India National Football Team: What You Need To Know? The football India team represents the Indian nation in the sport of football. The team members work as per the aegis of the All India Football Federation (AIFF). The football federation is led by the politician Praful Patel.
AIFF was founded in 1937 and got FIFA affiliation in 1948. As of now, the current coach of the Indian National Football Team is Stephen Constantine. The coach of the women’s national football team is Rocky Maymol. Sunil Chhetri is leading the men’s football team while Ngangom Bala Devi is the women’s team captain.
The advent of Football in India was under the British reign when they were ruling the nation. India was one of the early nations that received football introduction. The Britishers used to play football around 1850. The first official game in football was between the Calcutta Club of Civilians and Gentlemen of Barrackpore in 1854.
The Durand Cup was the fourth-oldest tournament that was held in 1888. Later, the Indians were showcasing their talent while winning the IFA Shield. Mohun Bagan defeated East Yorkshire Regiment by 2-1 in the league. India played its first football India game after independence in the Olympics of 1948.
The opponent in the game was France and the Europeans hit the opening goal. India missed some penalties in the game and had to deal with a loss. Indian players were barefooted and the crowd wasn’t even in their support at all.
India took part in the 1950 FIFA World Cup after a lot of nations agreed to withdraw from the qualifiers. The Indian team also denied moving ahead after qualifying. The reasons were the travel costs and the importance of the Olympics over the World Cup. However, some even claimed that Indians took their name out of the league considering their refusal on their plea to play barefoot.
It was one of the setbacks for football India. However, the nation has one of the best times playing football for the next 15 years. They even won the gold medal in the Asian games of 1951 and 1962. The coach Syed Abdul Rahim was the coach at that time and guided players to register victories.
India won in 1951 under the coaching of Rahim. Sahu Mewalal hit the final goal and India won the game by 1-0. Post that, India failed to make any remarkable games in the Olympics. They lost to Yugoslavia in the initial round and it was another setback for football India. Post this, AIFF made it compulsory to wear sports shoes while playing football.
Currently, the Indian men’s football team is ranked at 97th position in FIFA rankings. On the other hand, the women’s team is ranked at 60th position.