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India ranked 135th in first-ever FIFA Futsal Ranking

Published at :May 6, 2024 at 9:58 PM
Modified at :May 6, 2024 at 9:58 PM
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(Courtesy : AIFF)

Uttiyo Sarkar

The Indian futsal team was brought into being in 2023.

FIFA has provided a major boost to the sport of ‘Futsal’ by announcing its first-ever FIFA World Rankings for both the Men’s and Women’s international Futsal teams. This is akin to their FIFA World Rankings which has already been established for the senior Men’s and Women’s international teams.

For those unknowing, Futsal is a variation of Football. It is mainly played indoors, and on a much smaller field – needing footballers to be skillful and flexible in order to beat their opposition teams.

Interestingly, India have also been included in the inaugural edition of the FIFA Futsal World Rankings. Unfortunately, they have been among the lowest-ranked teams in the rankings. India have been placed in the 135th position in the first-ever FIFA Futsal World rankings, with only Ghana, Tonga, Tanzania and Namibia being ranked lower than them.

In their defence, the Joshua Vaz-led India Men’s Futsal team only began to play at the international stages since 2023. The national team was only created by the All India Football Federation last year, playing their first international match against Bahrain on 12 August, 2023 – suffering a 3-0 defeat.

In fact, all five international matches that India have played at the Futsal international level have resulted in losses. They failed to qualify for the 2024 AFC Futsal Asian Cup, losing their qualification matches against Tajikistan, Myanmar and Palestine. India’s highest-scorer at the international Futsal level is David Laltlalsanga – who scored six goals in three appearances in the AFC Futsal Asian Cup qualifiers.

Nikhil Mali, who is the highest-goalscorer in the AIFF-organized Futsal Club Championship with 49 goals – has scored once at the international stage. The Futsal Club Championship is the biggest stage of Futsal stages in India, with Minerva Punjab being the defending champions by clinching the 2022-23 title.

The Indian Futsal Team has not played any matches in 2024 so far and are currently not scheduled to play any after being placed in the FIFA Futsal Rankings.

Which teams top the Futsal Rankings?

Unsurprisingly, the Brazilian National Futsal team has been ranked as the no. 1 team in the FIFA Men’s Futsal teams ranking. They have dominated the game of Futsal and won five of the nine FIFA Futsal World Cup editions that have been held since 1989.

Portugal are right behind them in second place, while Spain hold the third spot. The highest-ranked Asian team in the FIFA Futsal ranking are incidentally Iran, who are holding onto an impressive fourth place – ahead of the likes of Argentina (no. 5), and France (no. 10).

Thailand have been placed ninth in the Futsal rankings, a recognition for the thriving quality of Futsal in the country.

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