Pakistan national football team

The Pakistan national football team represents Pakistan association football in FIFA-authorised events and is controlled by the Pakistan Football Federation, the governing body for football in Pakistan. Pakistan's home ground is Punjab Stadium, Lahore. Pakistan became a member of FIFA in 1948 joining the Asian Football Confederation. Pakistan's national team debuted in 1950.

Nickname(s)Pak Shaheen (پاک شاہین)
AssociationPakistan Football Federation
ConfederationAFC (Asia)
Sub-confederationSAFF (South Asia)
Head coachJosé Antonio Nogueira
CaptainZesh Rehman
Most capsJaffar Khan (44)
Top scorerHassan Bashir (9)
Home stadiumPunjab Stadium
First colours
Second colours
Third colours
FIFA ranking
Current 201 (28 November 2019)[1]
Highest142 (February 1993)
Lowest205 (June 2019)
Elo ranking
Current 204 6 (25 November 2019)[2]
Highest96 (9 December 1959)
Lowest208 (2012)
First international
 Iran 5–1 Pakistan 
(Tehran, Iran; 27 October 1950)
Biggest win
 Thailand 0–7 Pakistan 
(Kuala Lampur, Malaysia; 5 August 1960)[3]
 Pakistan 9–2 Guam 
(Taipei, Taiwan; 6 April 2008)[4]
 Pakistan 7–0 Bhutan 
(Dhaka, Bangladesh; 8 December 2009)[5]
Biggest defeat
 Iran 9–1 Pakistan 
(Tehran, Iran; 12 March 1969)
 Iraq 8–0 Pakistan 
(Amman, Jordan; 28 May 1993)

Pakistan contest the South Asian Football Federation Championship and South Asian Games, which alternate biennially. Pakistan won the Colombo Cup in 1952. Pakistan has great record in South Asian Games, won four gold medals in 1989, 1991, 2004, 2006 and won one bronze medal in 1987 respectively. Despite this prestigious record and history as one of Asia's hegemon at 1950s, so far, Pakistan has never made appearance in any major tournament outside South Asian region, in contrast to its rival India and Bangladesh.


1950s – Pakistan's international debut

Pakistan made its international debut on a tour to Iran and Iraq in October 1950. Pakistan lost its first match 5–1 against Iran. Pakistan's next international outing came in the Colombo Cup where the team played its first match against India which ended in a goalless draw. During the 50s, Pakistan played internationally in the following Colombo Cup editions which were played in India in 1954, then East Pakistan in 1955, and the Asian Games in Philippines in 1954 and in Japan in 1958.

Early 1960s and 1970s

In the early 1960s, Pakistan produced one of the finest players to ever grace the field in Pakistan Football History, Abdul Ghafoor Majna was nicknamed the "Pakistani Pele" and "Black Pearl of Pakistan". Ghafoor was part of Pakistan national football team setup when it was in the top 10 teams of Asia. According to The Express Tribune, he was "the last man alive from the days when the Pakistan football team was good enough to beat USSR, UAE and China – a far cry from the state of affairs right now."[6]

It was three years before Pakistan played another 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 a friendly tournament, in which they had a 2–1 win against Iraq and a record 7-0 defeat by Iran.

As a result of the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, East Pakistan became The People's Republic of Bangladesh and consequently the Pakistani team lost the right to call upon Bengali players. In the early 1970s the national side's participation was restricted to the RDC Cup and the 1974 Asian Games, and a single friendly against South Korea in 1978. The most notable result in this period was a 2–2 draw against Turkey.

1980–1990 (Rise and fall)

In the King's Cup in 1982, Pakistan secured a goalless draw against Indonesia, the team's first clean sheet since 1962. After a loss to Thailand, they gained a 3–2 victory versus Malaysia and although they lost a close game against China, 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 Green Shirts 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 Pakistan ended the tournament as runners-up. However, in 1984, the national team lost 4 out of 5 games in the Asian Cup qualifiers, the only victory coming against North Yemen 4–1.

The national team hosted another tournament in 1985, this time inviting North Korea, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Nepal. A 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 were again runners up. In the South Asian Games, Pakistan ended fourth after losing a penalty shoot out to Nepal.

In the 1986 Asian Games, Pakistan lost all their games. However, a year later the 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. Pakistan made their first attempt to qualify for the World Cup in 1989. However, they were unable to win any of their matches. The national team bounced back, when several months later they took Gold at the South Asian Games, beating Bangladesh 1–0 in the final.

1990s–2003 (Decline)

Pakistan 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. Later in the year the first SAFF Cup took place, and the national team finished fourth, but 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 team 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 saw Pakistan finish bottom of their group, and Pakistan also failed to get out of the group stage of the final South Asian Games to hold full internationals.

Pakistan were unable to win any of their 2000 Asian Cup qualifiers. The following year Pakistan achieved their first point in World Cup qualification, thanks to a hat-trick by Gohar Zaman in a 3–3 draw against Sri Lanka, but all other matches ended in defeat.

