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.
India
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Blue Tigers
Association All India Football Federation (AIFF)
Sub-confederation SAFF (South Asia)
Confederation AFC (Asia)
Head coach Stephen Constantine
Captain Sunil Chhetri
Most caps Baichung Bhutia (107)
Top scorer Sunil Chhetri (47)
Home stadium Various[1]
FIFA code IND
FIFA ranking 141 Increase 6 (04 June 2015)
Highest FIFA ranking 96 (February 1996)
Lowest FIFA ranking 173 (March 2015)
Elo ranking 182 (June 2015)
Highest Elo ranking 42 (1956)
Lowest Elo ranking 182 (June 2015)
First colours
Second colours
First international
Unofficial:
 Australia 5–3 India British Raj
(Sydney, Australia; 3 September 1938)
Official:
 India 1–2 France 
(London, England; July 31, 1948)[2]
Biggest win
 India 7–0 Ceylon 
(Bangalore, India; 29 December 1963)
Biggest defeat
 Soviet Union 11–1 India India
(Moscow, Soviet Union;16 September 1955)
Asian Cup
Appearances 3 (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).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 travels.[3] 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.[3]

The period from 1951 to 1962 is considered the golden era in Indian football. Under the tutelage of legendary Syed Abdul Rahim[4] 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[5] Later next year they went on to participate in the 1952 Olympics, but lost 10–1 to Yugoslavia. Like four years earlier, many of the team played without boots.[6] After the result the AIFF immediately made it mandatory to wear boots.[7] India then went on to finish second in the 1954 Asian Games held in Manila.[8] 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.[9]

Then in 1962 India went on to win the 1962 Asian Games where they beat South Korea 2–1 in the final.[10]

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.[11]

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.[12] Then all of a sudden India managed to qualify for the 1984 AFC Asian Cup after twenty years out of the Asian Cup tournament.[13] But India during the competition failed to make any impact.[14] 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.[15]

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 2003 SAFF Bangladesh knocked out India beating them 2-1 at extra time. In November 2003, then India coach Stephen Constantine was named AFC Manager of the Month.[15]

In 2006 Bob Houghton was later appointed 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 2009 Nehru Cup.[16]

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.[17]

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 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, Jawhaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi 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. Nike, Inc. is the apparel sponsor of the Indian national football team.They most recently again wore a jersey with a white vertical line on the left side and a white band on the right arm.

In 2010, Panasonic signed a deal to sponsor the Indian team's football jersey.[18] However, in December 2012, they decided not to renew their contract.[19] 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.[20]

Personnel[edit]

Current Technical Staff[edit]

Stephen Constantine, the current Head Coach
Position Name
Head coach England Stephen Constantine [21]
Assistant coach England Lee Johnson
Assistant coach India Shanmugam Venkatesh [21]
Manager India G S Srinivas Murthy
Goalkeeping coach Brazil Rogerio Ramos
Physio India Gigy George
Fitness coach Australia Daniel Darrel Deigan
Team Doctor India Kiran Kumar Kulkarni
Masseur India Liaqat Ali
Video Analyst India Shankar Sigamani
Kit Manager India Sanjay Dhyani
Director of National Team Scouts India Abhishek Yadav

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following 23 players were called up for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier - AFC Second Round against Oman on 11 June 2015 and Guam on 16 June 2015.[22]
Caps and goals as of 11 June 2015 after the game against Oman.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Subrata Pal (1986-11-24) 24 November 1986 (age 28) 62 0 India Mumbai City FC
23 1GK Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (1992-02-03) 3 February 1992 (age 23) 1 0 Norway Stabæk
16 1GK Sanjiban Ghosh (1991-07-06) 6 July 1991 (age 23) 0 0 India Mumbai
4 2DF Arnab Mondal (1989-09-25) 25 September 1989 (age 25) 14 1 India East Bengal
2 2DF Dhanachandra Singh (1987-03-04) 4 March 1987 (age 28) 2 0 India Mohun Bagan
13 2DF Rino Anto (1988-01-03) 3 January 1988 (age 27) 2 0 India Bengaluru FC
22 2DF Lalchhuan Mawia (1989-04-14) 14 April 1989 (age 26) 2 0 India Bengaluru FC
5 2DF Gurwinder Singh (1986-04-16) 16 April 1986 (age 29) 0 0 India East Bengal
3 2DF Augustin Fernandes (1987-10-13) 13 October 1987 (age 27) 0 0 India Salgaocar
6 2DF Reagan Singh (1991-04-01) 1 April 1991 (age 24) 0 0 India Royal Wahingdoh
15 3MF Francis Fernandes (1985-11-25) 25 November 1985 (age 29) 26 1 India Dempo
19 3MF C.K. Vineeth (1988-05-20) 20 May 1988 (age 27) 5 0 India Bengaluru FC
7 3MF Eugeneson Lyngdoh (1986-09-10) 10 September 1986 (age 28) 4 0 India Bengaluru FC
10 3MF Jackichand Singh (1992-03-17) 17 March 1992 (age 23) 4 0 India Royal Wahingdoh
8 3MF Cavin Lobo (1988-04-04) 4 April 1988 (age 27) 3 0 India East Bengal
21 3MF Dhanpal Ganesh (1994-06-13) 13 June 1994 (age 21) 3 0 India Pune
18 3MF Sehnaj Singh (1993-07-29) 29 July 1993 (age 21) 2 0 India Mohun Bagan
17 3MF Satiyasen Singh (1992-03-12) 12 March 1992 (age 23) 1 0 India Royal Wahingdoh
14 3MF Mandar Rao Desai (1992-03-18) 18 March 1992 (age 23) 0 0 India Dempo
11 4FW Sunil Chhetri (Captain) (1984-08-03) 3 August 1984 (age 30) 79 47 India Bengaluru FC
12 4FW Jeje Lalpekhlua (1991-01-07) 7 January 1991 (age 24) 23 8 India Mohun Bagan
9 4FW Robin Singh (1990-05-09) 9 May 1990 (age 25) 18 1 India Bengaluru FC
20 4FW Holicharan Narzary (1994-05-10) 10 May 1994 (age 21) 1 0 India Dempo

