India
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)The Blue Tigers
AssociationAll India Football Federation (AIFF)
ConfederationAFC (Asia)
Sub-confederationSAFF (South Asia)
Head coachVacant
CaptainGurpreet Singh Sandhu
Most capsSunil Chhetri (151)[1]
Top scorerSunil Chhetri (94)[1]
Home stadiumVarious
FIFA codeIND
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 124 Decrease 3 (20 June 2024)[2]
Highest94 (February 1996[2])
Lowest173 (March 2015[2])
First international
Pre-independence:
 Australia 5–3 India 
(Sydney, Australia; 3 September 1938)
Post-independence:
 India 1–2 France 
(London, England; 31 July 1948)
Biggest win
 India 7–0 Sri Lanka 
(Bangalore, India; 7 December 1963)
Biggest defeat
 Soviet Union 11–1 India 
(Moscow, Soviet Union; 16 September 1955)
Summer Olympics
Appearances4 (first in 1948)
Best resultSemi-finals (1956)
Asian Cup
Appearances5 (first in 1964)
Best resultRunners-up (1964)
Asian Games
Appearances11 (first in 1951)
Best resultChampions (1951, 1962)
SAFF Championship
Appearances13 (first in 1993)
Best resultChampions (1993, 1997, 1999, 2005, 2011, 2015, 2021, 2023)
Websitewww.the-aiff.com Edit this at Wikidata

The India national football team represents India in men's international football and is governed by the All India Football Federation.

The team, which is considered as the best team in South Asia, won two gold medals at the 1951 and 1962 Asian Games while finishing fourth at the 1956 Summer Olympics. India has never participated in the FIFA World Cup, although they did qualify by default for the 1950 World Cup after all other nations in their qualification group withdrew. However, India withdrew prior to the beginning of the tournament. The team has also appeared four times in the AFC Asian Cup, Asia's top football championship and finished as runners-up in 1964. India also participates in the SAFF Championship, the top regional football competition in South Asia. They have won the tournament record eight times since its inception in 1993.

In the 21st century, besides the SAFF Championship triumphs, India won the Nehru Cup in 2007 and 2009 editions. India also won the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup, by which the team qualified for the Asian Cup after 27 years' gap.

History

Main article: History of the India national football team

Early years (1930s–1940s)

Aerial photo of packed stadium
Stadium interior, photographed from the grandstand
In the top image, Indian team (in white jersey) and all European team (in black jersey), together before a match held in Calcutta on 1 July 1938. In bottom image, India side that participated in the 1948 Olympics' match against France.

The first known official international tour of the Indian team, which at that time consisted of both Indian and British players, was in 1924 when it was led by Indian footballer Gostha Pal.[5]

Football teams consisting of entirely Indian players started to tour Australia, Japan, Indonesia, and Thailand during the late 1930s. The first international match India played before independence is yet to be verified, but they are known to have played Ceylon in 1933, winning 1–0.[5][6][7]

In the year 1937, India carried out a lengthy tour of Australia at the request of the Australian Football Association. From August to October, they played 17 matches against various state, district, and club teams, and 5 friendly matches against the Australian national team.[8] The first of these, on 3 September in Sydney, is India's first international game to be recognised by FIFA, and ended in a 5–3 defeat.[8] After drawing the second match in Brisbane 4–4, India won the third match at Newcastle 4–1 to claim their first international win.[9]

The national team played their first match as an independent nation in the first round of the 1948 Summer Olympics against France, in a 2–1 defeat. Famously, the Indian team did not wear boots, playing either barefoot or in socks, something that would be banned by FIFA later in the year.[10][11][a]

Golden years (1950s–1960s)

India national team playing against Australia at Olympic Park stadium, Melbourne in 1956 Olympics
Indian team at a tussle against Bulgaria at the 1956 Olympics.

In 1950, India managed to qualify for the 1950 FIFA World Cup, which was scheduled to take place in Brazil, after all the other teams in their qualifying group withdrew. However, India themselves withdrew from the tournament shortly before it began; officially, this was due to travel costs, but FIFA had offered to pay the team's travel expenses, and the real reason behind their withdrawal has been widely speculated in the decades since.[12][13][14][15] While it was commonly believed that India withdrew due to FIFA's ban on playing barefoot, the team's captain at that time, Sailen Manna, insisted that this was not the case; it is now generally accepted that India withdrew simply because they valued the Olympics more than the World Cup and did not view the latter is being prestigious enough to justify taking part.[11][16] Since then, India have yet to qualify for another World Cup.[17]

Despite not participating in the World Cup in 1950 and opting not to even play the Asian zone qualifiers until 1985, the following years until 1964 are usually considered to be the "golden era" of the Indian football.[18] India, coached by Hyderabad City Police head coach Syed Abdul Rahim,[19][20] became one of the best teams in Asia.[21][22] In March 1951, Rahim led India to their first ever triumph during the 1951 Asian Games, hosted in India. The team defeated Iran 1–0 in the gold medal match to win their first trophy.[23][24] Sahu Mewalal scored the winning goal for India in that match.[23] The following year, India competed in the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki, but were unused to the cold conditions[10] and lost 10–1 to Yugoslavia.[25] Following this defeat, the AIFF made it mandatory for footballers to wear boots.[10] After taking the defeat in Helsinki Finland, India participated in various minor tournaments, such as the Colombo Cup, which they won four times from 1952 to 1955.[26]

In 1954, India returned to the Asian Games as defending champions in Manila. Despite their achievement three years prior, India was unable to go past the group stage as the team finished second in Group C during the tournament, two points behind Indonesia.[27] Two years later, at the 1956 Summer Olympics, India went on to achieve the team's greatest result in a competitive tournament. The team finished in fourth place during the Summer Olympics football tournament, losing the bronze-medal match to Bulgaria 3–0. The tournament is also known for Neville D'Souza's hat-trick against Australia in the quarterfinals. D'Souza's hat-trick was the first scored by an Asian in Olympic history.[28] India defeated Australia by 4–2 in that match at the Olympic Park Stadium.[28]

India national football team in India Asian Games suit before boarding the plane for Jakara, Indonesia.
The Indian squad before their departure for Jakarta and the 1962 Asiad.

After their good performance during the Summer Olympics, India participated in the 1958 Asian Games in Tokyo. The team once again finished fourth, losing the bronze-medal match to Indonesia 4–1.[29] The next year the team travelled to Malaysia where they took part in the 1959 Merdeka tournament and finished as the tournament runners-up.[30]

India began the 1960s with the 1960 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers. Despite the qualifiers for the West Zone being held in Kochi, India finished last in their qualification group and thus missed out the tournament.[31] Despite the set-back, India went on to win the gold medal during the Asian Games for the second time in 1962. The team defeated South Korea 2–1 to win their second major championship.[32]

Two years later, following their Asian Games triumph, India participated in the 1964 AFC Asian Cup after all the other teams in their qualification group withdrew. Despite their automatic entry into the continental tournament, India team managed to finish as the runners-up during the tournament, losing out to the hosts, Israel, by two points. This remains India's best performance in the AFC Asian Cup.[33]

Decline (1970s–2000)

A still from India vs Argentina, India's only match against the opponents.
India vs Argentina match at the Eden Gardens during the 1984 Nehru Cup.

