India national under-20 football team

The India national Under-20 football team, also known as India Under-20s or India U20(s), represents India at all under-20 football tournaments. They are one of the feeder teams for the India national under-23 football team and the senior India national football team.

India Under-20
Nickname(s)Blue Colts
AssociationAll India Football Federation
ConfederationAFC (Asia)
Sub-confederationSAFF (South Asia)
Head coachShanmugam Venkatesh
First colours
Second colours
First international
 Burma 1–1 India 
(Malaya; 19 April 1963)
Biggest win
 India 7–0 Nepal   
(Bangkok, Thailand; 23 April 1972)
 India 6–0 Sri Lanka 
(Kannur, India; 13 July 1996)
 India 7–1 Bhutan 
(Bangalore India; 25 August 1998)
 India 6–0 Bangladesh 
(Qatar; 16 October 2002)
Biggest defeat
 India 0–7 Israel 
(Bangkok, Thailand; 16 April 1972)
 India 0–7 South Korea 
(Qatar; 25 October 2002)
 India 0–7 United Arab Emirates 
(Qatar; 4 October 2015)
FIFA U-20 World Cup
AFC U-19 Championship
Appearances22 (first in 1963)
Best resultChampions (1974)
South Asian Championship
Appearances3 (first in 2015)
Best resultChampions (2019)

This team is for Indian players aged under 19 at the start of the calendar year in which a two-year AFC U-19 Championship campaign begins, and as such, some players can remain with the squad until the age of 21. As long as they are eligible, players can play for India at any level, making it possible to play for the U19s first, then the senior side, and again back to playing for the U19s. It is also possible to play for one country at youth level and another at senior level (provided the player is eligible).


As an Asian U19 team, India competes for the Asian Championship, with the finals every even-numbered year, formerly odd-numbered years. There is no Under-19 World Cup, although there is an Under-20 World Cup. This team also participate in the SAFF U-19 Championship which started from 2015 by South Asian Football federation.


For the first four seasons of AFC U-19 Championship, from 1959 to 1962 the Indian team did not enter into the tournament though there was no qualification round. India first participated in the AFC U-19 Championships in 1963 but did not move ahead from the group stage. the first best result came at the 1966 edition where the team entered in the quarter finals with 3 wins against Burma, Japan and Singapore and a defeat by china but in the quarter final they lost to Israel by 4−0. In the next edition at 1967 AFC Youth Championship India again entered in the quarter final. First a draw of 1−1 against Israel and then defeating Malaysia by 4−1 but same as 1966 they again defeated in the quarter final, this time by Indonesia by 2−6. In 1968, the team didn't move beyond group stage, and next two edition of 1969 and 1970 India did not enter in the championships.


In 1971, they again reached the quarter final for the third time in AFC championships, but the fate was same as again saw a defeat, now against Japan by 0−3. But, after a gap of two more edition, it was 1974 AFC Youth Championship, where India seen the golden moment after becoming champions in AFC Under-19 Championships. First in group stage India defeat both Laos and Burma by 1−0 and a draw against Hong Kong by 2−2. Then entering in the quarter final they defeated Singapore by 1(4)−1(1), thus reached semi-finals where defeating Thailand by 2−1, for the first time India reached the final of the Championship. But the final was a draw against Iran by 2−2 thus jointly awarded both the team as the Champions. In 1975 and 1976 edition India didn't do much well but at 1977 AFC Youth Championship they reached the quarter final but the opponent was Iran, the defending Champion who defeated India by 3−0, thus failed to qualify for the first FIFA World Youth Championship in 1977 which later came to be known as FIFA U-20 World Cup and also failed to qualify at the 1979 edition.

1980−2000, the decline

These two decades saw a decline in the performance of the Indian team. Qualification round started from 1980 AFC Youth Championship and India failed to qualify in 6 out of 11 edition of the championships and in rest 5 edition the failed to move beyond the group stage, thus also failed to qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup as the finalist were only to be qualified for the competition.

2002−2017 Rise and Fall

In 2002, at the AFC U-19 Championship, India reached the quarter final for the 6th time, by the virtue of third-place qualifiers, but defeated heavily by South Korea, where the Korean found the Indian net 7 times. Next two editions they ended their competition in group stages and next 7 editions from 2008 to 2018, India failed to qualify again for the championships and so for the FIFA U20 Worldcup.

