Kuala Lumpur: All India Football Federation president Praful Patel was Saturday elected as a FIFA Council member, becoming the first Indian to enter the prestigious panel in a landmark development.

Patel got 38 out of 46 votes.

The AIFF chief was one of the eight candidates vying for the spot in the election which was held during the 29th AFC (Asian Football Confederations) Congress in the Malaysian capital.

A total of five candidates, including Patel, was elected in addition to the AFC president, and one female member for the term 2019-2013.


New Delhi: The Indian football team gained two places to rise to 101 in the FIFA rankings issued on Thursday.

With 1219 total ranking points, the Indian team lies 18th among the Asian countries.

The team did not play any international match after the last rankings on February 7.

Iran continued to top the Asian rankings at 21, followed by Japan (26), South Korea (37), Australia (41) and Qatar (55).

Overall, Belgium remained on top with 1737 points, ahead of France (1734), Brazil (1676), England (1647) and Croatia (1621).


Praful Patel

New Delhi:  The All India Football Federation President Praful Patel is set to become first Indian to be elected as a member in the FIFA Executive Council for a four-year term.

According to AIFF sources, Patel is all but sure to be a part of the five FIFA Council members from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) when the regional body holds its elections in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on April 6.

The election will be for the term 2019 to 2023 and will be held during the 29th AFC Congress.


Buenos Aires: Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain has announced his retirement from international football at the age of 31.

Higuain has not played for the Albiceleste since last year's World Cup in Russia as manager Lionel Scaloni looks to revamp his squad for this year's Copa America, reported Xinhua news agency.

"My cycle with the national team is finished," the Chelsea player told Argentine television on Thursday. "A lot of people will be happy to know that, others maybe not so much.


New Delhi:  The All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Wednesday announced that the final round of the Super Cup will kick off at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar from March 29. The tournament will begin with Chennaiyin FC taking on Mumbai City FC in the opening game.

While the cloud of uncertainty still looms large with one of the unified I-League clubs, Mohun Bagan, not registering its players within the stipulated time given by AIFF, the federation is ready to go ahead with the tournament.


Malta's Steve Borg and Spains''s Alvaro Morata in Tuesday's match

Valletta (Malta): Spain's Alvaro Morata broke a 15-month international scoring drought with two goals to power La Roja over Malta 2-0 in Round 2 of the Euro 2020 qualifiers.

The victory leaves Spain alone atop Group F with six points from two matches, followed by Sweden with four; Romania and Malta - each with three points; Norway with one; and the Faroe Islands, who have lost both of their games, reports Efe news.


England's midfielder Raheem Sterling (R) shoots to score England's third goal during the UEFA Euro 2020 Group A qualification football match between England and Czech Replublic at Wembley Stadium in London on March 22, 2019

London: Raheem Sterling scored a hat-trick as England thrashed Czech Republic 5-0 in their opening match of the 2020 European championship qualifying campaign at Wembley here.

England dominated the match on Friday and pulled ahead in the 24th minute, when Sterling positioned perfectly at the far post to tap-in from a low cross from former Manchester City team-mate Jadon Sancho, reports Xinhua news agency.

The City forward then earned a penalty just before the interval and captain Harry Kane made no mistake from the spot.


Venezuela's coach Rafael Dudamel  (L) greets Argentina's forward Lionel Messi after an international friendly football match between Argentina and Venezuela at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on March 22, 2019 in preparation for the Copa America to be held in Brazil in June and July 2019. 

Madrid: Lionel Messi will miss Argentina's friendly against Morocco next week after picking up a groin injury in the shock 3-1 defeat to Venezuela on Friday as he made his first international appearance since the 2018 World Cup.

Barcelona star Messi started the fixture following a self-imposed eight-month exile in which he missed six friendlies since the tournament in Russia, which they exited in the last 16 at the hands of eventual champions France.


Argentina's forward Lionel Messi (C) and teammates congratulate Venezuela's players at the end of an international friendly football match between Argentina and Venezuela at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on March 22, 2019 in preparation for the Copa America to be held in Brazil in June and July 2019

Madrid: In an international friendly at Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid, Venezuela defeated Argentina 3-1.

Newcastle's Salomon Rondon opened the scoring for Venezuela in the sixth minute, with Jhon Murillo and Josef Martinez finding the back of the net as well. Lautaro Martinez scored the Argentina's only goal in the 59th minute.

The preparation match for Copa America saw Lionel Messi return to Argentina after taking a voluntary break from the national team.


Biratnagar: India continued its dominance at the SAFF Women's Championship with the team lifting its fifth straight title on Friday in Biratnagar, Nepal with a 3-1 win over the hosts in the final.

The win extends India's unbeaten run in the tournament's history to 23 games as goals from Dalima Chhibber, Grace Dangmei and substitute Anju Tamang saw India lift the trophy in front of a partisan crowd at the Sahid Rangashala Stadium.