India returned to the Asian Games in 1966. Despite their performance two years prior during the AFC Asian Cup, India could not go beyond the group stage as the team finished third, behind Japan and Iran.[34] Four years later, during the 1970 Asian Games, India came back and took third place during the tournament. The team defeated Japan 1–0 during the bronze-medal match.[35]

In 1974, India's performance in the Asian Games once again sharply declined as they finished the 1974 edition in last place in their group, losing all three matches, scoring two, and conceding 14 goals in the first round.[36] India then showed steady improvement during the 1978 tournament, finishing second in their group of three. The team were then knocked-out in the next round, finishing last in their group with three defeats from three matches.[37] The 1982 tournament proved to be better for India as the side managed to qualify for the quarter-finals before losing to Saudi Arabia 1–0.[38] In 1984, India managed to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup for the first time since their second place triumph in 1964. During the 1984 tournament, India finished in last place in their five team group in the first round.[39] India's only non-defeat during the tournament came against Iran, a 0–0 draw.[39]

Despite India's decline from a major football power in Asia, the team still managed to assert its dominance as the top team in South Asia. India managed to win the football competition of the South Asian Games in 1985 and then again won the gold medal in 1987.[40] The team then began the 1990s by winning the inaugural SAFF Championship in 1993 and silver medal at the 1993 South Asian Games. In February 1996, India achieved its highest FIFA ranking of 94, under Bhaichung Bhutia's captaincy.[41][42] The team ended the 20th century by winning the SAFF Championship again in 1997 and 1999.[42]

Resurgence (2001–2011)

A view of ONGC Nehru Football Cup between India and Syria
India playing against Syria at the 2007 Nehru Cup.

India's first competitive matches of the 21st century were the 2002 FIFA World Cup first round qualifiers. India took a very bright start, defeating the United Arab Emirates 1–0, drawing Yemen 1–1, as well as two victories over Brunei, including a 5–0 victory in Bangalore. However, they finished a point away from qualification for the next round.[43] In 2003, India took part in the 2003 SAFF Championship. The team qualified for the semi-finals but fell to Bangladesh 2–1.[44]

Later in 2003, India participated in the Afro-Asian Games being held in Hyderabad. Under the coaching of Stephen Constantine, India managed to make it to the final of the tournament after defeating Zimbabwe, a team ranked 85 places above India in the FIFA rankings at the time, 5–3.[45] Despite the major victory, during the gold-medal match India were defeated 1–0 by Uzbekistan.[46] Because of this achievement, Constantine was voted as the Asian Football Confederation's Manager of the Month for October 2003. The tournament result also gave India more recognition around the country and around the world.[45]

Bhaichung Bhutia and Sunil Chhetri holding the Indian National flag.
The captain of Indian Football team, Bhaichung Bhutia, celebrating along with other players after winning the 2007 Nehru Cup final.

Constantine was replaced by Syed Nayeemuddin in 2005 but the Indian head coach only lasted for a little over a year as India suffered many heavy defeats during the 2007 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.[47] During this time India were defeated 6–0 by Japan, 3–0 by Saudi Arabia and Yemen respectively at home, and 7–1 away in Jeddah.[48] Former Malmö and China coach Bob Houghton was brought in as head coach in May 2006.[49]

Under Houghton, India witnessed massive improvement in their football standing. In August 2007, Houghton won the country the restarted Nehru Cup after India defeated Syria 1–0 in the final.[50] Pappachen Pradeep scored the winning goal for India that match. The next year, Houghton led India during the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup, which was hosted in Hyderabad and Delhi. During the tournament, India breezed through the group stage before defeating Myanmar in the semi-finals. In the final against Tajikistan, India, through a Sunil Chhetri hat-trick, won the match 4–1. The victory not only earned India the championship but it also allowed India to qualify for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, the nation's first Asian Cup appearance in 27 years.[51] In order to prepare for the Asian Cup, Houghton had the team stay together as a squad for eight months from June 2010 until the start of the tournament, meaning the players would not play for their clubs.[52]

India were drawn into Group C for the Asian Cup with Australia, South Korea, and Bahrain.[53] Even though they stayed together as a team for eight months, India lost all three of their matches during the Asian Cup, including a 4–0 defeat to Australia.[54] Despite the results, India were praised by fans and pundits for their valiant efforts during the tournament.[54]

Recent history (2011–2018)

India against Thailand at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

After participating the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, India's campaign to qualify for the 2015 Asian Cup began in February 2011 with the AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers. Bob Houghton decided to change the makeup of the India squad, replacing many of the older players from the Asian Cup with some young players from the AIFF development side in the I-League, Indian Arrows.[55] Even with a young side, India managed to qualify for the AFC Challenge Cup.[56] Despite qualifying for the AFC Challenge Cup, the AIFF decided to terminate the contract of Bob Houghton as he was charged with racial abuse towards referee[57][58] which ultimately resulted in his resignation as the head coach of India.[59][60]

After having Dempo coach Armando Colaco as interim head coach,[61] the AIFF signed Savio Medeira as head coach in October 2011.[62] Medeira led India to another SAFF Championship victory, but also to their worst performance in the AFC Challenge Cup in March 2012. The team lost all three of their group matches, unable to score a single goal during the tournament.[63] After the tournament, Medeira was replaced as head coach by Dutchman, Wim Koevermans.[64] Koevermans' first job as head coach was the 2012 Nehru Cup. India won their third successive Nehru Cup, defeating Cameroon on penalties.[65][66]

In March 2013, India failed to qualify for the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup and thus also failed to qualify for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.[67] The team also failed to retain the SAFF Championship, losing 2–0 to Afghanistan in the 2013 final.[68] After more bad results in friendlies, Koevermans resigned as head coach in October 2014.[69]

By March 2015, after not playing any matches, India reached their lowest FIFA ranking position of 173.[70] A couple months prior, Stephen Constantine was re-hired as the head coach after first leading India more than a decade before.[71] Constantine's first major assignment back as the India head coach were the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. After making it through the first round of qualifiers, India crashed out during the second round, losing seven of their eight matches and thus, once again, failed to qualify for the World Cup.[72]

India national team in away jersey, 2019
India playing XI against Thailand at 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

Despite failure to qualify for the World Cup, India managed to reach the third round of 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers after defeating Laos in the play-off round on aggregate 7–1.[73] On 11 October 2017, India secured qualification for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup after a 4–1 victory over Macau.[74] In 2017, India remained undefeated by drawing two and winning seven games, which helped the team to reach 96 in the FIFA ranking in May, which is its second highest FIFA rank ever.[41]

