Pakistan national football team

Pakistan national football team

Infobox National football team
Name = Pakistan
Badge = New2008 PFFlogo.png FIFA Trigramme = PAK
Nickname = The Greenshirts
Association = Pakistan Football Federation
Confederation = AFC (Asia)
Coach = flagicon|Pakistan Shahzad Anwar
Asst Manager = flagicon| "Vacant"
Captain = Muhammad Essa
Most caps =
Top scorer = Muhammad Essa (20)
Home Stadium = Punjab Stadium
FIFA Rank = 168
FIFA max = 141
FIFA max date = February 1994
FIFA min = 192
FIFA min date = May 2004
Elo Rank = 192
Elo max = 80
Elo max date = April 1952 and August 1960
Elo min = 208
Elo min date = May 2001 to March 2002

pattern_la1=_whitesmalllower|pattern_b1=_yellow_collar|pattern_ra1= _whitesmalllower
pattern_la2=_whiteupper|pattern_b2=_vneckblack|pattern_ra2=_whiteupper |leftarm2=005500|body2=FFFFFF|rightarm2=005500|shorts2=343253|socks2=FFFFFF

First game = Flagicon|Iran|1925 Iran 5 - 1 Pakistan Flagicon|Pakistan
(Amjadiah, Iran; January 6, 1950)
Largest win = Flagicon|Pakistan Pakistan 7 - 0 Thailand Flagicon|Thailand (Kuala Lumpur, Malaya; August 9, 1960)
Flagicon|Pakistan Pakistan 9 - 2 Guam Flagicon|Guam (Taipei, Chinese Taipei; April 6, 2008)

Largest loss = Flagicon|Iran|1964 Iran 9 - 1 Pakistan Flagicon|Pakistan (Teheran, Iran; March 12, 1969)
Flagicon|Iraq|1991 Iraq 8 - 0 Pakistan Flagicon|Pakistan (Irbid, Jordan; May 28, 1993)
World cup apps =
World cup first =
World cup best =
Regional name = AFC Asian Cup
Regional cup apps =
Regional cup first =
Regional cup best =
2ndRegional name = South Asian Football Federation Cup
2ndRegional cup apps = 7
2ndRegional cup first = 1993
2ndRegional cup best = Third - 1997, 2005

Pakistan national football team is the national team of Pakistan and is controlled by the PFF and is a member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

It has not yet qualified for either the FIFA World Cup or Asian Cup championships. This state of affairs may be attributable in part to the popularity of cricket and other sports, along with the PFF's own lacklustre handling of football in Pakistan over the greater part of the last five decades since its establishment in 1948.

Pakistan were one of the best sides in Asia but by the late 60's the lack of funding and infrastructure meant Pakistan's national side had fallen behind many other teams they used to beat.

However in recent times the Pakistani government and the PFF have invested more into football. The appointment of Bahraini coach Salman Ahmed Sharida in late 2005 with assistance from the Bahrain FA has helped the team achieve some stability and improvement with respect to fitness levels, and team work.

On 7 December, 2005 English Premier League defender Zeshan Rehman who played for Fulham (now with QPR) made his debut for the Pakistani team, becoming the first Pakistani international footballer to play professional football in England. Currently the PFF is targeting usage of more players of Pakistani descent playing football in foreign leagues with the help of third party contacts, to allow them to represent Pakistan internationally and boost profile of football in the country. Players like Adnan Ahmed and Amjad Iqbal have chosen to represent Pakistan at the international level.

The most success for Pakistan football has been in the South Asian Games tournament, which they have won 4 times.



Pakistan travelled to Iran and played their first international against the Iran national football team on January 6, 1950 in which Pakistan fell to a 5-1 defeat. It was another 2 years before they played another fixture. They went to Ceylon to play in the Colombo Cup and were held to goalless draw in the first match against India. They then beat hosts Ceylon 2-0 to record their first ever victory. A 1-0 win in their final match against Burma led them to become joint champions in the Colombo Cup with India.

Pakistan then hosted Iran in April and this time the Greenshirts showed a remarkable improvement by drawing nil-nil. The following year Pakistan were runners-up in the Colombo Cup, this included a memorable 6-0 win against Ceylon in Rangoon. In 1954, after again becoming runners up in the Colombo Cup, Pakistan defeated Singapore 6-2 in the Asian Games; this followed 2-1 loss to Burma. In the final edition of the Colombo Cup, the Greenshirts ended as bridesmaids for the third year in a row to India. Pakistan failed to progress in the 1958 Asian Games after being defeated by Chinese Taipei 3-1 and a 1-1 draw to South Vietnam.

