In the latest football world rankings released by FIFA on Thursday, the Indian football team has slipped out of the top 100 in the latest FIFA rankings following their back to back group league defeats during the AFC Asian Cup 2019 in the UAE.
Skipper Sunil Chhetri-led Indian football team slumped six places to be ranked 103 with 1219 points in the FIFA rankings released Thursday. India also dropped out of the top 16 in the AFC rankings, plummeting to 18th.
After thrashing Thailand 4-1 in their opening group match, team India was expected to continue their good run in the further match-ups. But India had crashed out of the Asian Cup after losing to UAE and Bahrain. India lost their second match against the hosts UAE by 2-0. The Indian team found themselves unlucky as they created some good chances even hit the woodwork but couldn’t get on the board while UAE scored a goal in both the halves.
In the third match against Bahrain, India was playing a defending game rather than attacking gameplay. India maintained its defence till 90′ but a 90+1 minute penalty goal from Jamal Rashid ended up Sunil Chhetri-led team India’s AFC Asian Cup 2019 hopes.
Indian head coach Stephen Constantine also stepped down from his role after India’s group stage exit from the AFC Asian Cup 2019.
The team will now need to play friendlies in March against higher-ranked countries to improve its ranking ahead of the draw of the second round of 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, which is likely to be held in April.
India attained its best FIFA ranking in February 1996 which was 94th place. In 2017, India entered the top 100 bracket for the first time in 21 years and later regained its place in top-100 in March 2018.