The Indian national football climbed one spot to the 99th spot in the latest FIFA rankings published on Thursday, overtaking Mauritania.
The Blue Tigers won back-to-back titles by clinching the Intercontinental Cup and the SAFF Championships.
What is the Indian football team’s highest-ever FIFA ranking?
The Indian football team’s highest-ever FIFA ranking was 94, which was achieved by the team in February, 1996.
What does the latest FIFA ranking mean for India in FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers?
India’s latest rank of 99 means that it is the 18th highest ranked team in Asia, and confirms the Blue Tigers a place in pot 2 of the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers.
Being in pot 2 of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers means that the Blue Tigers will be the lowest-ranked team in the pot and will avoid the Asian teams ranked between 10 and 17 in the World Cup qualifiers.
This effectively means that India will find itself in a group, with two other teams ranked lower than India from pots 3 and 4.
The first round of FIFA qualifiers for the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) nations will begin in October 2023. The first leg of matches is scheduled on October 12 and the second leg of matches on October 17.
How does India’s Asian ranking affect its Asian Games participation?
India is ranked 18th in Asia and is on a high after winning back-to-back tournaments - the Intercontinental Cup and the SAFF championships. However, as per the latest update, the Blue Tigers will not feature in the 2023 Asian Games in Hangzhou after the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) opted against sending the team because it failed to meet the Sports Ministry’s criteria of being ranked among the Top 8 in Asia.
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