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India get third AFC slot for 2021, possible direct ACL group entry

Indian clubs are set to get an additional slot in AFC competitions in 2021, possibly with a direct entry into the AFC Champions League (ACL) group stages. It would be the first time an Indian team would feature in Asia's elite club competition in more than 30 years -- Goa-based Salgaocar were the last team to feature in group games of the erstwhile Asian Club Championship in 1990-91.

This would mean apart from the one slot for the ACL, India would get two slots for the AFC Cup. 

As of now,...

'Irreplaceable' Sunil Chhetri not going anywhere - Igor Stimac

Igor Stimac, the head coach of the Indian national football team, feels that captain Sunil Chhetri is "playing like a 29-year-old" and remains irreplaceable for the next few years.

The 35-year-old Chhetri hasn't scored in the last three games of the 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign. His last goal for India came in the 1-2 loss to Oman in September.

Asked if he has found any player in India who can replace Chhetri in the future, Stimac said, "I don't know why people mention about replacing Sunil,...

Deconstructing Indian football, via interstellar and time travel

The Indian men's national football team played its final game of 2019 on Tuesday night, losing tamely to Oman, and effectively ending their hopes of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup. 

What started as a year full of hope and excitement quickly turned into an unpredictable ride including a change of coach, memorable goals, historic results as well as heartbreaking defeats. 

There was really only one logical way to make sense of the chaotic year that was Indian football, as we put one of...

Where they stand: India priorities downgraded to Asian Cup qualification

India's 0-1 defeat to Oman has virtually ruled them out of contention for further progress in their 2022 World Cup qualifiers, but the hopes of Asian Cup 2023 qualification will stay alive all through their remaining three games.

How are India placed after the latest result, and what will they need to do to ensure automatic progress to the Asian Cup qualifiers? Here's all that you need to know.

Which teams go through for World Cup qualification's next round?

There are eight groups and just 12 places...

Run, Ashique, run: The Kerala speedster who turned India's premier trickster

If Ashique Kuruniyan's value to the Indian team could be captured in one phase of play, look no further than the first half India played against Thailand at the AFC Asian Cup in January 2019, in Abu Dhabi.

Sunil Chhetri sprinted over to take a throw-in, and as he looked around for support, Ashique, who had started the match in attack in a surprise promotion ahead of Jeje Lalpekhlua, sprinted up to get in line with the central defender marking him. Chhetri released the ball deep into the corner,...