India slips down to 121 in the new FIFA ranking

FIFA ranking

The Indian men’s football team’s FIFA ranking has plummeted to 121, marking a significant setback in their journey. This drop in ranking, the worst in recent years, comes after a disappointing loss to Afghanistan in the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers.

What impacted the slide in FIFA ranking?

The match against Afghanistan, held at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati, was highly anticipated by fans and players alike. Sunil Chhetri, India’s talisman and captain fantastic, made his 150th international appearance. Chhetri scored the opening goal in the 38th minute, giving India an early lead. However, Afghanistan mounted a stunning comeback in the second half. Rahmat Akbari’s equalizer in the 70th minute followed by Sharif Muhammad’s penalty in the dying minutes of the game turned the tide in favour of the visitors.

This loss not only affected India’s standing in the group stage of the World Cup qualifiers but also had a direct impact on their FIFA ranking. Falling four spots to the 121st position, this ranking reflects India’s worst in recent years.

Unfortunately, India also suffered a significant setback in the AFC Asian Cup in January 2024 where they exited the campaign as the only team not to score a goal. They finished at the last spot with three consecutive losses, conceding six goals.

What lies ahead for India?

As they prepare for their final two matches of the second round FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifying campaign against Kuwait and Qatar in June, the team will need to regroup, reassess their strategies, and come back stronger. Although the road ahead for the side is daunting, the Blue Tigers would be hoping to climb back up in the rankings and keep their World Cup dreams alive with determination and the right approach.

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