HomeFootball NewsIndia Climbs FIFA Rankings: Inside Top 100, Retains 18th Spot in Asia

India Climbs FIFA Rankings: Inside Top 100, Retains 18th Spot in Asia

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India has made a positive move in the latest FIFA rankings update, climbing one spot to secure the 99th position globally. The update, released by FIFA on Thursday, highlights India’s successful performances in the Intercontinental Cup and SAFF Championship, where they won five matches and drew four. Despite the progress, India finds itself behind Lebanon and retains the 18th spot among Asian Football Confederation nations.

During the SAFF Championships, India triumphed over Lebanon in the semifinals, courtesy of goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu’s exceptional penalty shootout saves. They went on to win the final against Kuwait with another outstanding shootout display from Sandhu. These victories contributed to India’s improved ranking, although Lebanon has narrowed the gap between the two teams in terms of ranking points.

The recent rise in the rankings has fulfilled India’s goal of moving up one spot among AFC nations in the July update, which was their aim before the Intercontinental Cup. With the rankings now finalized, the draw for the World Cup Qualifiers Round 2, scheduled for July 27, will proceed accordingly. The bottom 18 AFC nations in the rankings will participate in Round 1, with the winners of those ties advancing to Pot 4 for the draw in Round 2.

This ranking update has implications for India’s future fixtures. In Round 2 of the qualifiers, each group will consist of one team from each pot. As a result, India will not face any teams from Pot 2, which includes Syria and Uzbekistan. However, India is set to encounter these teams in the AFC Asian Cup in January 2024, along with Australia.

Looking ahead, Igor Stimac’s team is preparing for the King’s Cup in Thailand, scheduled for September, where they will compete against the hosts, Iraq, and Lebanon. Following that, they will participate in the Merdeka tournament in October, facing Palestine, Malaysia, and Lebanon.

India’s improved FIFA ranking reflects their recent successes and provides them with a favorable position in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. With the team’s continued efforts and strong performances, they aim to make a mark in regional and international competitions, bringing pride to Indian football fans across the nation.

 

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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