India created history on Saturday as they qualified for FIFAe Nations Cup 2022 for the first time. It will be India’s first-ever appearance at the esports showpiece event, which is set to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark this year, from July 27 to July 30, 2022. India defeated the Korea Republic and Malaysia in the FIFAe Nations Series 2022 Playoffs to seal their qualification for the showpiece event.
The journey for the India efootball team kicked off in January 2021 when AIFF signed the participation agreement with FIFA for the FIFAe Nations Series 2021. India was among 60 countries to participate and was placed in the Middle East and Africa Zone. However, the first appearance did not yield great success as the country finished 3rd in its zone, narrowly missing out on a place in the FIFAe Nations Playoffs 2021.
Despite missing out on a place in the playoffs, India finished ended the season with a global ranking of 22 and finished above heavyweights such as Italy, Argentina and Spain in the 2021 rankings. The performance from India improved in the next season i.e. the 2022 season. For the FIFAe Nations Cup 2022, India was moved to Asia/Oceania region and was awarded a spot in the Play-Ins, which would provide direct qualification to the Playoffs (the last stage before the Nations Cup).
During the play-ins, India played 32 games across 4 Match Weeks with 12 wins, 11 losses and 9 draws. Throughout these 4 Match Weeks, India retained their place in Division 1. On the back of this performance, India successfully qualified to the Playoffs by finishing second in the Consistency Points chart, moving one step closer to the FIFAe Nations Cup 2022. During this period, India also achieved its highest global ranking of 19.
After reaching the playoffs of FIFAe Nations Cup 2022, the goal for India was to win the two games and book a place at the showpiece event and they did achieve it. Charanjot Singh, Siddh Chandarana, and Saransh Jain came up with the goods for India at the crucial hour as India defeated Korea Republic and Malaysia and now, they will be heading to Denmark at the end of July.