India, with a population of 1.2 billion, is now at its lowest ever ranking of 170. The rankings were released on November 27 by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Tiny Montserrat is two ranks above at 168. Neither of these teams have played much football in 2014, but India’s loss to Palestine and its inability to beat Bangladesh has hurt it.
With the Indian Super League garnering so much attention, everyone seems to have forgotten the fact that the position of the national football team coach has been lying vacant for over a month. More than the game on the field, it is the activity off the field that is hampering the game the most in India. Montserrat for its part doesn't even have a domestic football league.
But there is more shame for India. Football is only the second most popular game in Montserrat – cricket is first. Back in 2002, Montserrat played Bhutan in what was called “the other final”. It was a match to determine who would go on to be the worst-ranked football team in the world. Montserrat lost and subsequently were ranked 203rd, last in the rankings. Since then, the Montserrat football team has been on the rise and its present rank of 168 is their highest to date.
Faroe Islands (population 49,469, or the number of people who fit into 11 Mumbai trains at rush hour), which until now have been behind India in the rankings jumped 82 positions from 187 to 105. This is because it beat Greece in a European qualifying match for the Euro 2016.
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