Though defeated at the 2018 SAFF Championship final 1–2 against Maldives in September 2018,[75] India regained the momentum with some friendlies against China, Jordan and Oman as they began the 2019 AFC Asian Cup with a 4–1 victory against Thailand; this was their biggest ever win at the Asia Cup, and their first in 55 years.[76][77] Nevertheless, they lost both of their next two group matches against UAE and Bahrain 0−2 and 0−1 respectively[78][79] and finished at the bottom of the group, thus failed to move to knock out stage.[80] Stephen Constantine immediately resigned from his position as head coach following the failure to progress further in the tournament.[81]

Igor Stimac era (2019–2024)

On 15 May 2019, the AIFF announced former Croatian player and coach Igor Štimac as the team's head coach after the departure of Stephen Constantine.[82] His first major assignment with India was 2022 World Cup qualification, where it began with a 1–2 home loss to Oman.[83] But in the second match they earned a respectable point after managing a goalless draw against the 2019 Asian Champion and 2022 FIFA World Cup host Qatar.[84][41] However, in the third match, the home leg against Bangladesh saw them managing a disappointing 1−1 draw.[85] A similar result was repeated in the away leg against Afghanistan.[86] In the away leg, India lost yet again to Oman by a solitary goal, thus shortening their hopes to qualify for the next round.[87] After several postponements due to COVID-19, the team finally flew to Doha to play their remainder of games. In the return leg against Qatar, India went down to the hosts with a single goal and got knocked out of the World Cup qualification tournament with two games to spare. The team then made a comeback by winning their next match against Bangladesh 2–0, and ended their campaign with a 1–1 draw against Afghanistan. With seven points in total, India finished third on the table behind Qatar and Oman, thus getting eliminated from the World Cup during the second round. However they were qualified into the third round of 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualification.[88]

In the third round of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualification, India was drawn in the same group with Afghanistan, Hong Kong and Cambodia. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, India was chosen as the host of the group of the qualifiers while the qualification was reduced into a single round robin format.[89] Using this home advantage, India was able to top the group with three wins against Cambodia (2–0), Afghanistan (2–1) and Hong Kong (4–0), therefore for the first time, India qualified for two consecutive AFC Asian Cups in history.[90] In September 2022, India participated for the first time in the VFF Cup where they played two friendly matches, a 1–1 draw against Singapore and a 3–0 defeat by Vietnam, ending their year .[91][92] In 2023, India began their campaign by winning the 2023 Tri-Nation Series and the 2023 Intercontinental Cup, both were organized by AIFF. India beat Myanmar 1–0 and Kyrgyzstan 2–0 in the Tri-Nation series, and defeated Lebanon 2–0 in the final of Intercontinental Cup to win the title for the second time.[93][94] Following the Tri-Nation Series and the Intercontinental Cup, India won the 2023 SAFF championship, their third title in the year 2023 at home soil.[95] India defeated Pakistan 4–0 and Nepal 2–0 and drawn 1–1 against Kuwait in the group stage.[96][97][98] After defeating Lebanon in penalty shoot-out in the semi–finals, India faced Kuwait again in the tournament for the final. The match was tied 1–1 till the added time and eventually India defeated Kuwait in the penalty shoot-out to lift the SAFF Cup for a record nine times. Sunil Chhetri was the highest goal scorer of the edition with 5 goals, including a hat-trick against Pakistan, his fourth for the national team. With this hat-trick, he scored 92 goals becoming the second-highest international goalscorer from Asia of all time. His tally of 92 put him as the fourth-highest goalscorer in the history of international football.[99][100]

Heading to the 2023 AFC Asian Cup tournament, India was the only national team without any friendly match as preparation.[101] India ended up losing all matches in the group stage against Australia (0–2), Uzbekistan (0–3), and Syria (0–1), without scoring any goals.[102]

On the 2026 World Cup qualification India was drawn in group A of the second round with Afghanistan, Kuwait and Qatar. India started its journey topping the group with Qatar after winning against Kuwait 1–0, in which ended up being the only victory of the team in the group.[103]Since then the performances only got downhill, collecting losses against Qatar (0–3 and 1—2) and a shocking loss against Afghanistan 1–2, with the other two results left being draws against Kuwait and Afghanistan, both ending up 0–0. India finished the group placed third behind Qatar and Kuwait and failed to qualify for the next round.[104][105][106]

On 17 June 2024, the AIFF terminated Stimac's contract, thus ending up his career with The Blue Tigers.[107]

Team image

Nicknames

India is officially known by the nickname The Blue Tigers since 2013. It is inspired by the colour blue which forms the primary colour of the team's home kit, depicting Ashoka Chakra's colour in the national flag (similar to the Indian national teams of other sports) and the tiger which is the national animal of India.[108][109]

Kit and colours

See also: Kit history

The success of the India cricket team and field hockey teams in blue jerseys made the colour more prominent. The football team, however, has used some sort of shade of blue for decades.[110]

Photo of eleven men, six standing and five kneeling down, inside a stadium
India in 2007, wearing their traditional blue jersey

At the turn of the 21st century, India wore a sky blue shirt with black shorts and sky blue socks as their kit.[110] In 2002, the All India Football Federation signed a deal with German manufacturer Adidas to produce the India kit.[111] The first kit made by Adidas was all-white.[111] After four years with Adidas, the AIFF signed an agreement for seven years with American company Nike on 27 February 2006.[112] Nike's first kits for India were in darker blue while the away kit was changed from white to orange.[113] For the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, in which India were participating, Nike designed India's kit using the same template it used for other national teams such as Brazil.[114] In January 2013. it was announced that the AIFF's deal with Nike was extended for an extra five years.[115] In September 2017, prior to the India U17 side's participation in the FIFA U-17 World Cup, Nike unveiled an all sky blue kit for the India senior and youth teams.[116] A year later, on 17 December 2018, it was announced that Indian manufacturer SIX5SIX would replace Nike as India's kit maker.[117] In becoming India's new kit makers, Six5Six also became the first manufacturer to pay for the rights to produce India kits, after both Nike and Adidas didn't pay.[117] Six5Six unveiled their first jerseys for the team before the 2019 AFC Asian Cup,[118] from which the home colour had a similar sky blue shade and the away colour was changed to white from orange. Both jerseys had a unique design embellished on the sleeves representing tiger stripes to pay homage to the Indian football fans, who affectionately calls the team "Blue Tigers".[119]

Home stadiums

See also: Home stadiums

Numerous venues around India have hosted home matches for the national team. There is no specific home ground for the India national team. India matches have been played at stadiums such as the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi, the Fatorda Stadium in Margao, the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bangalore, the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi, the Mumbai Football Arena in Mumbai, the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati, the Khuman Lampak Main Stadium in Imphal, the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar and the EKA Arena in Ahmedabad.[120][121][122][123][124]

