India national football team

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This article is about the men's team. For the women's team, see India women's national football team.
For other uses, see Football in India.
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) The Blue Tigers
Association All India Football Federation (AIFF)
Confederation AFC (Asia)
Sub-confederation SAFF (South Asia)
Head coach Stephen Constantine
Captain Gurpreet Singh Sandhu
Most caps Sunil Chhetri (91)[1]
Top scorer Sunil Chhetri (51)[1]
Home stadium Various[2][3]
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 137 Steady (24 November 2016)
Highest 94 (February 1996)
Lowest 173 (March 2015)
Elo ranking
Current 177 Steady (24 November 2016)[4]
Highest 48[4] (1964)
Lowest 186 (2015)
First international
 Australia 5–3 India 
(Sydney, Australia; 3 September 1938)[5]
 India 1–2 France 
(London, UK; 31 July 1948)[6]
Biggest win

 Australia 1–7 India 
(Sydney, Australia; 12 December 1956)[7]

 India 6–0 Cambodia 
(New Delhi, India; 17 August 2007)
Biggest defeat
 Yugoslavia 10–1 India 
(Helsinki, Finland; 15 July 1952)[8][9]
Asian Cup
Appearances 3 (first in 1964)
Best result Runners-up: 1964
Olympic Games
Appearances 4 (first in 1948)
Best result Fourth Place: 1956
Asian Games
Appearances 15 (first in 1951)
Best result Winners Gold medal – First place : 1951, 1962

The India national football team is governed by the All India Football Federation (AIFF). Since 1948, the AIFF has been affiliated to FIFA, the international governing body for football. In 1954, the AIFF became one of the founding members of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The team was automatically invited by FIFA to play in the 1950 FIFA World Cup (all the other Asian teams withdrew), but they could not go to the tournament in Brazil due to financial constraints.[10] They won two gold medals at the Asian Games and one silver at the Asian Cup.


India qualified for the 1950 FIFA World Cup finals as a result of the withdrawal of all of their scheduled opponents. However, the governing body AIFF decided against going to the World Cup, being unable to understand the importance of the event at that time. The AIFF argued that the cost of travel was expensive (although FIFA agreed to bear a major part of the travel expenses) and there were also problems like lack of practice time, team selection issues and more preference was given to the Olympics over the FIFA World Cup.[10]

The period from 1951 to 1962 is considered the golden era in Indian football. Under the tutelage of legendary Syed Abdul Rahim,[11] 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[12] Later next year they went on to participate in the 1952 Summer Olympics, but lost 10–1 to Yugoslavia. Like four years earlier, many of the team played without boots.[13] After the result the AIFF immediately made it mandatory to wear boots.[14] India then went on to finish eighth in the 1954 Asian Games held in Manila.[15] They finished fourth in the 1956 Olympic Games, 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.[16]

Then in 1962, India went on to win the 1962 Asian Games where they beat South Korea 2–1 in the final.[17]

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 and then won 3–1 against Hong Kong which gave India second place in the tournament.[18]

After the Asian Cup, Indian football went downhill. Failure in many Asian Cup qualification tournaments meant that the next time India reached the quarter-final stage was as hosts in the 1982 Asian Games.[19] Then all of a sudden India managed to qualify for the 1984 AFC Asian Cup after twenty years.[20] But during the competition, India failed to make any impact.[21] India would then fail to make the Asian Cup for another 27 years.

Although India failed to qualify for the 2004 Asian Cup, the 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.[22]

As a result, Indian 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 2003 SAFF Bangladesh knocked India out, beating them 2–1 at extra time. In November 2003, then India coach Stephen Constantine was named AFC Manager of the Month.[22]

In 2006, Bob Houghton was appointed the coach of the 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 the 2009 Nehru Cup.[23]

In 2011, India started off their campaign by participating in 2011 AFC Asian Cup for which they qualified after 27 years. India lost in all three matches but did manage to perform well in patches.[24]

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.

Home stadiums[edit]

The Indian national 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, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai, Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune, Jawhaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi, Trivandrum International Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram, the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, approved after a renovation in 2015,[25] and New Bangalore Football Stadium in Bangalore, which is under construction. For 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup scheduled to be held in India, three other stadiums namely the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai, Fatorda Stadium in Margao, and Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati are the ones, most recently approved by FIFA.


India's traditional football jersey colour has been blue since 2005.[26] Adidas was the kit-provider of the national team until 2006. 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. Nike, Inc. is the apparel sponsor of the Indian national football team, and also sponsored the team previously from 2006 to 2012. In 2010, Panasonic signed a deal to sponsor the Indian team's football jersey.[27] However, in December 2012, they decided not to renew their contract.[28] The team went without any sponsor for more than 7 months in 2013, until the All India Football Federation (AIFF) signed a 4-year sponsorship deal with Nike on August 1, 2013.[29]

Most recently, they again wore a jersey with a white vertical line on the left side and a white band on the right arm. The new team uniform unveiled in 2015[30] is displayed below alongside some previous team kits.







