Like cricket, football in India too was introduced by the British in the mid 19th century. Nagendra Prasad Sarbadhikari was the man whose was responsible for its spread throughout India. In 1888, India’s foreign secretary, Mortimer Durand founded the Durand cup in Shimla.
Though the Indian football Association was established in Calcutta in the year 1893, but there were no Indian players in the team until 1930s. In 1937, the All India Football Federation was formed, which till date runs the game in India. However, it took ten more years before the association got affiliated with FIFA.Those days Indian players played barefoot and in 1948 Olympics, FIFA imposed a rule banning barefoot play.
In 2011, India participated in 2011 AFC Asian Cup and qualified after a gap of 24 years. In 2012 AFC Challenge Cup qualification on the 21st of March India won against Chinese Taipei 3-0.
March 15th 2018, bought in good tidings for the team as it re-entered the top 100 of FIFA world cup ranking placing itself in the 99th as per the latest charts. In the process, the Indian team is currently placed 12th in the AFC. On the 27th of March, team India will play The Asian Cup Qualifier march against Kyrgyz Republic in Bishkek. National Coach Stephen Constantine wants the team to stay focused on the upcoming challenges; a qualification spot in the AFC Asian Cup in UAE in 2019 is what the team is aiming for. India’s last AFC match was played 8 years back in 2011 in Doha.
By: Madhuchanda Saxena