Since India’s chances of qualifying for the World Cup have been up for question over the past few decades, the Indian football team has never taken part in the FIFA World Cup.
Indian football has had its ups and downs over the years, but it hasn’t represented the nation on the bigger football scene since it appears to be far behind its rivals.
The Indian Super League and I-league have succeeded in raising the standard of football in the country, but the hierarchy has had trouble putting the proper players together. All Indian players have access to proper training, and in recent years, the administration has also organized some games against opponents with higher rankings.
Every time India faced challenging opponents in the World Cup qualifying matches, they came away empty-handed. Despite these challenges, India must persevere because it is impossible to locate eleven or so players in a nation of a billion people.
India has qualified for the World Cup how many times? Let’s investigate.
Indian football squad in World Cup Qualifiers: Number of Times India Qualified
|2002||First Round Qualifier|
|2006||Second Round Qualifier|
|2010||First Round Qualifier|
|2014||Second Round Qualifier|
|2018||Second Round Qualifier|
|2022||Second Round Qualifier|
The Indian football team did succeed in qualifying for the 1950 World Cup because the other three teams—Indonesia, Myanmar, and the Philippines—decided to drop out, giving India the opportunity to participate in the tournament.
However, due to financial constraints, the All India Football Federation was unable to send the Blue Tigers to Brazil. Despite being one of the most prominent sides at the time, India has been inconsistent in World Cup qualifiers. Another issue appeared to be that the Indian players used to play barefoot football, which FIFA would not have permitted if they did not have proper kits and boots.
The Indian team dominated Asia, winning gold at the Asian Games in 1951 and 1962, but they were defeated in the final of the AFC Asian Cup by Israel. Indian football fans have been denied World Cup action, but with the emphasis solely on developing the structure and players, the opportunity may arise very soon.
The Indian football team qualified for the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, but they were unable to overcome the obstacles and had to settle for second place, just behind Indonesia. The men in blue did not compete in the 1990 World Cup qualifiers, but they did return for the 1994 World Cup qualifiers.
The Indian team’s performance was disappointing, as they were pitted against Bahrain, South Korea, Lebanon, and Hong Kong. With the exception of a victory over Hong Kong, they failed to demonstrate any intent in the qualification campaigns.
The Blue Tigers faced Qatar, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines in the qualifying round of the 1998 World Cup, and the outcome was similar in that they couldn’t get past these sides, and India finished third.
The World Cup was held in Asia in 2002, with Japan and South Korea hosting the event jointly. India finished third in that group, competing against Brunei, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates, and failed to qualify for the World Cup finals for the second time.
In 2006, India was given a chance in the second round of qualifiers because they were joined by Japan, Oman, and Singapore, but they again finished third and were eliminated from the competition.
In the 2010 Fifa World Cup, a new seeding rule was implemented, and the Indian national football team had to defeat Lebanon in the first round of World Cup qualifiers. However, the Indian team was thrashed 6-3, and the Blue Tigers were unable to grind it out once more.
They faced United Arab Emirates in the second round of qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and had a difficult time on the pitch as they failed to make it count. They were defeated 5-2 on aggregate in the two-leg match, and another opportunity for qualification was lost.
The Indian team defeated Nepal in the first round of qualifying in 2018 to advance to the second round. They were grouped with Oman, Guam, Iran, and Turkmenistan, and they only managed one win against Guam, failing to live up to their potential.
What is the current FIFA ranking of the Indian football team?
India is placed 104th on the FIFA ranking currently.
Has India qualified for the 2022 FIFA World Cup?
India has failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup which is set to be held in Qatar.
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