In 1959, they failed to qualify for the Asian Cup, after a 4-1 loss by Iran, 1-0 defeat to India and 2-0 loss to Israel. However, in the later fixtures Pakistan were able to turn thing around and won their first ever match against India when they defeated them 1-0, and were able to reverse the score in the second match against by Iran with a 4-1 victory and held Israel to a 2-2 draw.


Several months later, the Greenshirts travelled to Malay for the Merdeka Cup. They started with thumping Thailand 7-0, which still is a Pakistani record. It was followed by a 1-0 loss to the hosts Malay, then a 3-1 victory over Japan and finally a 4-0 defeat to Indonesia. Pakistan returned to the Merdeka Cup two years later and this time reached the final against Indonesia but succumbed to 2-1 defeat. This marked the beginning of the end of Pakistan being one of the top sides of Asian football.

It was three years before Pakistan played a competitive fixture, when they played in the first RDC Cup and finished third. In 1967, they played a series of friendlies against Saudi Arabia, all ending in draws. Later in the year Pakistan lost their Asian Cup qualifiers against Burma and Khmer and drew their final match against India. They then hosted the second RDC Cup and finished third, which included the 4-7 defeat to Turkey. In 1969, they travelled to Iran to take part in friendly tournament, which apart from the 2-1 win against Iraq was a disaster, as they were completely outplayed in a record 9-1 defeat by Iran.


In the early 70’s the national side participation seemed restricted to the RDC Cup and the 1974 Asian Games plus one friendly against South Korea in 1978. In the few games they played, most were heavy defeats. The lack domestic infrastructure, poor management by the PFF and the failure to participate in international tournaments such as the World Cup qualifiers had left the national side in ruin. The most notable result in this period being a 2-2 draw against Turkey.


This era saw Pakistan return to the international fold, and saw gradual improvements in the national team. Taking part in the Kings Cup in 1982, they secured a goalless draw against Indonesia. It was the Greenshirts first clean sheet since 1962. After a loss to Thailand, they followed it up with a 3-2 victory versus Malaysia. They lost a close game against the Chinese, however, they were able to win 1-0 in their final game against Singapore.

Pakistan hosted a friendly tournament involving Iran, Bangladesh, Oman and Nepal in 1982. The Greenshirts started off with a 2-1 over Bangladesh. They lost to Iran, but came back and beat Nepal 2-0. The last game against Oman ended nil-nil and ended the tournament as runners-up. However, in 1984, the national team took a step back, losing 4 out of 5 games in the Asian Cup qualifiers, apart from beating North Yemen 4-1.

The Greenshirts hosted another tournament in 1985, this time inviting North Korea, Indonesia, with Bangladesh and Nepal returning. A surprise goalless draw against the North Koreans boosted the side, and they beat Nepal 1-0. However, losses in the final two games against Bangladesh and Indonesia meant they ended as runners up. In the South Asian Games, Pakistan ended forth after losing a penalty shoot out to Nepal.

In the 1986 Asian Games, Pakistan lost all their games. However, a year later national side was more successful at the South Asian Games, winning the bronze medal match against Bangladesh 1-0. In 1988, they lost all their Asian Cup qualifiers. In a first, Pakistan made their first attempt to qualifiers for the World Cup in 1989. However, they were unable to win any of their matches. The Greenshirts bounced back, when several months later they took Gold at the South Asian Games, beating Bangladesh 1-0 in the final.


The Greenshirts had another early exit in the Asian Games, losing all three games in 1990. In the 1991 South Asian Games, Pakistan beat the Maldives in the final 2-0 to win their second Gold. By this stage, the team had become one of whipping boys of Asia, with victories only restricted to regional teams. The next year they failed to qualify for another Asian Cup after defeats in both qualifiers, this followed a disastrous World Cup qualifying campaign in 1993 where in one game they lost to Iraq 8-0. Later in the year the first SAFF Cup took place, and the Greenshirts finished forth. Then at the 1993 South Asian Games, they were unable to get past the group stage.

