Pakistan national football team

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Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Green Shirts; Pak Shaheens
Association Pakistan Football Federation
Confederation AFC (Asia)
Head coach TBD
Most caps Jaffar Khan (43)
Top scorer Muhammad Essa (10)
Home stadium Punjab Stadium (10,000)
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 201 Steady (18 January 2018)
Highest 141 (February 1994)
Lowest 201 (April–May 2017, October 2017–present)
Elo ranking
Current 190 (10 October 2017)
Highest 96 (9 December 1959)
Lowest 208 (2012)
First international
 Iran 3–1 Pakistan Pakistan
(Tehran, Iran; 27 October 1950)
Biggest win
Pakistan Pakistan 9–2 Guam 
(Taipei City, Taiwan; 6 April 2008)[1]
Biggest defeat
 Iran 9–1 Pakistan Pakistan
(Tehran, Iran; 12 March 1969)[2]

The Pakistan national football team represents Pakistan association football in FIFA-authorised events and is controlled by the Pakistan Football Federation, the governing body for football in Pakistan. Pakistan's home ground is Punjab Stadium, Lahore. Pakistan became a member of FIFA in 1948 joining the Asian Football Confederation. Pakistan's national team debuted in 1950.The Pakistan Football Federation was banned by FIFA on 11th of October 2017 due to interference of third party in the management of the Federation.

Pakistan contest the South Asian Football Federation Championship and South Asian Games, which alternate biennially. Pakistan won the Colombo Cup in 1952. Pakistan has great record in South Asian Games, most successful team in South Asian Games, won four gold medals in 1989, 1991, 2004, 2006 and won one bronze medal in 1987 respectively.

In the last few years, Pakistan has completely stopped playing football and the national team is ranked 201, near the bottom of the FIFA rankings.


1950s – Pakistan's international debut[edit]

Pakistan made its international debut on a tour to Iran and Iraq in October 1950. The team, apparently playing barefoot[3], lost its first match 5–1 against Iran. Pakistan’s next international outing came in the Colombo Cup where the team played its first match against India which ended in a goalless draw. During the 50s, Pakistan played internationally in the following Colombo Cup editions which were played in India in 1954, then East Pakistan in 1955, and the Asian Games in Philippines in 1954 and in Japan in 1958.

Late 1960s and early 1970s[edit]

It was three years before Pakistan played another competitive fixture, when they played in the first RDC Cup and finished third. In 1967, they played a series of friendlies against Saudi Arabia, all ending in draws. Later in the year Pakistan lost their Asian Cup qualifiers against Burma and Khmer and drew their final match against India. They then hosted the second RDC Cup and finished third, which included the 4–7 defeat to Turkey. In 1969, they travelled to Iran to take part in friendly tournament, in which they had a 2–1 win against Iraq and a record 9–1 defeat by Iran.

As a result of the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, East Pakistan became The People's Republic of Bangladesh and consequently the Pakistani team lost the right to call upon Bengali players. In the early 1970s the national side's participation was restricted to the RDC Cup and the 1974 Asian Games, and a single friendly against South Korea in 1978. The most notable result in this period was a 2–2 draw against Turkey. They also lost 8–0 to Kenya in Riyadh Saudi Arabia's Arabi tournament

1980–1990 (Rise and fall)[edit]

In the King's Cup in 1982, Pakistan secured a goalless draw against Indonesia, the team's first clean sheet since 1962. After a loss to Thailand, they gained a 3–2 victory versus Malaysia and although they lost a close game against China, they were able to win 1–0 in their final game against Singapore.

Pakistan hosted a friendly tournament involving Iran, Bangladesh, Oman and Nepal in 1982. The Green Shirts started off with a 2–1 over Bangladesh. They lost to Iran, but came back and beat Nepal 2–0. The last game against Oman ended nil-nil and Pakistan ended the tournament as runners-up. However, in 1984, the national team lost 4 out of 5 games in the Asian Cup qualifiers, the only victory coming against North Yemen 4–1.

The national team hosted another tournament in 1985, this time inviting North Korea, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Nepal. A goalless draw against the North Koreans boosted the side, and they beat Nepal 1–0. However, losses in the final two games against Bangladesh and Indonesia meant they were again runners up. In the South Asian Games, Pakistan ended fourth after losing a penalty shoot out to Nepal.

In the 1986 Asian Games, Pakistan lost all their games. However, a year later the side was more successful at the South Asian Games, winning the bronze medal match against Bangladesh 1–0. In 1988, they lost all their Asian Cup qualifiers. Pakistan made their first attempt to qualify for the World Cup in 1989. However, they were unable to win any of their matches. The national team bounced back, when several months later they took Gold at the South Asian Games, beating Bangladesh 1–0 in the final.