In recent times, competitions like 2011 SAFF Championship and 2012 Nehru Cup were held at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi, the 2015 SAFF Championship at Trivandrum International Stadium, 2017 Hero Tri-Nation Series and 2018 Intercontinental Cup at Mumbai Football Arena and 2019 Intercontinental Cup at the EKA Arena. Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Sree Kanteerava Stadium and Fatorda stadium have seen AFC Asian Cup and FIFA World Cup qualifiers.[125][126][127][128][129][130][131]

Supporters

See also: Blue Pilgrims

Blue Pilgrims, 2018 Intercontinental cup
Blue Pilgrims displaying national flag and their own banners at the 2018 Intercontinental Cup

Till the 21st century, the Indian football fans were mostly scattered, being widely based in West Bengal, North-East India, Goa and Kerala.[132][133][134][135][136] Other than matches in Asian Games, Nehru Cup or SAFF Championship,[137][138][139] the crowd showed up in small numbers when the team played as the fans were not organised under any single banner as happens in Europe or South America. Fans of different clubs used to support the team in their respective local venues but were not grouped together to support a single cause, that of the national team, until 2017 when "Blue Pilgrims" was established as the first organised fan club for the national team.[140][141][142][143]

The Blue Pilgrims formed with a motive to support the national team and the U-17 team during the historic 2017 U17 World Cup,[144] India's first ever FIFA competition participation. Started with 300 odd fans,[145][144] now they are in thousands as a unification of fans from different regions with different allegiances came together for just one cause, the Blue Tigers.[140][141] They call themselves the devotees of the Blue Tigers,[141][142] and their motto is to support India national football teams of all gender and age, wherever they play[140][141] and for such dedication they are called as the 12th man of the team.[145][144]

Blue Pilgrims, 3D tifo
The 3D Blue Tiger tifo displayed by Blue Pilgrims in June 2018

The Blue Pilgrims's most common chants are: "Oh India!", "In Unity we stand", "Oh India we stand for you!", "Vande Mataram".[146][147] Their sports anthems are "Oh when the blues go marching in, I wanna be in that number!" and "Hum honge kaamyab" (We shall overcome).[145] Since its formation, the Blue Pilgrims use to celebrate after every match with Viking clap with the national team members.[148][149] Fans of the India national team display the country's tricolour National flag and also wear blue jerseys in solidarity with the team. They used to display their banner Blue Pilgrims along with "Inquilab-e-Indian football" (Revolution of Indian football)[140][141][150] and often shout their common slogan, We love you, wherever you go, we follow!".[146] On 2 June 2018, the then captain Sunil Chhetri posted a video on social media. In his video he urged the fans to come out at Mumbai to support the team after a poor crowd appearance of only 2569 at a match against Chinese Taipei in the 2018 Intercontinental Cup. India achieved a massive victory in that match, winning by 5−0 with Chhetri scoring a hat-trick, but there were very few people present to celebrate.[151][152] Responding to the captain's call, the Blue Pilgrims and football supporters including the fan clubs like Manjappada, West Block Blues and East Bengal Ultras made sure that the stadiums were full during the next few matches.[152][153] In the final of that tournament, the Blue Pilgrims displayed a 30 ft (9.1 m) tall 3D tifo of a Blue Tiger, the first ever in the team's history.[148][154][155]

Media coverage

Further information: Media & broadcasters

India's competitive international games are covered on television by Star Sports and on its OTT service, Hotstar.[156] Prior to this deal, the AIFF had struck a ten-year deal with Zee Sports in 2006 to broadcast Indian national team's games on its channel with the initiative of 'Goal 2010' . The aim of this whole exercise was to help India qualify for the 2010 World Cup.[157]

Results and fixtures

Main articles: India national football team results and India national football team results (2020–present)

The following is a list of match results in the last 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.

  Win   Draw   Loss   Fixture

2023

7 September 2023 (2023-09-07) 2023 King's Cup SF Iraq  2–2
(5–4 p)
 India Chiang Mai, Thailand
16:00 UTC+5:30
Report
Stadium: 700th Anniversary Stadium
Attendance: 2,884
Referee: Wiwat Jumpaoon (Thailand)
Penalties
10 September 2023 (2023-09-10) 2023 King's Cup 3rd Lebanon  1–0  India Chiang Mai, Thailand
16:00 UTC+5:30 Kassem 77' Report Stadium: 700th Anniversary Stadium
Attendance: 13,567
Referee: Torpong Somsingha (Thailand)
13 October 2023 (2023-10-13) 2023 Merdeka Tournament SF Malaysia  4–2  India Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
18:30 UTC+5:30
Report
Stadium: Bukit Jalil National Stadium
Attendance: 46,150
Referee: Mongkolchai Pechsri (Thailand)
16 November 2023 (2023-11-16) 2026 World Cup qualification Kuwait  0–1  India Kuwait City, Kuwait
19:30 UTC+3 Report M. Singh 75' Stadium: Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium
Attendance: 32,786
Referee: Shaun Evans (Australia)
21 November 2023 (2023-11-21) 2026 World Cup qualification India  0–3  Qatar Bhubaneswar, India
19:00 UTC+5:30 Report
Stadium: Kalinga Stadium
Attendance: 11,389
Referee: Sivakorn Pu-udom (Thailand)

2024

13 January 2024 (2024-01-13) 2023 AFC Asian Cup GS Australia  2–0  India Al Rayyan, Qatar
14:30 UTC+3
Report Stadium: Ahmad bin Ali Stadium
Attendance: 35,253
Referee: Yoshimi Yamashita (Japan)
18 January 2024 (2024-01-18) 2023 AFC Asian Cup GS India  0–3  Uzbekistan Al Rayyan, Qatar
17:30 UTC+3 Report Stadium: Ahmad bin Ali Stadium
Attendance: 38,491
Referee: Fu Ming (China)
23 January 2024 (2024-01-23) 2023 AFC Asian Cup GS Syria  1–0  India Al Khor, Qatar
14:30 UTC+3 Khribin 76' Report Stadium: Al Bayt Stadium
Attendance: 42,787
Referee: Sivakorn Pu-udom (Thailand)
22 March 2024 (2024-03-22) 2026 World Cup qualification Afghanistan  0–0  India Abha, Saudi Arabia
22:00 UTC+3 Report Stadium: Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Sports City[b]
Attendance: 3,900
Referee: Kim Hee-gon (South Korea)
26 March 2024 (2024-03-26) 2026 World Cup qualification India  1–2  Afghanistan Guwahati, India
19:00 UTC+5:30 Chhetri 38' (pen.) Report
Stadium: Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium
Attendance: 8,932
Referee: Mohammed Al-Hoish (Saudi Arabia)
6 June 2024 (2024-06-06) 2026 World Cup qualification India  0–0  Kuwait Kolkata, India
19:00 UTC+5:30 Report Stadium: Salt Lake Stadium
Attendance: 58,932
Referee: Fu Ming (China)
11 June 2024 (2024-06-11) 2026 World Cup qualification Qatar  2–1  India Al Rayyan, Qatar
18:45 UTC+3
Report Chhangte 37' Stadium: Ahmad bin Ali Stadium
Attendance: 2,816
Referee: Kim Woosung (South Korea)
9 October 2024 (2024-10-09) 2024 VFF Tri-Nations Series Vietnam  v  India Vietnam
--:-- UTC+7
12 October 2024 (2024-10-12) 2024 VFF Tri-Nations Series Lebanon  v  India Vietnam
--:-- UTC+7