In 1995, Pakistan went out of the SAFF Cup group stage on goal difference. Between 1996 and 1997, the Greenshirts lost all their Asian Cup and World Cup qualifying games. Pakistan came third in the 1997 SAFF Cup, thanks to a 1-0 victory over Sri Lanka in the third place playoff. The 1999 SAFF Cup went poorly, went they came bottom of their group, and things didn’t get better as the Greenshirts also failed to get out of the group stage of the final South Asian Games to hold full internationals.


The start of the century continued where the last left off for the national side with Pakistan unable to win any of their Asian Cup qualifiers. The following year, in 2001, Pakistan achieved their first point in World Cup qualification, thanks to a hat-trick by Gohar Zaman against Sri Lanka in the 3-3 draw, however all other matches ended in defeat.

In 2002, Pakistan played in an unsuccessful 4 match series against Sri Lanka. At the 2003 SAFF Cup, a Sarfraz Rasool inspired Pakistan finish fourth, losing 2-1 in extra time to India in the third place playoff. Later in the year, Pakistan won their first Asian Cup qualifier with a 3-0 over Macao, but still were unable to qualify. They round off the year with defeats to Kyrgyzstan in the World Cup qualifiers.

2004 saw changes in Pakistan football, with at new administration in place by this time and a new national league up and running. And it didn’t take long for the results to show with a successful three match series victory against India, the final match ending 3-0 to the Greenshirts. They went on the reach the semi-finals of the 2005 SAFF Cup, with English-born Premier League defender Zesh Rehman making waves for Pakistan. They lost the semifinal against defending champion Bangladesh by 0-1 margin.

The Pakistan team began showing some fight and although they lost they’re first two Asian Cup qualifiers in 2006, they didn’t go down easily. In between the Asian Cup matches, they took part in the first AFC Challenge Cup 2006. They failed to get past the group stage, but surprised Kyrgyzstan by defeating them 1-0. Back at the Asian Cup qualifiers, they lost their remaining fixtures. However, in the final game Pakistan came close to upsetting UAE in their 3-2 loss and this was considered by many as a turning point.

In the World Cup qualifiers in 2007, they fell to heavy defeat to the current Asian champions Iraq and after the 7-0 loss, little was expected on them in the second leg. However, the Greenshirts held them to a goalless draw. As results improved, expectations increased, and in 2008, Pakistan travelled to Nepal before hand for two friendlies before taking on the AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers. After beating Chinese Taipei 2-1 in the first match, hopes of qualification were dashed when Sri Lanka demolished Pakistan 7-1. In the final match they strolled past minnows Guam in a record 9-2 win.

Another disappointing performance in SAFF Championship 2008 where the Pakistan team failed to go beyond the group stages, losing to Maldives 3-0, India 2-1 and Nepal 4-1, signalled the end of Akhtar Mohiuddin as head coach.


Punjab stadium became the new home of the national team when it was built in 2003. Prior to that, most home matches would be played at other football stadiums around the country. Their former homes are the Railway Stadium and the Peoples Football Stadium. The Punjab Stadium is in Lahore, Pakistan and has a capacity of 9,000. Although the stadium lacks capacity, it is fitted with modern facilities. The Pakistan Football Federation has its headquarters nearby the stadium at FIFA Football house. Games expecting bigger attendances are still played in other stadiums.

World Cup record

*1930 to 1986 - "Did not enter: was part of British Empire until 1947"
*1990 to 2010 - "Did not qualify"

Asian Cup record

*1956 - Withdrew
*1960 - Did not qualify
*1964 - Did not enter
*1968 - Did not qualify
*1972 - Did not enter
*1976 - Withdrew
*1980 - Did not enter
*1984 to 2007 - Did not qualify

outh Asian Football Federation Cup record

* 1993 - Fourth Place
* 1995 - Round 1
* 1997 - Third Place
* 1999 - Round 1
* 2003 - Fourth Place
* 2005 - Semi Finals
* 2008 - Group Stage

AFC Challenge Cup record

*2006 - Round 1
*2008 - Did not qualify, 2nd in Qualifying Group

Results and Upcoming fixtures

=RCD Cup/ECO Cup record=

Colombo Cup record

External links

* [ Football Pakistan] (est. 2002/03) for the latest news and forum discussions about the Pakistani team and promotion, awareness, and support of football among Pakistanis world-wide.
* [ List of internationals played by Pakistan]
* [ The official Pakistani football association website]

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