history of Indian football
The history of Indian football was the national sport at one time. The impetus for this was to unify the Indian Army. There is evidence for refereed team football games being played in the INDIAN Army since at least 1949. India is home to some of the oldest football clubs in the world and the third world’s oldest competition, the DU RAND CUP.
- Football was introduced to India by British soldiers in the mid-nineteenth century. It spread because of the efforts of Nagendra Prasad Sarbadhikari. In 1888 the Durand Cup was founded by then India’s Foreign Secretary, Mortimer Durand at Simla, India. The Durand Cup is the third oldest football competition behind the FA Cup and the SCOTTISH CUP. It was initiated, as a recreation for British troops stationed in India. Royal Scots Fusiliers won the first edition of the cup by beating Highland Light Infantry 2–1 in the Final. In 1893 the IFA Shield was founded as the fourth oldest trophy in the world. Calcutta, then capital of British India, soon became the hub of Indian football. SARADA FC was the oldest Indian football club.
I THE all India football federation action (AIFF) was formed in 1937. The 1948 London Olympics was India’s first major international tournament, where a predominately barefooted Indian team lost 2–1 to France in the opening match, failing to convert two penalties.Sarangapani Raman scored the only goal for India in that match and thus the first Indian international goal ever in the Olympics.
The 1950 World cup;
India qualified by default for the 1950 FIFA World Cup finals as a result of the withdrawal of all of their scheduled opponents. But the governing body AIFF decided against going to the World Cup, being unable to understand the importance of the event at that time. Reason shown by AIFF was that there was the cost of travel, although FIFA agreed to bear a major part of the travel expenses, lack of practice time, team selection issues and valuing Olympics over FIFA World cup
2000–2010: The rebirth of Indian Football
India failed to qualify for the 2004 Asian Cup, the senior team gained the silver medal in the inaugural Afro Asian Games, with victories over Rwanda and Zimbabwe(then 85 places ahead of India in the world rankings), losing the final 1–0 to Uzbekistan. As a result, Indian football has steadily earned greater recognition and respect, both within the country and abroad.India lost to Pakistan and Bangladesh in the 2003 Cup, and defeats in the 2006 World Cup qualifiers meant Stephen Constantine was sacked.