What’s the story
When India made headlines all around after making it to the 101st spot on the FIFA rankings, their neighbours Pakistan, fell three places to reach an all-time low of 201. The Blue Tigers climbed 31 spots to reach their highest ranking since 2013.
However, arch-rivals Pakistan fell to their lowest ranking, after being stationed at the 198th place in March. Currently, they are also the lowest ranked Asian team in the rankings.
In case you didn’t know...
FIFA released their latest set of rankings on Thursday, which saw India break into the top-110 ranked nations after their latest exploits against Cambodia and Myanmar. Pakistan, on the other hand, haven’t played a single international match since their 2018 World Cup qualifier match in March 2015 against Yemen. A match which saw them lose the two-legged first round affair.
The heart of the matter
Pakistan football is in dire straits and the sport there has taken a serious hit after the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF), after a dispute, broke into two wings. There was a lot of friction among the PFF board members ahead of the electoral elections in July 2015, which resulted in the separation.
Sri Lanka (197), Maldives (151), Bhutan (164), Nepal (170) and Bangladesh (193) are ranked higher than Pakistan. Surprisingly, they are just 10 places above the nadir of the FIFA rankings.
Pakistan's fortunes are in complete contrast to the rivals, India, who are on the cusp of breaking into the top 100, provided they rack up favourable results.
While Indian football is finally witnessing a revolution of sorts, their counterparts have been left way behind, 100 places to be precise. India will be next playing Lebanon in a friendly fixture in June and will follow it up with an AFC Asia Cup qualifier against Kyrgyzstan in June.
Pakistan, on the other hand, are still unsure of when their next international match will be played, and against whom.
Pakistan football has undergone a steep decline in the past two-three years, and if the federation doesn’t boot up and takes some right steps, chances for them to make it big look really bleak. Meanwhile, India looks to be on the right path and are aiming the 2026 World Cup.Published 08 Apr 2017, 21:40 IST