1990s to 2003 (Decline)[edit]

Pakistan had another early exit in the Asian Games, losing all three games in 1990. In the 1991 South Asian Games, Pakistan beat the Maldives in the final 2–0 to win their second Gold. The next year they failed to qualify for another Asian Cup after defeats in both qualifiers, after a World Cup qualifying campaign in 1993 where in one game they lost to Iraq 8–0. Later in the year the first SAFF Cup took place, and the national team finished fourth, but at the 1993 South Asian Games, they were unable to get past the group stage.

In 1995, Pakistan went out of the SAFF Cup group stage on goal difference. Between 1996 and 1997, the team lost all their Asian Cup and World Cup qualifying games. Pakistan came third in the 1997 SAFF Cup, thanks to a 1–0 victory over Sri Lanka in the third place playoff. The 1999 SAFF Cup saw Pakistan finish bottom of their group, and Pakistan also failed to get out of the group stage of the final South Asian Games to hold full internationals.

Pakistan were unable to win any of their 2000 Asian Cup qualifiers. The following year Pakistan achieved their first point in World Cup qualification, thanks to a hat-trick by Gohar Zaman in a 3–3 draw against Sri Lanka, but all other matches ended in defeat.

In 2002, Pakistan played in an unsuccessful four match series against Sri Lanka. At the 2003 SAFF Cup, Pakistan finished fourth, losing 2–1 in extra time to India in the third place playoff. Later in the year, Pakistan won their first Asian Cup qualifier with a 3–0 over Macao, but still were unable to qualify. They rounded off the year with defeats to Kyrgyzstan in the World Cup qualifiers.

2004–2013 (New set-up and changes)[edit]

2004 saw changes in Pakistan football, with a new administration in place by this time and a new national league up and running. A victory against India in a three match series, the final match ending 3–0 to the Greenshirts, followed, and they went on the reach the semi-finals of the 2005 SAFF Cup. They lost the semifinal against defending champion Bangladesh by 0–1 margin.

The Pakistan team lost their first two Asian Cup qualifiers in 2006, in between which they took part in the first AFC Challenge Cup 2006. They failed to get past the group stage, but beat Kyrgyzstan 1–0. Back at the Asian Cup qualifiers, they lost their remaining fixtures. In the World Cup qualifiers in 2007, they fell to a heavy defeat by the Asian champions Iraq and after the 7–0 loss, little was expected on them in the second leg. However, the Greenshirts held them to a goalless draw. In 2008, Pakistan travelled to Nepal for two friendlies before taking on the AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers. Although they won against Chinese Taipei 2–1 in the first match, and beat Guam in a record-equalling 9–2 win in the final match, other results, including a 7–1 defeat to Sri Lanka, saw them again fail to reach the finals.

In the SAFF Championship 2008, Pakistan failed to go beyond the group stages, losing to Maldives 3–0, India 2–1 and Nepal 4–1, which signalled the end of Akhtar Mohiuddin's tenure as head coach. After Mohiuddin's departure, Austrian-Hungarian coach George Kottan was hired and the veteran tactician took a star-studded team to the SAFF Championship 2009. Despite calling upon foreign players such as Adnan Ahmed, Shabir Khan, Amjad Iqbal, Atif Bashir and Reis Ashraf, the side were unable were defeat 1–0 by Sri Lanka, before drawing 0–0 with Bangladesh as former Manchester United star Adnan missed a late penalty to seal a win. Pakistan won against Bhutan 7–0 in their last game.

Kottan was soon sacked in February 2010, Pakistan had no senior games during the entire calendar year but saw the appointment of Tottenham Hotspur legend Graham Roberts for the U-23 Team. For the AFC Challenge Cup 2012 qualifiers in 2011, KRL FC coach Tariq Lutfi was called up once more and failed to deliver emphatically. Defeats such as the 3–0 against Turkmenistan and 3–1 against India meant that the side were already out of the qualifiers despite beating Chinese Taipei by 2–0. Later in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in July, Bangladesh thoroughly beat Pakistan 3–0 in Dhaka, before earning a 0–0 draw in Lahore a few days later.

That saw the end of Lutfi's reign, with Serbian boss Zaviša Milosavljević taking over in November 2011 right before the SAFF Championship 2011. Despite having little time to influence the team, Zavisa managed to hold Bangladesh 0–0, Maldives 0–0 and Nepal 1–1 in the India-hosted SAFF Championship 2011. However, they were unable to progress into the semi-finals and returned home.

