India has jumped to 101 FIFA ranking from 132 in the last month. And after a couple of victories in recent times, India are now ranked 11th in Asia.
Since May 1996, it is the team India’s best-ever ranking. In 1996 they ranked 101 as well.The highest FIFA ranking achieved by India ever is 94 in February 1996. India was ranked 99 in November 1993 and 100 in October 1993, December 1993 and April 1996.
The last couple of years have been very impressive for India as they won 11 out of their 13 matches, with scoring a total 31 goals, including an unofficial game against Bhutan. India recently got a 1-0 victory over Myanmar in the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers. It is their first-ever victory in Myanmar in over 64 years. Before the Myanmar victory, India’s first win in an away match was almost a decade ago when they managed to beat Cambodia 3-2 in an International Friendly match.
The 4-1victory at home for India in 2016 against Puerto Rico was also appreciable.India coach Stephen Constantine said in an interview, “it has been a difficult road. Bringing in new blood and creating competition for places in the team has been a process, and I’m pleased we are moving in the right direction.”
“It’s been a total team effort. Unless Mr. Patel (AIFF President Praful Patel) and Mr. Das (AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das) allowed me to do the things and the manner I wanted it to be done, this won’t have been possible ever. I also need to thank the support staff for their commitment to the team,” he also added.
When Constantine took over as national coach for the second time in February 2015, the ranking was not in good shape. The Indian team, governed by the All India Football Federation, were ranked 171. And they had slipped further to 173 in March 2015 in the FIFA ladder.
However, under Constantine team India brought the first game in charge against Nepal, where India beat Nepal by 2-0.
Speaking on the achievement, AIFF chief said: “This is a great achievement and a fruitful reward for the hard work displayed by the team and the support staff on a regular basis. We at AIFF look forward to supporting the team and the coach in their endeavours to ensure sustained growth of Indian football.”
General Secretary Das added, “The AIFF is committed to providing the best of exposure and facilities for the national team in the form of arranging International Friendlies and preparatory camps. We are delighted to achieve this milestone and hope to display the same character in our coming matches.”
India will next play Lebanon in an International Friendly at home on 7th June before hosting the Kyrgyz Republic on 13th June in their next AFC Asian Cup qualifier match.