Kit suppliers[edit]

Kit provider Shirt sponsor Period
Germany Adidas 2002–2005
United States Nike 2006–2010
United States Nike Japan Panasonic 2010–2012
United States Nike India ONGC 2013–2014
United States Nike 2014–present


Current technical staff[edit]

Stephen Constantine, the current Head Coach
Position Name
Head Coach England Stephen Constantine [31]
Manager India Shanmugam Venkatesh
Assistant Coach England Lee Johnson
Goalkeeping Coach Brazil Rogerio Ramos
Physiotherapist India Gigy George
Fitness Coach Australia Danny Deigan
Team Doctor India Sreejith Kamal
Masseur India Liaqat Ali
Video Analyst India Shankar Sigamani
Coaching Family Liaison Officer Scotland Tofu McLaughlin
Kit Manager India Sanjay Dhyani
Director of National Team Scouts India Abhishek Yadav


Current squad[edit]

  • Next Match Date: TBA[32]
  • Caps and Goals correct as of: 3 September 2016
0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Subrata Pal (1986-12-24) 24 December 1986 (age 29) 64 0 India NorthEast United
23 1GK Gurpreet Singh Sandhu Captain (1992-02-03) 3 February 1992 (age 24) 13 0 Norway Stabæk

2 2DF Keegan Pereira (1987-11-07) 7 November 1987 (age 29) 1 0 India Bengaluru FC
4 2DF Arnab Mondal (1989-09-25) 25 September 1989 (age 27) 25 1 India East Bengal
5 2DF Sandesh Jhingan (1993-07-21) 21 July 1993 (age 23) 12 2 India Kerala Blasters
13 2DF Rino Anto (1988-01-03) 3 January 1988 (age 28) 6 0 India Bengaluru FC
16 2DF Fulganco Cardozo (1988-01-23) 23 January 1988 (age 28) 1 1 India Sporting Goa
20 2DF Pritam Kotal (1993-08-09) 9 August 1993 (age 23) 13 0 India Atlético de Kolkata
21 2DF Narayan Das (1993-09-25) 25 September 1993 (age 23) 15 1 India East Bengal

7 3MF Eugeneson Lyngdoh (1986-09-10) 10 September 1986 (age 30) 15 0 India Bengaluru FC
8 3MF Seityasen Singh (1992-03-12) 12 March 1992 (age 24) 4 0 India NorthEast United
10 3MF Jackichand Singh (1992-03-17) 17 March 1992 (age 24) 8 1 India Mumbai City
14 3MF Pronay Halder (1993-02-25) 25 February 1993 (age 23) 8 0 India Mumbai City
15 3MF Bikash Jairu (1990-11-10) 10 November 1990 (age 26) 8 0 India East Bengal
19 3MF Holicharan Narzary (1994-05-10) 10 May 1994 (age 22) 8 0 India NorthEast United
3MF Rowllin Borges (1992-06-05) 5 June 1992 (age 24) 11 1 India NorthEast United
3MF Germanpreet Singh (1996-06-24) 24 June 1996 (age 20) 1 0 India Dempo
3MF Udanta Singh (1996-06-14) 14 June 1996 (age 20) 4 0 India Bengaluru FC
3MF Mohammed Rafique (1992-09-20) 20 September 1992 (age 24) 3 1 India East Bengal
3MF Alwyn George (1992-01-03) 3 January 1992 (age 24) 5 0 India Bengaluru FC
3MF Dhanpal Ganesh (1994-06-13) 13 June 1994 (age 22) 5 0 India Chennaiyin

9 4FW Sumeet Passi (1995-04-18) 18 April 1995 (age 21) 3 1 India NorthEast United
11 4FW Sunil Chhetri (1984-08-03) 3 August 1984 (age 32) 91 51 India Bengaluru FC
12 4FW Jeje Lalpekhlua (1991-01-07) 7 January 1991 (age 25) 37 16 India Chennaiyin
4FW Daniel Lalhlimpuia (1997-09-12) 12 September 1997 (age 19) 1 0 India Bengaluru FC

Recent call-ups[edit]

The following uncapped players were included in the squad for India's latest fixture.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Amrinder Singh (1993-05-27) 27 May 1993 (age 23) 0 0 India Bengaluru FC v.  Puerto Rico, 3 September 2016

DF Chinglensana Singh (1996-11-23) 23 November 1996 (age 20) 0 0 India Delhi Dynamos v.  Puerto Rico, 3 September 2016

MF Issac Vanmalsawma (1996-09-15) 15 September 1996 (age 20) 0 0 India Shillong Lajong v.  Puerto Rico, 3 September 2016
MF Vinit Rai (1997-10-10) 10 October 1997 (age 19) 0 0 India Kerala Blasters v.  Puerto Rico, 3 September 2016
MF Arjun Tudu 1996/1997 (age 19–20) 0 0 India Delhi Dynamos v.  Puerto Rico, 3 September 2016

Previous squads[edit]