2012's sole game was witnessed in November against Singapore, who thrashed Pakistan 4–0 at home. Pakistan then started 2013 with a bang, winning two games against Nepal with identical 1–0 margins thanks to the brilliance of Hassan Bashir. A 1–1 draw with Maldives followed, but with congested fixtures Pakistan ended up losing the last game 3–0 in Male.


Pakistan then played the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup qualification in Bishkek, losing out 1–0 to Tajikistan in injury-time.Pakistan also lost 1–0 against the Kyrgyzstan after scoring in the 1st minute, but with Hassan Bashir returning, Pakistan comfortably beat Macau 2–0.

Pakistan played a friendly against Afghanistan in August, losing 3–0 emphatically without their foreign-based players. Coach Zaviša Milosavljević was sacked and replaced by Bahrain's Mohammad Al-Shamlan, who acted as a coaching consultant to Shahzad Anwar in the 2013 SAFF Championship

The Shaheens played their hearts out, but were unable to defeat India and lost 1–0 after horrendous own-goal from Aqib Riaz. Against hosts Nepal, Hassan Bashir scored an early goal, only to see 15-year-old Bimal Gharti Magar level things in injury-time. However, Pakistan beat Bangladesh 2–1 and were unlucky not to reach the semi-finals after losing out on head-to-head with India.

Pakistan did not qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, being eliminated by Bangladesh in the first round of the AFC qualifying section, losing the first game 3–0, but drawing 0–0 in the return game, being 3–0 as the aggregate score.

In 2014, Pakistan played a 2 match friendly series with India. All matches were played at Bangalore Stadium in India. India beat Pakistan 1–0 in the first friendly, leading the series, but Pakistan won the second match 0–2.

For Pakistan's campaign for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, they were to face Yemen in Round 1 in the AFC qualifying section. In the first match, Pakistan lost 3–1. For the second match, Pakistan drew 0–0, eliminating Pakistan from the tournament with an aggregate score of 3–1 in favor of Yemen.[4]

Grounds and Uniform[edit]


Punjab Stadium (Lahore) main entrance.

For the first fifty years of their existence, Pakistan played their home matches all around the country. They initially used cricket grounds before later moving on to football stadiums. Pakistan played at a number of different venues across the country, though by the time of 2003 this had largely settled down to having Punjab Stadium as the primary venue, with Jinnah Sports Stadium And Peoples Football Stadium used on occasions where Punjab Stadium was unavailable for home matches.

The Pakistan Football Federation has its headquarters near the stadium. It recently hosted most of the matches for the AFC President's Cup 2007. Muhammad Essa was the first man to score an international goal at this venue when he surged Pakistan ahead against India in June 2005.


The Pakistan national team's home kit has always been a green shirt and white shorts. The colours are derived from the flag of Pakistan which is a green field with a white crescent moon and five-rayed star at its centre, and a vertical white stripe at the hoist side.[5] The away shirt colour has changed several times. The national team has used white shirt with white shorts or white shirt with green shorts. Historically, white shirt with green shorts is the most often used colour combination. The kits are currently manufactured by Forward Sports.

Players and management[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following 30 players are listed for any upcoming matches.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Muzammil Hussain (1993-09-06) 6 September 1993 (age 24) 1 0 Pakistan WAPDA FC
1GK Saqib Hanif (1994-04-28) 28 April 1994 (age 23) 2 0 Maldives BG Sports Club
1GK Yousuf Butt (1989-10-18) 18 October 1989 (age 28) 12 0 Denmark Herlev IF

2DF Nabil Aslam (1984-08-03) 3 August 1984 (age 33) 1 0 Denmark Glostrup FK
2DF Muhammad Ahmed (1988-01-03) 3 January 1988 (age 30) 6 0 Pakistan KRL F.C.
2DF Muhammad Bilal (1996-08-14) 14 August 1996 (age 21) 0 0 Pakistan WAPDA FC
2DF Zesh Rehman (1983-10-14) 14 October 1983 (age 34) 18 1 Hong Kong Southern
2DF Ahsan Ullah (1992-12-13) 13 December 1992 (age 25) 4 0 Pakistan KRL F.C.
2DF Mohsin Ali (1996-06-01)1 June 1996 (aged 21) 4 0 Pakistan Navy F.C
2DF Shabir Khan (1985-11-10) 10 November 1985 (age 32) 9 1 England Worcester City
2DF Kamran Ali Iqbal (1991-11-05) 5 November 1991 (age 26) 0 0 Norway Bærum
2DF Easah Suliman (1998-01-26) 26 January 1998 (age 19) 0 0 England Aston Villa