In the meanwhile, SAFF started SAFF U-19 Championship from 2015 to develop the youth teams of South Asian countries as they continuously failing to qualify for AFC U-20 championships. In the 2015 inaugural edition, India became runners-up facing a defeat from Nepal through a penalty shoot out. In the next edition in 2017, the tournament was a round robin, where India saw two wins against Bhutan and Maldives and two defeats from Bangladesh and Nepal, thus achieved the third place in the tournament.


The AIFF finally acted and opened their eyes to bring out the team from its misery and started various plans and programmes to tackle to present a pathetic situation. One of the most important steps is international exposure to the youth and under 17 teams. India's U-20 team was invited to participate in Cotif Tournament where clubs and national and autonomous teams participate every year since 1984, held at Valencia, Spain. 2018 Cotif was 35th Anniversary of the tournament.[1] Though India lost two consecutive matches against Spanish club Murcia then against Mauritania, they managed a draw against a stronger Latin American side of Venezuela, but on the final group match on 5 August 2018, the Indian side written a piece of history when they defeated the most successful U-20 Worldcup winning nation Argentina. The match was historic in many ways, when Indian defender Deepak Tangri headed a corner kick to the net of Argentine side, it was the first goal against them by any Indian side, then with a second goal by Anwar Ali with a fabulous free kick help India to win the match with a score of 2−1 against the stronger Argentine side, made a history as it is the first time that any Indian team defeated any Argentine side and also any American national team.[2][3][4] Argentina national team manager Scaloni and Argentine great Pablo Aimar praised the young colt's performances and said the future of the team is bright if there is continued perseverance.[5] AIFF called it as one of the “biggest days for Indian Football” as team coach said "This victory will definitely earn Indian football more respect in the world of football. It opens up a window of opportunity to test ourselves against the best in the world on a regular basis".[6]

Just after the Cotif experience, AIFF announced the team was invited to play in a four-nation tournament between under-20 national teams of France, Croatia and Slovenia and two friendlies against Serbia.[7] This was the first time India was playing in a 4-nations tournament in which all the opponents are European nations.[8][9] In the first match the team faced a big defeat against a mightier Croatian team by 0−5.[10] The second match was against Slovenia, where they played very well within 90 minutes but failed to convert various chances and on the last minute of injury time the Slovenian side found the net, match ended in 0−1 defeat.[11] Third match was against France, which India lost by 2−0.[12] In the friendlies against Serbia India saw defeat in both the matches, first by 2−0[13] and second by 3−1 where Rahim Ali managed to find the net once.[14]

Current Staff

Name Position
Shanmugam Venkatesh Head Coach
Mahesh Gawli Assistant Coach
Yusuf Ansari Goalkeeping Coach
Vishnu Nair Physio

Current squad

As of 5 November 2019

The following 23 players are called for the 2020 AFC U-19 Championship qualification to be held at Saudi Arabia.[15]

Number Name DOB Club Caps (goals)
1Prabhsukhan Singh Gill (2001-01-02) 2 January 2001 Bengaluru17 (0)
13Lalbiakhlua Jongte (2002-06-23) 23 June 2002 Indian Arrows1 (0)
21Niraj Kumar (2002-11-16) 16 November 2002 Jamshedpur0 (0)
2Muhammed Rafi (2001-05-18) 18 May 2001 Bengaluru6 (0)
3Jitendra Singh (2001-06-13) 13 June 2001 Jamshedpur13 (0)
4Akash Mishra (2001-11-27) 27 November 2001 Indian Arrows10 (2)
5Narender Gahlot (2001-04-24) 24 April 2001 Jamshedpur4 (0)
16Bikash Yumnam (2003-09-06) 6 September 2003 Minerva Punjab5 (0)
18Sumit Rathi (2001-08-26) 26 August 2001 ATK8 (1)
19Thoiba Singh Moirangthem (2002-12-12) 12 December 2002 Minerva Punjab4 (0)
20Hormipam Ruivah (2001-01-25) 25 January 2001 Minerva Punjab1 (0)
6Vikram Pratap Singh (2002-01-16) 16 January 2002 Indian Arrows5 (2)
7Ninthoinganba Meetei (2001-07-13) 13 July 2001 NorthEast United15 (2)
8Amarjit Singh Kiyam (2001-01-06) 6 January 2001 Jamshedpur4 (1)
10Givson Singh Moirangthem (2002-06-05) 5 June 2002 Indian Arrows8 (0)
14Ricky John Shabong (2002-12-29) 29 December 2002 Indian Arrows7 (1)
15Jeakson Singh Thounaojam (2001-06-21) 21 June 2001 Kerala Blasters15 (0)
17Ravi Bahadur Rana (2002-10-15) 15 October 2002 Tata Football Academy0 (0)
22Lalrampana Pautu (2003-09-08) 8 September 2003 SAIL Football Academy0 (0)
23Muhammed Basith Parathodi (2003-01-01) 1 January 20030 (0)
9Aman Chetri (2001-07-26) 26 July 2001 Chennaiyin7 (2)
11Manvir Singh (2001-06-15) 15 June 2001 Kerala Blasters FC3 (1)
12Gurkirat Singh (2003-07-16) 16 July 2003 Indian Arrows3 (1)

