The All India Football Federation (AIFF) is currently serving a ban by FIFA.
India held its position to stay at 104th in the latest FIFA rankings released on Thursday. The Indian football team, who were last in action in the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers, are also ranked 19th in Asia. Brazil, Belgium and Argentina form the top three respectively in the latest FIFA rankings.
Among teams in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), Iran remain on top as the highest-ranked AFC nation. They jumped one position to 22nd in the overall rankings. Qatar is the only other Asian team above India to make a leap. The Maroons also moved one position higher to the 48th place. However in Asia, they stay fifth.
Indian football team results
When they were last in action, the Blue Tigers played in the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers where they topped their group to advance to the AFC Asian Cup. Igor Stimac’s side won each of their group matches beating Cambodia, Afghanistan and Hong Kong to secure consecutive Asian Cup qualifications for the first time in its history.
Playing at home, the Indian football team started their qualifying campaign with a handsome 2-0 win over Cambodia. They followed it with a 2-1 victory against Afghanistan and wrapped up the campaign with a dominating 4-0 win over Hong Kong. Sunil Chhetri finished the qualifiers as the top scorer for India with four goals.
Next matches for Indian football team
The Blue Tigers are scheduled to play friendlies against Singapore and Vietnam in the September FIFA window. However, with FIFA imposing a ban on the country, it remains to be seen if the friendlies go ahead as planned.
On August 15, FIFA suspended India due to “undue third-party interference.” FIFA was referring to the appointment of the Committee of Administrators (CoA) by the Supreme Court to look after the daily affairs of the AIFF after it removed former president Praful Patel and his Executive Committee from office. Patel and his administrators were ousted for breaching the National Sports Code.
However, earlier this week, the apex court repealed the CoA and handed the administration of AIFF back to the federation. It also made certain modifications to the AIFF election programme as per the requirement of FIFA statutes. Following that, the AIFF acting general secretary Sunando Dhar wrote to FIFA requesting it to lift the ban on Indian football.
As and when FIFA lifts the ban, India are likely to arrange friendlies for the September window. The country is also likely to get back its hosting rights for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. India were supposed to host the FIFA U-17 WWC in October, but were stripped of its rights following the ban.
The Indian national teams are also likely to resume participation in tournaments starting with the Women’s SAFF Championship in September. In addition to that, the Indian clubs will also be allowed to take part in international competitions. As of now, Gokulam Kerala are the only sufferers of the ban since they couldn’t take part in the AFC Women’s Club Championship.