In 2002, Pakistan played in an unsuccessful four match series against Sri Lanka. At the 2003 SAFF Cup, Pakistan finished 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 rounded off the year with defeats to Kyrgyzstan in the World Cup qualifiers.

2004–2013 (New set-up and changes)

2004 saw changes in Pakistan football, with a new administration in place by this time and a new national league up and running. A victory against India in a three match series, the final match ending 3–0 to the Greenshirts, followed, and they went on the reach the semi-finals of the 2005 SAFF Cup. They lost the semifinal against defending champion Bangladesh by 0–1 margin.

The Pakistan team lost their first two Asian Cup qualifiers in 2006, in between which they took part in the first AFC Challenge Cup 2006. They failed to get past the group stage, but beat Kyrgyzstan 1–0. Back at the Asian Cup qualifiers, they lost their remaining fixtures. In the World Cup qualifiers in 2007, they fell to a heavy defeat by the 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. In 2008, Pakistan travelled to Nepal for two friendlies before taking on the AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers. Although they won against Chinese Taipei 2–1 in the first match, and beat Guam in a record-equalling 9–2 win in the final match, other results, including a 7–1 defeat to Sri Lanka, saw them again fail to reach the finals.

In the SAFF Championship 2008, Pakistan failed to go beyond the group stages, losing to Maldives 3–0, India 2–1 and Nepal 4–1, which signalled the end of Akhtar Mohiuddin's tenure as head coach. After Mohiuddin's departure, Austrian-Hungarian coach George Kottan was hired and the veteran tactician took a star-studded team to the SAFF Championship 2009. Despite calling upon foreign players such as Adnan Ahmed, Shabir Khan, Amjad Iqbal, Atif Bashir and Reis Ashraf, the side were unable were defeat 1–0 by Sri Lanka, before drawing 0–0 with Bangladesh as former Manchester United star Adnan missed a late penalty to seal a win. Pakistan won against Bhutan 7–0 in their last game.

Kottan was soon sacked in February 2010, Pakistan had no senior games during the entire calendar year but saw the appointment of Tottenham Hotspur legend Graham Roberts for the U-23 Team. For the AFC Challenge Cup 2012 qualifiers in 2011, KRL FC coach Tariq Lutfi was called up once more and failed to deliver emphatically. Defeats such as the 3–0 against Turkmenistan and 3–1 against India meant that the side were already out of the qualifiers despite beating Chinese Taipei by 2–0. Later in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in July, Bangladesh thoroughly beat Pakistan 3–0 in Dhaka, before earning a 0–0 draw in Lahore a few days later.

That saw the end of Lutfi's reign, with Serbian boss Zaviša Milosavljević taking over in November 2011 right before the SAFF Championship 2011. Despite having little time to influence the team, Zavisa managed to hold Bangladesh 0–0, Maldives 0–0 and Nepal 1–1 in the India-hosted SAFF Championship 2011. However, they were unable to progress into the semi-finals and returned home.

2012's sole game was witnessed in November against Singapore, who thrashed Pakistan 4–0 at home. Pakistan then started 2013 with a bang, winning two games against Nepal with identical 1–0 margins thanks to the brilliance of Hassan Bashir. A 1–1 draw with Maldives followed, but with congested fixtures Pakistan ended up losing the last game 3–0 in Male.


Pakistan then played the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup qualification in Bishkek, losing out 1–0 to Tajikistan in injury-time. Pakistan also lost 1–0 against the Kyrgyzstan after scoring in the 1st minute, but with Hassan Bashir and returning Kaleemullah Pakistan comfortably beat Macau 2–0.

Pakistan played a friendly against Afghanistan in August, losing 3–0 emphatically without their foreign-based players. Coach Zaviša Milosavljević was sacked and replaced by Bahrain's Mohammad Al-Shamlan, who acted as a coaching consultant to Shahzad Anwar in the 2013 SAFF Championship

The Shaheens played their hearts out, but were unable to defeat India and lost 1–0 after a horrendous own-goal from Samar Ishaq. Against hosts Nepal, Hassan Bashir scored an early goal, only to see 15-year-old Bimal Gharti Magar level things in injury-time. However, Pakistan beat Bangladesh 2–1 and were unlucky not to reach the semi-finals after losing out on head-to-head with India.

Pakistan did not qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, being eliminated by Bangladesh in the first round of the AFC qualifying section, losing the first game 3–0, but drawing 0–0 in the return game, being 3–0 as the aggregate score.

In 2014, Pakistan played a 2 match friendly series with India. All matches were played at Bangalore Stadium in India. India beat Pakistan 1–0 in the first friendly, leading the series, but Pakistan won the second match 0–2.