3MF Adnan Ahmed (1984-06-07) 7 June 1984 (age 33) 27 4 England Nelson F.C.
3MF Muhammad Riaz (1995-03-10) 10 March 1995 (age 22) 6 1 Pakistan K-Electric FC
3MF Bilalwal-ur-Rehman (1993-10-04) 4 October 1993 (age 24) 4 0 Pakistan KRL F.C.
3MF Mahmood Khan (1991-06-10) 10 June 1991 (age 26) 3 0 Pakistan KRL F.C.
3MF Saddam Hussain (1993-04-10) 10 April 1993 (age 24) 19 0 Northern Cyprus Larnaka Gençler Birliği S.K.
3MF Saadullah Khan (1994-06-04) 4 June 1994 (age 23) 3 1 Pakistan KRL F.C.
3MF Muhammad Adil (1992-07-09) 9 July 1992 (age 25) 19 0 Australia Hawkesbury City FC
3MF Naveed Ahmed (1993-01-03) 3 January 1993 (age 25) 8 0 Pakistan KRL F.C.
3MF Etzaz Hussain (1993-01-27) 27 January 1993 (age 24) 0 0 Norway Odds
3MF Ghayas Zahid (1994-09-08) 8 September 1994 (age 23) 0 0 Cyprus APOEL
3MF Otis Khan (1995-09-05) 5 September 1995 (age 22) 0 0 England Yeovil Town
3MF Samir Nabi (1996-12-16) 16 December 1996 (age 21) 0 0 England Carlisle United F.C.

4FW Muhammad Ali (1989-09-02) 2 September 1989 (age 28) 8 0 Denmark B93
4FW Kaleemullah Khan (Captain) (1992-09-20) 20 September 1992 (age 25) 25 4 United States Tulsa Roughnecks
4FW Hassan Bashir (Vice-captain) (1987-01-07) 7 January 1987 (age 31) 15 4 Denmark BSV
4FW Adnan Mohammad (1996-07-02) 2 July 1996 (age 21) 0 0 Denmark FC Helsingør
4FW Mansoor Khan (1997-02-20) 20 February 1997 (age 20) 5 0 Sri Lanka Air Force SC
4FW Adil Nabi (1994-02-28) 28 February 1994 (age 23) 0 0 England Peterborough United

Current staff[edit]

Current Coaching staff of Pakistan football team.
Position Name
Head coach
Assistant coach Pakistan Tanveer Ahmed
Goalkeeping coach Pakistan Aslam Khan
Physiotherapist Pakistan Dr Kamra Mehdi
Business manager Pakistan Asghar Anjum

Pakistan team in FIFA world ranking[edit]

1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
142 158 160 173 153 168 179 190 181 178 168 177 158 164 163 165 156 171 179 189 172 188 184 197 201[6]

Honours and recognition[edit]

Champions (4): 1989, 1991, 2004, 2006
Runners-Up (1): 1987
Third Place (1): 1997
Semi Finalist (3): 1993, 2003, 2005
Third Place (5): 1965, 1967, 1969, 1970, 1974
Champions (1): 1952
Runners-Up (3): 1953, 1954, 1955
Runners-Up (1): 1962
Fourth Place (1): 1960
Third Place (1): 2013


  • Largest win — 9 – 2 Guam Guam, (Taiwan, 06 April 2008)
  • Worst defeat — 9 – 1 Iran Iran, (Iran, 12 March 1969)

Tournament records[edit]

FIFA World Cup[edit]

FIFA World Cup FIFA World Cup qualification record
Hosts / Year Pld W D* L GS GA Pld W D* L GF GA
Uruguay 1930 to France 1938 Did not exist Did not exist
Brazil 1950 to Mexico 1986 Did not enter Did not enter
Italy 1990 Did not qualify 4 0 0 4 1 12
United States 1994 Did not qualify 8 0 0 8 2 36
France 1998 Did not qualify 4 0 0 4 3 22
South KoreaJapan 2002 Did not qualify 6 0 1 5 5 29
Germany 2006 Did not qualify 2 0 0 2 0 6
South Africa 2010 Did not qualify 2 0 1 1 0 7
Brazil 2014 Did not qualify 2 0 1 1 0 3
Russia 2018 Did not qualify 2 0 1 1 1 3
Qatar 2022 To be determined To be determined
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 30 0 4 26 12 118

AFC Asian Cup[edit]

