Indian football team drops four places to 121

Reigning world champions Argentina continue to top the chart followed by 2022 World Cup runners-up France, England, Belgium and Brazil

April 04, 2024 06:32 pm | Updated 06:32 pm IST - New Delhi

Indian captain Sunil Chhetri in action with the Afghanistan players during the world cup qualifying match in Guwahati on Tuesday, 26 March 2026.

Indian captain Sunil Chhetri in action with the Afghanistan players during the world cup qualifying match in Guwahati on Tuesday, 26 March 2026. | Photo Credit: RITU RAJ KONWAR

The Indian football men's team dropped four places to 121 in the latest FIFA rankings, its worst in recent years, following an embarrassing 1-2 defeat against Afghanistan in the second round of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in Guwahati last month.

The Igor Stimac-coached side, which had broken into the top-100 last year, having won the Intercontinental Cup, the Tri-Nations tournament and the SAFF Championship, on March 26 suffered a shocking defeat at home to lowly-ranked Afghanistan to continue its poor run of late.

Even though the team registered a win against Kuwait in the World Cup qualifiers, its first away win in over two decades, the forgettable outing at the AFC Asian Cup 2023 in Qatar, where the side lost all its matches without scoring a single goal, saw it plummet 15 spots to 117th after the continental tournament.

India ended their Asian Cup campaign in January pointless and goal-less after losing to Australia (0-2), Uzbekistan (0-3) and Syria (0-1). It finished at the bottom of the four-team Group B.

Last month, the Blue Tigers were held to a goalless draw by Afghanistan in their first leg second round World Cup qualifiers in Abha, Saudi Arabia, and then lost the home fixture, prompting outrage from fans and calls for sacking of Stimac.

India's worst ranking, though, is 173.

Before dropping 15 places to 117 in March, the Indian team was placed at 102nd in the FIFA rankings, issued on December 21, 2023.

Reigning world champions Argentina continue to top the chart followed by 2022 World Cup runners-up France, England, Belgium and Brazil.

Netherlands occupy the sixth place and they are followed by Portugal, Spain and Italy with Croatia completing the top 10.

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