Past Squads

AFC U-19 Championship squads

Results and fixtures

For past match results of the national team, see the team's results page.

  Win   Draw   Loss


Competitive records

FIFA U-20 World Cup

FIFA U-20 World Cup record
Host/Year Result Position Pld W D* L GF GA
FIFA World Youth Championship
Did not Qualify
FIFA U-20 World Cup
Did not Qualify
Total0/220 Titles000000

AFC U-19 Championship

AFC U-19 Championship records
Host/Year Result Position Pld W D* L GF GA
Did not enter
1963Group Stage7th521265
1964Group Stage6th302114
1965Group Stage7th411236
1966Quarter Final5th530297
1967Quarter Final7th311178
1968Group Stage11th310244
1969Did not enter
1971Quarter Final6th421155
1972Group Stage11th4103513
1973Group Stage10th302112
1975Group Stage13th411256
1976Group Stage5th311143
1977Quarter Final5th310258
1978Group Stage6th411278
Did not qualify
1986Group Stage6th301228
1988Did not enter
1990Group Stage6th310237
1992Group Stage8th300307
1994Did not enter
1996Group Stage8th401326
1998Group Stage10th4013310
2000Did not qualify
2002Quarter Final8th4103214
2004Group Stage13th300325
2006Group Stage13th301237
Did not qualify
2020To Be Determined
Total22/401 Title8122164389149

SAFF U-18 Championship

SAFF U-18 Championship record
Host/Year Result Position Pld W D* L GF GA
2017Round Robin3rd420287
Total3/31 Title12732239
*Denotes draws includes knockout matches decided on penalty kicks. Red border indicates that the tournament was hosted on home soil. Gold, silver, bronze backgrounds indicates 1st, 2nd and 3rd finishes respectively. Bold text indicates best finish in tournament.

See also


  1. "The COTIF lives the presentation of its 35th anniversary". Cotifalcudia. 19 July 2018. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  2. "History, Beat Argentina 2-1 In COTIF Cup 2018". inuth. 6 August 2018. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  3. "India's U-20 football side stuns Argentina 2-1". The Hindu. 6 August 2018. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  4. "India stun Argentina in U-20 COTIF Cup football tourney". TOI. 6 August 2018. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  6. "10-MAN INDIA SHOCK U-20 ARGENTINA-20 2-1". AIFF. 6 August 2018. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  8. "India U-20 to face France in four-nation tourney". AIFF. 8 August 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  10. "INDIA U-19 GO DOWN TO CROATIA". AIFF. 5 September 2018. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  11. "INDIA U-19 LOSE BY A SOLITARY GOAL TO SLOVENIA". AIFF. 7 September 2018. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  12. "INDIA GO DOWN TO U-19 YOUTH TEAM OF WORLD CHAMPIONS FRANCE". 10 September 2018. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  13. "India U-19 football team suffers 0-2 loss against Serbia U-19". The Times of india. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  14. "INDIA U-19 SIDE SUFFER 3-1 DEFEAT AT THE HANDS OF SERBIA IN FRIENDLY". AIFF. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
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