AFC Asian Cup AFC Asian Cup qualification record
Hosts / Year Pld W D* L GS GA Pld W D* L GF GA
Hong Kong 1956 Did not qualify Withdrew
South Korea 1960 Did not qualify 6 2 1 3 8 10
Israel 1964 Did not qualify Withdrew
Iran 1968 Did not qualify 3 0 1 2 1 4
Thailand 1972 Did not qualify Withdrew
Iran 1976 Did not qualify Withdrew
Kuwait 1980 Did not qualify Withdrew
Singapore 1984 Did not qualify 4 1 0 3 4 1400
Qatar 1988 Did not qualify 4 0 0 4 1 12
Japan 1992 Did not qualify 2 0 0 2 0 9
United Arab Emirates 1996 Did not qualify 2 0 0 2 0 7
Lebanon 2000 Did not qualify 4 0 0 4 0 16
China 2004 Did not qualify 2 1 0 1 3 3
IndonesiaMalaysiaThailandVietnam 2007 Did not qualify 8 0 1 7 4 23
Qatar 2011 Did not enter Did not enter
Australia 2015 Did not enter Did not enter
United Arab Emirates 2019 Did not qualify 2 0 1 1 1 3
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 37 4 4 29 22 101

AFC Challenge Cup[edit]

The AFC Challenge Cup was held every two years from 2006 through 2014.

AFC Challenge Cup AFC Challenge Cup qualification record
Hosts / Year Round Pld W D* L GS GA Pld W D* L GF GA
Bangladesh 2006 Group Stage 3 1 1 1 3 4
India 2008 Did not qualify 3 2 0 1 12 10
Sri Lanka 2010 Did not qualify 3 1 2 0 9 3
Nepal 2012 Did not qualify 3 1 0 2 3 6
Maldives 2014 Did not qualify 3 1 0 2 2 2
Total - 3 1 1 1 3 4 12 5 2 5 26 21

Pestabola Merdeka[edit]

The Pestabola Merdeka is an invitational tournament held in Malaysia. The Pakistan national team has participated in this tournament twice.

Pestabola Merdeka
Year Position
Malaysia 1957 to Malaysia 1959 Did not play
Malaysia 1960 Semi-Finalist
Malaysia 1961 Did not play
Malaysia 1962 2nd
Malaysia 1963 to Malaysia 2013 Did not play

Team performance[edit]

TBD (to be determined), DNQ (did not qualify), DNP (did not participate)

South Asian Games
Year Host country Position
1984 Kathmandu, Nepal Nepal DNP
1985 Dhaka, Bangladesh Bangladesh DNP
1987 Kolkata, India India 3rd
1989 Islamabad, Pakistan Pakistan 1st
1991 Colombo, Sri Lanka Sri Lanka 1st
1993 Dhaka, Bangladesh Bangladesh DNP
1995 Madras, India India DNP
1999 Kathmandu, Nepal Nepal DNP
2004 Islamabad, Pakistan Pakistan 1st
2006 Colombo, Sri Lanka Sri Lanka 1st
2010 Dhaka, Bangladesh Bangladesh Round-1
2016 Guwahati and Shillong, India India DNP
2018 Kathmandu, Nepal Nepal TBD
SAFF Championship
Year Host country Position
1993 Lahore, Pakistan Pakistan 4th
1995 Colombo, Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Round-1
1997 Kathmandu, Nepal Nepal 3rd
1999 Margao, India India Round-1
2003 Dhaka, Bangladesh Bangladesh 4th
2005 Islamabad, Pakistan Pakistan Semi-Finalist
2008 Malé, Maldives Maldives and Colombo, Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Round-1
2009 Dhaka, Bangladesh Bangladesh Round-1
2011 New Delhi, India India Round-1
2013 Kathmandu, Nepal Nepal Round-1
2015 Kerala, India India DNP
2017 Dhaka, Bangladesh Bangladesh TBD
Year Host country Position
1965 Tehran, Iran Iran 3rd
1967 Dhaka, Pakistan East Pakistan 3rd
1969 Ankara, Turkey Turkey 3rd
1970 Tehran, Iran Iran 3rd
1974 Karachi, Pakistan Pakistan 3rd
1993 Tehran, Iran Iran Round-1
Colombo Cup
Year Host country Position
1952 Colombo, Dominion of Ceylon Ceylon 1st
1953 Rangoon, Myanmar Burma 2nd
1954 Calcutta, India India 2nd
1955 Dhaka, Pakistan East Pakistan 2nd
Philippine Peace Cup
Year Host country Position
2012 Manila, Manila Philippines DNP
2013 Manila, Manila Philippines 3rd
2014 Manila, Manila Philippines DNP

See also[edit]


External links[edit]