India vs Syria(0-1), We Lost!! What Next For Indian Football??

Indian football

India lost to Syria  1-0, in AFC Asian cup 2024. We can say that our dream has also ended for now.

Match summery

Indian football face, The blue tigers did decent in first half by displaying a concrete defending reflecting coach Igor Štimac, him being a top class defender in his era. We took yellow card within five minutes of the game. Our forwards made a few chances but could not convert them into goals. Everything was going almost in right direction for us but our main defender Sandesh jhingan got injured and that was a big bow to us.

In the second half we took a decent start but we could not hold up the performance and tackles started getting failed, one on one getting started failed. Meanwhile our goalkeeper did his job best but that was not enough because it is a team sport.

In the 76th minute Omar khribin scored a goal for Syria and from that point onwards our players looked hopeless. In the remaining time we tried but could not make any significant chances and we lost the match, it was the third consecutive loss after 3-0 loss to Uzbekistan in the second game. A big blow to Indian football.

What went wrong?

The answer to this question comes down to a single point and that is structure of the Indian football. Structure means, football academies from grassroots level, be it in school or in colleges. Serious football competitions across school levels and college levels and so on. Hiring competent coaches for all levels.

We can not expect a guy who starts training from the age of 18-19 and perform in big stages like AFC Asian cup or world cup qualifiers, No!! when a kid gets proper football training from the age of 8-9, only then he will perform in big stages. And last but not the least, sufficient funds and proper steps by AIFF. All these major steps will come into action when higher authorities are willing to take these steps, only then we have a hope for Indian football.

Sacking coach is an option?

We often come to this conclusion that we should sack our coach because he is not producing results, which is to some extent is correct. But before that we should take one thing in consideration and that is football is new to India. For Europe football is more than just a game!! football is more than 200 years old in Europe, fans often fight for their clubs outside the stadium.

Rivalries take very ugly turns sometimes. And all this comes down to a single thing that is passion for football. Passion gives reason for discipline and discipline creates greatness. examples are Cristiano Ronaldo and Leonel Messi.

So it is not only up to the coach it’s also comes down to players who are supposed to produce results on the pitch. Coach  can teach you how to play and some new tactics but the training is in players hands. So sacking coach is not the rational solution for well being of Indian football.  

What next for Indian football??

We can remember watching some reels on Instagram featuring Sunil Chhetri saying, please come to stadium, criticize us , abuse us,, but please come to stadium and support Indian football. In this Asian cup campaign we Indians got the best support. Be it against Australia, Uzbekistan or Syria, Indian fans made it feel like these matches are taking place in India.

But despite this we did not perform, of-course miracle are not supposed to happen everyday. But every fan has this question, what next?? In my opinion it’s restart!! Go back to basics and restart, be it gameplay, tactics, defending, one on one tactics, midfield improvement. We need improvement in every area of play to compete in high levels.

ISL role:

As our coach said, it is not his duty to produce strikers for Indian football team. It is the duty of ISL, Indian super league. His duty is to pick the best players given to him. To some extent he is right. Given the footballing structure in our country and time duration for national camps, our coach can not produce high quality strikers for our Indian football team and proper coordination of players needs enough training session which our national team is not gets.

But what about overperforming?? What about coaching competency?? Can’t we over perform in one match?? We did not score a single goal in entire AFC Asian cup. And that does not sound good at all. We know that we lack in almost every area when it comes to high quality football, but we did not even played to our highest potential.

Learning from other leagues:

Leagues from other countries, japan, korea Portugal and so on. They have their first, second amd third division teams or leagues. Our captain sunil chhetri once went to sporting Lisbon, a team of Portugal league but coach told him his level is low so he should join lower division team, now we can compare our players level.

But why don’t we play in competitive leagues if we want to level up our game?? The answer is simple, our players gets handsome salary in ISL compared to other lower less known but competitive leagues.

My Opinion

As I said earlier Indian Football is a very long journey. let’s see what it has to offer us in coming years.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here