (age 24) 3 0 India Salgaocar v.  Afghanistan, September 11, 2013
FW Victorino Fernandes (1989-02-03) February 3, 1989 (age 26) 2 0 India Sporting Goa v.  Palestine, 6 October 2014

Previous squads[edit]

Results and fixtures[edit]

Upcoming fixtures[edit]

Competitive record[edit]

FIFA World Cup[edit]

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[edit]