World football governing body FIFA released its August edition of its world rankings on Wednesday and in the latest rankings INDIA is now ranked 138th, down six places from their rankings a month ago. INDIA now have 129 points, losing 31 points older points which hit us hard this month. In Asia we dropped three places to the 24th spot.
We have been overtaken by countries like Grenada, Hongkong, Turkmenistan, Indonesia, Swaziland and Sierra Leone; but remain ahead of Malaysia, Myanmar and Liechtenstein. Something which I should be writing about especially looking ahead at the upcoming Asian Cup. Australia continue to be the best Asian ranked nation at 20th, South Korea remain third as 44th, while Bahrain moved-up to 68th to be now no. 5 in Asia. Rankings-wise our "Group of Death" got just a little tougher as except India all other sides are now in the top five of Asian football.
And now it is back to haunt us that we just do not play enough international friendlies. Actually our last international game was on August 31, 2009 against Syria in the final of the 2009 Nehru Cup at the Ambedkar Stadium, Delhi. For nearly a year we have not played any international friendlies and will only play our next games on September 4 & 8 against Thailand in Bangkok and Delhi.
Coach Bob Houghton and his squad are currently undergoing preparatory training in Portugal to prepare ourselves for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup in January 2011 in Qatar. A very important phase in our preparations, but maybe keeping our rankings in mind we should have planned a couple of international friendlies while in Europe against lower ranked nations especially on a day like today which is an international match date. This might have also given Bob a chance to judge the preparations of his team.
We will lose some more points next month, so hopefully we get some good results against Thailand in the two international friendlies.