Coaching staff

Main article: List of India national football team managers

Syed Abdul Rahim coached India in the 1952, 1956 and 1960 Olympics.
Syed Abdul Rahim, the most successful Indian coach for the national team
Portrait of Stephen Constantine wearing goggles.
Stephen Constantine in 2019, one of the most successful foreign coaches for the national team

Coaching history

Since India's independence, there have been twenty-nine different head coaches for the national team, out of which eleven foreign. The most successful head coach for India was Syed Abdul Rahim, who led India to gold in both the 1951 and 1962 Asian Games while also achieving a fourth-place finish during the 1956 Summer Olympics. The most successful foreign head coaches for India were Bob Houghton and Stephen Constantine; both of them helped the team to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup. With Houghton in charge from 2006 to 2011,[158] India won the Nehru Cup twice and the AFC Challenge Cup in 2008, which allowed them to participate in their first AFC Asian Cup for 27 years.[158] Since Houghton resigned as head coach in 2011, the Indian national team's FIFA ranking touched its lowest at 173 in the team history in March 2015,[159][160] but Constantine, who was appointed for the second time as the head coach of India,[161][162] revived the Indian team from its meagre condition. Under him, the team remained unbeaten for two years from June 2016 to March 2018 winning 11 matches and drawn 2 matches,[163][164] which helped them to qualify for 2019 AFC Asian Cup, 8 years since Houghton left.[165] He also helped the team to reach a better FIFA ranking of 96 in July 2017, which was the best in last 21 years.[159][160]

Present coaching staff

Position Name Ref.
Head coach Vacant
Assistant coaches India Mahesh Gawli [166]
Goalkeeping coach Vacant
Fitness coach Vacant

Players

See also: List of India international footballers

Current squad

The following 23 players were called up for the FIFA World Cup 2026 & AFC Asian Cup 2027 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 match against  Qatar.[167]

Caps and goals are correct as of 12 June 2024, after the match against  Qatar.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (Captain) (1992-02-03) 3 February 1992 (age 32) 73 0 India Bengaluru
13 1GK Vishal Kaith (1996-07-22) 22 July 1996 (age 27) 4 0 India Mohun Bagan
23 1GK Amrinder Singh (1993-05-27) 27 May 1993 (age 31) 13 0 India Odisha

2 2DF Rahul Bheke (1990-12-06) 6 December 1990 (age 33) 29 1 India Mumbai City
3 2DF Narender Gahlot (2001-04-24) 24 April 2001 (age 23) 4 1 India Odisha
4 2DF Anwar Ali (2000-08-28) 28 August 2000 (age 23) 22 1 India Mohun Bagan
5 2DF Mehtab Singh (1998-05-05) 5 May 1998 (age 26) 10 0 India Mumbai City
6 2DF Jay Gupta (2001-09-27) 27 September 2001 (age 22) 2 0 India Goa
21 2DF Nikhil Poojary (1995-09-03) 3 September 1995 (age 28) 27 1 India Bengaluru

7 3MF Anirudh Thapa (1998-01-15) 15 January 1998 (age 26) 58 4 India Mohun Bagan
8 3MF Suresh Singh Wangjam (2000-08-07) 7 August 2000 (age 23) 25 1 India Bengaluru
10 3MF Brandon Fernandes (1994-09-20) 20 September 1994 (age 29) 27 0 India Mumbai City
14 3MF Naorem Mahesh Singh (1999-03-01) 1 March 1999 (age 25) 20 3 India East Bengal
15 3MF Jeakson Singh Thounaojam (2001-06-21) 21 June 2001 (age 23) 22 0 India Kerala Blasters
16 3MF Nandhakumar Sekar (1995-12-20) 20 December 1995 (age 28) 4 0 India East Bengal
18 3MF Sahal Abdul Samad (1997-04-01) 1 April 1997 (age 27) 37 3 India Mohun Bagan

9 4FW Manvir Singh (1995-11-07) 7 November 1995 (age 28) 44 7 India Mohun Bagan
11 4FW Rahim Ali (2000-04-21) 21 April 2000 (age 24) 14 0 India Chennaiyin
12 4FW Liston Colaco (1998-11-12) 12 November 1998 (age 25) 23 0 India Mohun Bagan
17 4FW Lallianzuala Chhangte (1997-06-08) 8 June 1997 (age 27) 38 8 India Mumbai City
19 4FW Edmund Lalrindika (1999-04-24) 24 April 1999 (age 25) 2 0 India Inter Kashi
20 4FW Vikram Partap Singh (2002-01-16) 16 January 2002 (age 22) 4 0 India Mumbai City
22 4FW David Lalhlansanga (2001-11-27) 27 November 2001 (age 22) 0 0 India East Bengal

Recent callups

The following footballers were part of national selection in the past twelve months, but are not part of the current call-up.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Gurmeet Singh (1999-12-03) 3 December 1999 (age 24) 0 0 India NorthEast United 2023 King's Cup

DF Akash Mishra (2001-11-27) 27 November 2001 (age 22) 28 0 India Mumbai City vs  Afghanistan, March 2024INJ
DF Subhasish Bose (1995-08-18) 18 August 1995 (age 28) 38 0 India Mohun Bagan vs  Kuwait, June 2024
DF Amey Ranawade (1998-03-07) 7 March 1998 (age 26) 0 0 India Mumbai City NT camp, June 2024INJ
DF Lalchungnunga (2000-12-25) 25 December 2000 (age 23) 1 0 India East Bengal vs  Kuwait, June 2024
DF Sandesh Jhingan (1993-07-21) 21 July 1993 (age 30) 61 5 India Goa 2023 AFC Asian Cup, January 2024INJ
DF Pritam Kotal (1993-09-08) 8 September 1993 (age 30) 52 0 India Kerala Blasters 2023 AFC Asian Cup, January 2024
DF Naorem Roshan Singh (1999-02-02) 2 February 1999 (age 25) 10 0 India Bengaluru vs  Qatar, November 2023
DF Asish Rai (1999-01-27) 27 January 1999 (age 25) 1 0 India Mohun Bagan 2023 King's Cup

