India rise to 129 in FIFA rankings, best ever position in a decade

Zurich, Jan 12 (IANS) India jumped six places to the 129th spot, their best football ranking in over a decade, according to world governing body FIFA on Thursday.

It is India’s best ever ranking since December, 2005, when they were at the 127th spot. They have now improved 42 places in less than two years up from 173rd in March, 2015, according to a release.

India won nine of their last 11 international matches. A 4-1 win against Puerto Rico, ranked 114, in September last year, has been the highlight of the surge.

The top 34 positions remain unchanged with Argentina, Brazil and Germany still holding first, second and third place respectively.

AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das said, “The national team gaining its best ranking since December 2005 shows that we are on the upsurge. The ranking enables us to be placed in pot 2 when the draw for the Asian Cup Qualifiers 2019 is to be conducted later this month. We had last qualified for the Asian Cup in 2011 and hope to be there again in UAE in 2019.”

National Coach Stephen Constantine said: “I think we have had a really good couple of years during my time and while results have been mixed, we have achieved what we said we would. Our ranking is at its highest since 2005 which is obviously great for Indian football.”

–IANS

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