Indian football team maintain top 100 status in August's FIFA rankings
The Indian national football team will spend one more month inside the FIFA top 100 owing to their 97th place standing in the latest rankings.
The FIFA rankings were released earlier today and India have dropped a place from their July ranking of 96. The Blue Tigers didn't play a single international fixture in July, nor did most other nations, but still managed to hold on to their top 100 status, a lofty one by their standards.
In the process, India have set a new record of consecutive months inside the FIFA top 100. August is the fourth straight month India have achieved a top 100 ranking, a first in the national team's history.
Among the frontrunners, Brazil leapfrogged Germany to top the FIFA rankings for August, while Argentina and Switzerland follow them.
Canada, who were ranked 100 last month, have leapfrogged India to 95th in the rankings. There were no additions to India's 341 points from July owing to no matches player. Results elsewhere meant that the Blue Tigers drop one place.
The biggest movers were Namibia, who have jumped 20 places to reach 136th in the world. The worst movers are Curacao, who have fallen from 68th to 86th in August's rankings.
India will play a tri-nation tournament featuring Mauritius and St Kitts and Nevis this month before their all-important AFC Asian Cup 2019 qualifier in Macau in September. India head coach Stephen Constantine has regularly stressed the importance of match practice and August's tournament will help to that end, although how much the results affect India's ranking remains to be seen.
Both Mauritius and St Kitts and Nevis are ranked below India in August's FIFA rankings hence wins for India will barely improve their points for September's rankings. However, losses could prove costly for the Blue Tigers and kick them out of the top 100.
Furthermore, the main target for India and Constantine is the Macau game. That aside, the Bengaluru FC players are in pre-season ahead of the club's AFC Cup knockout ties starting this month, hence expect India to field a weakened side with no Sunil Chhetri. Constantine wouldn't mind two losses for a win against Macau on 5th September, but nothing dents confidence like a loss.