MF Lalengmawia Ralte (2000-10-17) 17 October 2000 (age 23) 18 0 India Mohun Bagan vs  Afghanistan, March 2024OTH
MF Imran Khan (1995-03-01) 1 March 1995 (age 29) 0 0 India Jamshedpur vs  Afghanistan, March 2024
MF Deepak Tangri (1999-02-01) 1 February 1999 (age 25) 4 0 India Mohun Bagan vs  Afghanistan, March 2024INJ
MF Rohit Kumar (1997-04-01) 1 April 1997 (age 27) 12 0 India Odisha vs  Qatar, November 2023
MF Glan Martins (1994-07-01) 1 July 1994 (age 30) 13 0 India Mohun Bagan vs  Kuwait, November 2023INJ
MF Ashique Kuruniyan (1997-06-18) 18 June 1997 (age 27) 34 2 India Mohun Bagan 2023 King's CupINJ

FW Sunil Chhetri (1984-08-03) 3 August 1984 (age 39) 151 94 India Bengaluru vs  Kuwait, June 2024RET
FW Udanta Singh Kumam (1996-06-14) 14 June 1996 (age 28) 48 2 India Goa 2023 AFC Asian Cup, January 2024
FW Rahul K. P. (2000-02-16) 16 February 2000 (age 24) 6 0 India Kerala Blasters 2023 AFC Asian Cup, January 2024
FW Ishan Pandita (1998-05-26) 26 May 1998 (age 26) 7 1 India Kerala Blasters 2023 AFC Asian Cup, January 2024

  • RET Retired from the national team
  • INJ Player injuries
  • OTH Player withdrew from squad due to non-injury issue


Notable players

See also: Notable players and Player records

Stamp depicting Gostha Pal playing football.
Postage stamp issued in 1998, to honour Gostha Pal

During the early 20th century, India produced one of the best footballers from Asia at that time, Gostha Pal. Pal began playing professional football at the age of 16 in 1911, becoming India's first captain, and was considered one of the best defenders India had ever produced. He was also the first footballer to be awarded Padma Shree in the year 1962,[168] and in 1998, the Government of India introduced a postal stamp in his honour.[6] In the later 1930s, players like R. Lumsden, Noor Mohammed, T. Rahim, K. Prosad, A. Nandi under the leadership of Karuna Bhattacharya played for India who scored a total of 56 goals in 17 matches during the 1938 Australia tour out of which 5 matches were against Australia, where Lumsden scored the first international hat-trick for India.[169][9]

Stamp depicting a portrait of Talimeren Ao wearing jacket.
Postage stamp issued in 2018, to honour Talimeren Ao

India's first captain after the country gained independence was Dr. Talimeren Ao. At a very young age, using footballs made out of rags, Ao gradually improved his skills as a defensive midfielder. He was given the responsibility of leading the team at the 1948 Olympics, India's first major tournament[170][171] and also was the flag bearer of Indian contingents in London.[172] Also during this era, India produced Sailen Manna, one of the country's best defenders.[173] He was given the India captaincy in 1951 during the Asian Games, led the team to the gold medal, India's first major international honour,[173] and also captained the team during the 1952 Olympics and 1954 Asian Games.[173] In 1953, England Football Association rated Manna among "10 Best Skippers of the World" in its yearbook,[174] the Government of India awarded him Padma Shri in 1971[168] and AIFF honoured him as "AIFF Player-of-the-Millennium" in 2000.[173]

During India's golden era between the 1950s and early 60s, the country produced coveted strikers such as Sheoo Mewalal, Neville D'Souza, Chuni Goswami, Inder Singh and Tulsidas Balaram. Mewalal was India's starting striker during the 1948 Olympics, 1952 Olympics and 1951 Asian games where he ended as the tournament top goalscorer with four goals.[175][176] Mewalal was the first Indian player to score a hat-trick since the country gained independence when he scored it against Burma during the 1952 Colombo Cup.[177] D'Souza meanwhile became the first Asian player to score a hat-trick at the Olympic Games,[178] scoring a hat-trick against Australia during the 1956 Olympics.[179] D'Souza also tied for top goalscorer in that edition of the Olympics, which helped India reach the semi-finals.[180] Goswami represented India at the 1958 Asian Games and the 1960 Olympics, and captained the side during the 1962 Asian Games and the 1964 Asian Cup.[181] He was bestowed with Padma Shri by the Government of India and AFC honoured him as "Best Striker of Asia" in 1962.[182]

P. K. Banerjee, a winger who represented India at the 1956 Olympics and later captained the side during the 1960 Olympics, was named as the best "Indian player of the 20th Century".[183] Peter Thangaraj was the starting goalkeeper for India during the later stage of India's golden era, being named as best "Indian keeper of the 20th Century" by IFFHS.[183] P. K. Banerjee was honoured with Padma Shri by Government of India in 1990, and in 2004 FIFA bestowed him with "FIFA Centennial Order of Merit" Award, the highest honour awarded by FIFA.[184]

From the 1970s to the 2000s, India saw a decline in their results. Despite the lack of tournament victories, the country managed to produce players like Syed Nayeemuddin who led India to bronze at the 1970 Asian Games.[185] During the 1990s, I. M. Vijayan, India's best player at the time, was capped 72 times for India while scoring 29 goals and captaining the team several times.[186]

Sunil Chhetri celebrating after scoring a goal

In 1995, Bhaichung Bhutia debuted for India. With Bhutia, India qualified for the AFC Asian Cup after a drought of 27 years.[187] He was the captain of the team for over ten years.[188][189][190] Considered one of the greatest footballers of India, he is the second-most-capped player of India with 84 caps and scored 27 times for India. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2008[168] and IFFHS listed him among the legendary players of football in 2016.[191] Under Bhutia's captaincy Sunil Chhetri debuted for India who is now the only footballer in India's history to have played 100 international matches and is the all-time highest goal-scorer of India.[192][193] Chhetri led the national team to many victories, most importantly qualifying for the AFC Asian Cup and under his leadership the team achieved its highest FIFA ranking of 96 after twenty-one years.[159][160] His goal-scoring ability and skills made him the only Indian striker to score four hat-tricks for India.[194][195][196] Sunil Chhetri is now the third-highest international goalscorer among active players, behind only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi,[197][198] but fourth overall, and is also the most-capped player and the all-time top goalscorer of the India national team.[199][200][201]


