The Indian football team Thursday slipped out of the top 100 in the latest FIFA rankings following their back to back group league defeats during the AFC Asian Cup in the UAE. Skipper Sunil Chhetri and Co. slumped six places to be ranked 103 with 1219 points in the FIFA rankings released on Thursday. India also dropped out of the top 16 in the AFC rankings, plummeting to 18th.
India had crashed out of the Asian Cup after losing to UAE and Bahrain, despite thrashing Thailand 4-1 in their opening group to make a good start to their campaign.
Following India’s exit, Stephen Constantine stepped down from his role as India chief coach.
The country 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 had regained its place in the top-100 in March last year, after breaking the top 100 bracket for the first time in 21 years in 2017.
India best ranking is the 94th place attained in February 1996.
Newly crowned Asian champions Qatar have climbed to 55th in the latest FIFA World Ranking, gaining 38 places – and reaching their best position since 1993 – on the back of their stunning success in UAE.
The AFC Asian Cup has been responsible almost all of the notable changes in this, the first Ranking of 2019, with the scarcity of games in other confederations leaving the top 20 unchanged – and Belgium still in pole position.
(With PTI Inputs)