Recent call-ups[edit]

The following players have also been called up to the India squad within the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Prem Kumar Singh (1995-02-01) 1 February 1995 (age 20) 0 0 India Royal Wahingdoh v.  Oman, 11 June 2015
GK Arindam Bhattacharya Injured (1989-05-20) 20 May 1989 (age 26) 5 0 India Bharat FC v.    Nepal, 12 March 2015
GK Karanjit Singh (1986-01-08) 8 January 1986 (age 29) 16 0 India Salgaocar v.  Palestine, 6 October 2014
DF Sandesh Jhingan Injured (1993-07-21) 21 July 1993 (age 21) 2 0 India Kerala Blasters FC v.  Oman, 11 June 2015
DF Aiborlang Khongjee (1987-12-09) 9 December 1987 (age 27) 4 0 India Shillong Lajong v.    Nepal, 12 March 2015
DF Saumik Dey (1984-08-20) 20 August 1984 (age 30) 2 0 India East Bengal v.    Nepal, 12 March 2015
DF Pritam Kotal (1993-08-09) 9 August 1993 (age 21) 2 0 India Mohun Bagan v.    Nepal, 12 March 2015
DF Keegan Pereira (1987-11-07) 7 November 1987 (age 27) 0 0 India Bengaluru FC v.    Nepal, 12 March 2015
DF Raju Gaikwad (1990-09-25) 25 September 1990 (age 24) 23 0 India East Bengal v.  Palestine, 6 October 2014
DF Denzil Franco Injured (1986-06-06) 6 June 1986 (age 29) 12 1 India Atletico de Kolkata v.  Palestine, 6 October 2014
DF Narayan Das Injured (1993-09-25) 25 September 1993 (age 21) 2 0 India Dempo v.  Palestine, 6 October 2014
MF Mohammed Rafique (1992-09-20) 20 September 1992 (age 22) 0 0 India East Bengal v.  Oman, 11 June 2015
MF Lenny Rodrigues (1987-05-10) 10 May 1987 (age 28) 22 0 India Dempo v.    Nepal, 12 March 2015
MF Lalrindika Ralte Injured (1992-08-07) 7 August 1992 (age 22) 14 0 India East Bengal v.    Nepal, 12 March 2015
MF Anthony D'Souza Injured (1987-03-02) 2 March 1987 (age 28) 0 0 India Pune v.    Nepal, 12 March 2015
MF Clifford Miranda (1982-06-11) 11 June 1982 (age 33) 43 6 India Dempo v.  Palestine, 6 October 2014
MF Arata Izumi (1982-07-31) 31 July 1982 (age 32) 9 0 India Pune v.  Palestine, 6 October 2014
MF Lalkamal Bhowmick (1987-01-02) 2 January 1987 (age 28) 1 0 India Mohun Bagan v.  Palestine, 6 October 2014
FW Balwant Singh (1986-12-15) 15 December 1986 (age 28) 1 0 India Mohun Bagan v.    Nepal, 12 March 2015
FW Victorino Fernandes (1989-02-03) 3 February 1989 (age 26) 2 0 India Sporting Goa v.  Palestine, 6 October 2014

Previous squads[edit]

Results and Fixtures[edit]

2015[edit]

2016[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]