Competitive record

See also: India national football team records and statistics

FIFA World Cup

Main article: India at the FIFA World Cup qualification

India has never played in the finals of the FIFA World Cup.[202] After gaining independence in 1947, India managed to qualify for the World Cup held in 1950.[203] This was due to Myanmar, Indonesia, and the Philippines withdrawing from qualification round.[202] However, prior to the start of the tournament, India themselves withdrew due to the expenses required in getting the team to Brazil.[202] But this reason was untrue because FIFA was ready to give money to India (AIFF) for their trip to Brazil.[204] Other reasons cited for why India withdrew include FIFA not allowing Indian players to play in the tournament barefoot and the All India Football Federation not considering the FIFA World Cup an important tournament compared to the Olympics, but according to some pundits barefoot was a made up story, manufactured by AIFF to stop people asking questions on "why didn't India participate in the 1950 FIFA World Cup?".[205][202] AIFF did not have confidence in the Indian players then that they would compete in the World Cup against the world's top teams and win.[206]

After withdrawing from the 1950 FIFA World Cup, India did not enter the qualifying rounds of the tournament between 1954 and 1982.[207] Since the 1986 qualifiers, with the exception of the 1990 edition of the tournament, the team participated in World Cup qualification, but has yet to qualify for the finals again.[207]

FIFA World Cup record Qualification record
Year Round Pld W D L GF GA Squad Pos Pld W D L GF GA Ref.
Uruguay 1930
to
France 1938
Not a FIFA member Not a FIFA member
Brazil 1950 Qualified, but withdrew Qualified by default [208]
Switzerland 1954 Denied by FIFA Denied by FIFA [209]
Sweden 1958
to
Spain 1982
Did not enter Did not enter
Mexico 1986 Did not qualify 6 2 3 1 7 6 [210]
Italy 1990 Withdrew from qualification [211]
United States 1994 8 1 1 6 8 22 [212]
France 1998 3 1 1 1 3 7 [213]
South Korea Japan 2002 6 3 2 1 11 5 [214]
Germany 2006 6 1 1 4 2 18 [215]
South Africa 2010 2 0 1 1 3 6 [216]
Brazil 2014 2 0 1 1 2 5 [217]
Russia 2018 8 2 1 7 7 18 [218]
Qatar 2022 8 1 4 3 6 7 [219]
Canada Mexico United States 2026 6 1 2 3 3 7
Morocco Portugal Spain 2030 To be determined To be determined
Saudi Arabia 2034
Total 0/20 0 0 0 0 0 0 57 12 17 28 52 101

AFC Asian Cup

Main article: India at the AFC Asian Cup

Indian players celebrating with fans after winning a match at 2019 AFC Asian Cup

India has qualified for the AFC Asian Cup five times. The team played their first Asian Cup in 1964. The team managed to qualify following other nations' refusal to play against India due to political reasons.[220][221] India managed to finish the tournament as runners-up to hosts Israel, with Inder Singh finishing as joint top-scorer.[221] Since then India has failed to progress beyond the first round of the Asian Cup with their participation at the 1984[222] and 2011 Asian Cups,[223] and most recently the 2019 Asian Cup.[80]

In June 2022, India qualified for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup after winning all the matches in the third round of 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualification. This is the first time ever India qualified consecutively for the continental championship.[90]

AFC Asian Cup record Qualification record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA Squad Pld W D L GF GA Ref.
Hong Kong 1956 Did not enter Did not enter
South Korea 1960 Did not qualify 6 2 0 4 7 9 [224]
Israel 1964 Runners-up 2nd 3 2 0 1 5 3 Squad Qualified by default [225]
Iran 1968 Did not qualify 3 0 1 2 2 6 [226]
Thailand 1972 Did not enter Did not enter [227]
Iran 1976 [228]
Kuwait 1980 [229]
Singapore 1984 Group stage 10th 4 0 1 3 0 7 Squad 4 3 0 1 8 2 [230]
Qatar 1988 Did not qualify 5 0 1 4 0 6 [231]
Japan 1992 2 1 0 1 2 3 [232]
United Arab Emirates 1996 2 0 0 2 3 12 [233]
Lebanon 2000 4 1 1 2 8 9 [234]
China 2004 2 0 1 1 1 3 [235]
Indonesia Malaysia Thailand Vietnam 2007 6 0 0 6 2 24 [236]
Qatar 2011 Group stage 16th 3 0 0 3 3 13 Squad AFC Challenge Cup [237]
Australia 2015 Did not qualify [238]
United Arab Emirates 2019 Group stage 17th 3 1 0 2 4 4 Squad 18 8 2 8 25 24 [239]
Qatar 2023 Group stage 24th 3 0 0 3 0 6 Squad 11 4 4 3 14 8 [240]
Saudi Arabia 2027 To be determined 6 1 2 3 3 7
Totals Runners-up 2nd 16 3 1 12 12 33 69 20 13 36 76 113

Summer Olympics

Main article: India national football team at the Olympics

Members of India national team at the 1948 Olympics
Talimeren Ao on the left, leading the Indian team to Cricklefield Stadium to play against France in 1948

India competed in four straight Olympic football tournaments between 1948 and 1960.[241] Their sole 1948 Olympics match against France was also India's first ever international match since the country gained independence in 1947.[10] During the match, a majority of the Indian side played barefoot.[10] The match ended in a 2–1 defeat, with Sarangapani Raman scoring the lone goal for India.[10] India then returned to the Olympics four years later where they took on Yugoslavia in the preliminary rounds. The team suffered a 10–1 defeat, India's largest margin of defeat in a competitive match, and were knocked out.[242]

Four years later, during the 1956 Olympics, India managed to reach the semi-finals and finish fourth. After India's first round opponents, Hungary, withdrew from the tournament, the team played against hosts Australia in the quarter-finals. A Neville D'Souza hat-trick, the first by an Asian footballer in the Olympics, helped India win 4–2.[243] However, in the semi-finals, India once again suffered defeat against Yugoslavia, going down 4–1. In the bronze medal match, India were defeated 3–0 by Bulgaria.[243]

In 1960, India competed in Group D with Hungary, France and Peru. India ended the group in last place, drawing once.[244] India have since failed to qualify for another Olympic games.

