sunil chhetri

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The Indian men’s football team have fallen four spots in the latest FIFA world rankings to 121 after suffering a shock 1-2 loss against Afghanistan in the second round of the World Cup 2026 qualifiers. Notably, the AIFF President, Kalyan Chaubey, formed a committee to look into the performances of the national team after their demoralising home defeat last month.

Before losing in Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati, India were held to a goalless draw by Afghanistan in their return fixture in the second round of the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers at Damac Stadium in Saudi Arabia. During the AFC Asian Cup in January, India also lost their three games without scoring a single goal, falling 15 spots to 117th in the FIFA world rankings shortly afterwards.

Despite the recent run of results for India, head coach Igor Stimac will continue in the head coach role for the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers against Kuwait and Qatar. As per the report from Firstpost, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has asked the Croatian to focus his attention on these two matches while holding talks with him in a meeting recently.

Moreover, apart from Igor Stimac, some of the other officials who were present in the meeting were Menla Ethenpa, a member of the Executive Committee and Chairperson of the Finance Committee, Anilkumar Prabhakaran, the member of the Executive Committee and Chairperson of Competitions Committee, and M Satyanarayan, the Acting Secretary General of the AIFF.

During the aforementioned meeting, Igor Stimac addressed his recent remarks about resigning from the head coach role of India if they fail to qualify through to the third round of the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers, and said, “A year ago, I said that we would try and qualify for Round 3 and currently we are second in the group and two teams qualify. We will discuss this issue further after the match against Kuwait on June 6, 2024.”