Geneva: The Indian football team has attained its highest FIFA ranking in the last 21 years, jumping one spot to 100th, in May.
The Blue Tigers have exhibited an exciting brand of football under the stewardship of head coach Stephen Constantine, and have gone on a six-match winning streak, defeating the likes of Laos (twice), Bhutan, Puerto Rico, Cambodia, and Mayanmar on their way.
While Constantine’s men did not play any matches in April, they rode the misfortunes of Malawi to enter the top 100 spots in the FIFA rankings for the first time in 21 years.
“As long as we keep heading up the ladder I am happy. It points out that we are heading in the right direction. There are major matches ahead and we cannot take things lightly. There’s no place for complacency,” said Constantine.
Malawi, thanks to a 0-1 loss at the hands of lower ranked Madagascar, lost 49 points, and dropped 13 places down the rankings charts; hence, they dropped from 100th to 113th. This means that every team ranked between 101 and 113 on the FIFA rankings charts, including India (who were on 101), jumped one spot by default. This rise in their rankings makes India the 11th highest ranked team in Asia.
While the Blue Tigers will not play any matches this month, they are set to go up in arms against Lebanon and Kyrgyzstan in June, in the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers UAE 2019 .
“It’s pleasing that we are presently ranked 100. At the same time, we need to stay aware of the challenge in hand," said All India Football Federation general secretary Kushal Das. "The AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers UAE 2019 are an acid test for us. AIFF has been providing the National Team with the best of exposure and facilities and we expect the Team to keep up the good work.”