Indian Football Team: The Uprise, The Downfall, And The Struggles

The Indian football team has been putting in efforts to bring back the golden era.

Managed by the All India Football Federation, the Indian football team has put forward its foot in the global football leagues. Regulated by Asian Football Confederation, the Indian national football team is a regional federation’s integral part and guided by FIFA’s global jurisdiction as well. 

Acing several games and reaching the top spot in football, during what could be described as a ‘golden era’, the Indian super league team has bagged several medals and praises such as a gold in Asian Games in both 1951 and 1962. They also achieved a spot in the World cup and have also won in Summer Olympics, bagging fourth place. 

They have directed themselves to win consecutively seven times in a championship conducted by the ‘South Asian Football Federation.’

In its initial years, the Indian super league team comprised both Indian and British players, with the captain as Gostha Paul, and marked their presence after a few games against Australia, China, and France. 

And soon they entered their golden era which eventually faded out in the years following (1970-2000) as they constantly lost their third position but eventually they won and showed a steady improvement after winning the top spot in South Asian Games with a gold in 1987 and the SAFF championship that started in 1993.

They tried to continue the legacy with the help of coach Stephen Constantine’s guidance. Later, several coaches were changed, and a few were removed from the position after heavy defeats faced by the Indian league football team

Still, they steadily regained their place in the AFC’s in 2011 with Sunil Chettri’s efforts and the team’s determination. Although the coach of the time, Houghton, kept them away from club games, the Indian super league team lost. Despite that, the team was praised for their efforts and gameplay.

As of 2015, Constantine was brought back to boost the team’s position to get back on track after they were ranked 173. After a few wins and losses, the squad qualified to AFC’s third round. It happens to be the first massive victory in the past 55 years that the Indian league football team has scored against Thailand in the AFC Asian cup of 2019.

Although there haven’t been major wins after that, the squad has qualified for the 2022 World Cup, in which they won and lost a few games. They have successfully made it to the Asian Cup of 2023 after innumerable hurdles yet again.

Indian football team at 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
Indian football team at 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

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