Summer Olympics record Qualification record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA Squad Pld W D L GF GA Ref.
United Kingdom 1908 to Germany 1936 Did not enter Did not enter
United Kingdom 1948 Round 1 11th 1 0 0 1 1 2 Squad Qualified automatically [245]
Finland 1952 Preliminaries 25th 1 0 0 1 1 10 Squad Qualified automatically [246]
Australia 1956 Semi-finals 4th 3 1 0 2 5 9 Squad Bye [247]
Italy 1960 Round 1 13th 3 0 1 2 3 6 Squad 3 3 0 0 11 4 [248]
Japan 1964 to South Korea 1988 Did not qualify 20 6 1 13 34 38
Spain 1992–present See India national U-23 team See India national U-23 team
Totals Semi-finals 4th 8 1 1 6 10 27 23 9 1 13 45 42

Asian Games

Main article: India national football team at the Asian Games

India national football team dancing after winning the gold medal at 1962 Asian Games football tournament
Indian team celebrating after defeating South Korea in the final of 1962 Asiad at Senayan Main Stadium, Jakarta

India competed in eleven Asian Games, starting from 1951 to 1998, except the 1990 and 1994 editions.[249] In 1951 Asian Games India won their first match against Indonesia in the first round and then defeated Japan in semi-final and went on to win against Iran in the final in front of the home crowd. The achievement of the Indian team was a special one as they became the first ever Asian Games gold medalists in football and also the first ever Asian football champions as well.[250][251]

Though the next two tournaments proved to be less successful for the team, but they bounced back by winning the gold at the 1962 Asian games by defeating the Asian Cup winners South Korea in the final to win their second continental title. The team failed to defend their title in 1966 and went on to claim the bronze medal in 1970.[252]

This was the last time India ever finished on the medal podium, the next years proved to be hard for the Indian team to regain their dominance as the side went through a sharp decline.[253] After two disappointing editions in 1974 and 1978, India performed much better in the 1982 Asiad, which they hosted for the second time by reaching the quarter-finals but lost to Saudi Arabia. Due to the poor performance in 1986 Asian Games the authorities decided not to send the team for the upcoming games.[254] The team made their return in 1998.

Asian Games record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA Squad Ref.
India 1951 Champions 1st 3 3 0 0 7 0 Squad [255]
Philippines 1954 Round 1 8th 2 1 0 1 3 6 Squad [256]
Japan 1958 Semi-finals 4th 5 2 0 3 12 13 Squad [257]
Indonesia 1962 Champions 1st 5 4 0 1 11 6 Squad [258]
Thailand 1966 Round 1 8th 3 1 0 2 4 7 Squad [259]
Thailand 1970 Third Place 3rd 6 3 1 2 8 5 Squad [260]
Iran 1974 Round 1 13th 3 0 0 3 2 14 Squad [261]
Thailand 1978 Round 2 8th 5 1 0 4 5 13 Squad [262]
India 1982 Quarter-finals 6th 4 2 1 1 5 3 Squad [263]
South Korea 1986 Round 1 16th 3 0 0 3 1 8 Squad [264]
China 1990 Did not enter
Japan 1994
Thailand 1998 Round 2 16th 5 1 0 4 3 8 Squad [265]
South Korea 2002–present See India national U-23 team
Totals 2 Titles 1st 44 18 2 24 61 83

SAFF Championship

India has played in all editions of the SAFF Championship (except in 2009 when they sent under-23 team) and has been the most successful team in the competition winning an overall eight titles.[266] The team played in the knockout stage of every tournament except in 1993 when the tournament was in a league format.[267] The team also boasts a prestigious record of claiming medal at every championships played so far.[268] India has played in the final of every championship except the 2003 tournament where they claimed bronze medal for the first time.[269][270]

SAFF Championship record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA Squad Ref.
Pakistan 1993 Champions 1st 3 2 1 0 4 1 [271]
Sri Lanka 1995 Runners-up 2nd 3 0 2 1 2 3 Squad [272]
Nepal 1997 Champions 1st 4 3 1 0 12 3 [273]
India 1999 Champions 1st 4 3 1 0 6 1 Squad [274]
Bangladesh 2003 Third place 3rd 5 2 1 2 8 5 Squad [275]
Pakistan 2005 Champions 1st 5 4 1 0 9 2 Squad [276]
Maldives Sri Lanka 2008 Runners-up 2nd 5 4 0 1 9 3 Squad [277]
India 2011 Champions 1st 5 4 1 0 16 2 Squad [278]
Nepal 2013 Runners-up 2nd 5 2 1 2 4 5 Squad [279]
India 2015 Champions 1st 4 4 0 0 11 4 Squad [280]
Bangladesh 2018 Runners-up 2nd 4 3 0 1 8 3 Squad [281]
Maldives 2021 Champions 1st 5 3 2 0 8 2 Squad [282]
India 2023 Champions 1st 5 2 3 0 8 2 Squad [283]
Totals 8 Titles 1st 57 36 14 7 105 36

AFC Challenge Cup

India has participated in AFC Challenge Cup two times (They competed in the 2006 AFC Challenge Cup with their U-20 team and with the U-23 team in 2010 AFC Challenge Cup) [284].The tournament was originally created for countries categorized as emerging association, though India was invited to take part by AFC along with other developing association countries like North Korea, Myanmar and Bangladesh.[285] The team won the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup and qualified for the 2011 Asian Cup after 27 years.[286][287]

AFC Challenge Cup record Qualification record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA Squad Pld W D L GF GA Ref.
India 2008 Champions 1st 5 4 1 0 9 3 Squad Qualified as hosts [288]
Nepal 2012 Group stage 8th 3 0 0 3 0 8 Squad 3 2 1 0 7 2 [289]
Maldives 2014 Did not qualify 3 2 0 1 6 2 [290]
Totals 1 Title 1st 8 4 1 3 9 11 6 4 1 1 13 4

South Asian Games

India has participated in every editions of every edition of senior football competition at the South Asian Games except in 1984. The team emerged as champions in 1985, 1987 and 1995 .They also took home silver in 1993 and bronze medals in 1989 and 1995.[291]

South Asian Games record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA Squad Ref.
Nepal 1984 Did not enter
Bangladesh 1985 Champions 1st 3[c] 2 1 0 6 1 [292]
India 1987 Champions 1st 3 2 1 0 6 0 [293]
Pakistan 1989 Third place 3rd 3 2 1 0 5 3 [294]
Sri Lanka 1991 Group stage 6th 2 0 1 1 1 2 [295]
Bangladesh 1993 Runners-up 2nd 3 1 2 0 6 4 [296]
India 1995 Champions 1st 3 3 0 0 5 0 [297]
Nepal 1999 Third place 3rd 5[d] 4 0 1 15 4 [298]
Pakistan 2004–present See India national U-20 team & India national U-23 team
Totals 3 Titles 1st 22[e] 14 6 2 44 14

Honours

Further information: India national football team records and statistics

Source: [299][300]

India national team in 2008.
Indian team celebrating their 2008 AFC Challenge Cup victory against Tajikistan
A poster advertising India vs Israel at 1964 Asian Cup

Worldwide

Continental

Regional

Explanatory note

  1. ^ India actually were tied with France at 1 goal all 70 minutes.
  2. ^ Afghanistan will play their home matches at a neutral venue due to the ongoing Afghan conflict.
  3. ^ The match against Bhutan is not considered as full-A international.
  4. ^ The match against Bhutan is not considered as full-A international.
  5. ^ The two matches against Bhutan is not considered as full-A international as they were not a FIFA member until 2000.

See also

References

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Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Inagural Champions
Asian Games Champions
1951 (first title)
Succeeded by
Preceded by Asian Games Champions
1962 (second title)
Succeeded by
Preceded by AFC Challenge Cup Winners
2008 (first title)
Succeeded by