For Pakistan's campaign for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, they were to face Yemen in Round 1 in the AFC qualifying section. In the first match, Pakistan lost 3-1. For the second match, Pakistan drew 0–0, Yemen eliminating Pakistan from the tournament with an aggregate score of 3–1 in favor of Yemen.[7]

FIFA Suspension

Pakistan was suspended from all football activities by FIFA on 10 October 2017.[8][9]

Post Suspension (2018–Present)

FIFA restored membership of PFF on March 13, 2018. With Asian Games approaching in August and SAFF Cup in September, Pakistan football team had very less time to prepare. PFF announced the signing of new Brazilian coach José Antonio Nogueira and started camps in Lahore. The team played friendlies in Bahrain with their premier clubs from mid of July till end of it. Pakistan lost 1, drew 1 and won 2 matches in Bahrain. Then, Pakistan national under-23 football team along with 3 senior players flew to Indonesia in mid August to take part in Asian Games. On August 14, 2018, the team played its first group game against the then runner ups of 2018 AFC U-23 Championship which resulted in a 3–0 loss. On August 16, 2018, the team faced a loss against Japan by a scoreline of 4–0. Pakistan defeated Nepal by 2–1 in their final group game which was the former's first win in Asian Games after 44 years. Pakistan expected to qualify for knockouts being 3rd in the group. However, the team fell short in terms of Goal Difference.

Pakistan senior team went to Bangladesh to take part in SAFF Cup which started in September, 2018 which was their first FIFA recognized tournament after a span of 3 years. Pakistani descent footballer Adnan Mohammad wasn't issued visa by Bengali authorities to participate in the competition. Pakistan played its first match of the event against Nepal (40 ranks higher than the former then) on September 4, 2018 which ended in a 2–1 win. This match also included Muhammad Ali's late stoppage time header to claim the winner as Pakistan got 3 crucial points. Pakistan lost its next match to hosts Bangladesh on September 6, 2018 by 1–0 after conceding a late goal. Green shirts played their final group game against Bhutan on September 8, 2018 which ended in a 3–0 win and sealed their place in semis after 13 years. Pakistan faced arch rivals India in semi final on September 12, 2018 and were ultimately knocked out by 3–1. After first half being goalless, Manvir Singh's brace and Summit Passi's header allowed the Blues to go 3–0 ahead. Hassan Bashir late consolation goal decreased the margin by 1 goal. It was a brilliant performance by Pakistani team despite returning to international football after 3 years.

Star footballer Kaleemullah Khan wasn't a part of these events due to his disputes with PFF authorities.

After SAFF Cup, Pakistan negotiated with Palestine Football Association for a friendly. It was initially reported that the match will be played in Lahore, Pakistan on November 15, 2018 but Palestine decided to host the event afterwards. Due to visa issues, Pakistan team couldn't fly to Palestine on the desired date. So, the match was played on November 16 in which Shaheens lost by 2–1. Hassan Bashir scored the only goal for Pakistan in first 30 minutes which was assisted by debutant Adnan Mohammad.

Grounds and Uniform


For the first fifty years of their existence, Pakistan played their home matches all around the country. They initially used cricket grounds before later moving on to football stadiums. Pakistan played at a number of different venues across the country, though by the year 2003 this had largely settled down to having Punjab Stadium as the primary venue, with Jinnah Sports Stadium And Peoples Football Stadium used on occasions where Punjab Stadium was unavailable for home matches.

The Pakistan Football Federation has its headquarters near the stadium. It recently hosted most of the matches for the AFC President's Cup 2007. Muhammad Essa was the first man to score an international goal at this venue when he surged Pakistan ahead against India in June 2005.

2-Jinnah Sports Stadium is probably thr best football stadium in Pakistan with over capacity of 45000 and is also an very beautiful international standard stadium

3-Peoples Football Stadium


The Pakistan national team's home kit has always been a green shirt and white shorts. The colours are derived from the flag of Pakistan which is a green field with a white crescent moon and five-rayed star at its centre, and a vertical white stripe at the hoist side.[10] The away shirt colour has changed several times. The national team has used white shirt with white shorts or white shirt with green shorts. Historically, white shirt with green shorts is the most often used colour combination. The kits are currently manufactured by Forward Sports. Forward Sports is the official provider of balls for FIFA World Cup 2014 and FIFA World Cup 2018,[11] the company came into prominence for landing the contract of over 3,000 “Brazuca” balls that were used at the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil. Bloomberg and BBC are among many news agencies that have covered the company.

Kit suppliers

Kit supplier Period
Vision 2011–2013
Forward 2013–2015
Joshilla 2018–present

Players and management

Current squad

The following 19 players have been called up for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification round vs Cambodia.[12]
Caps and goals are correct as of 11 June 2019 after the match against Cambodia.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Yousuf Butt (1989-10-18) 18 October 1989 19 0 Tårnby Boldklub
20 1GK Muzammil Hussain (1993-09-06) 6 September 1993 2 0 WAPDA
22 1GK Ahsanullah Ahmed (1995-02-25) 25 February 1995 2 0 Sui Southern Gas

2 2DF Umer Hayat (1996-10-22) 22 October 1996 3 0 Yeni Malatyaspor
3 2DF Abdullah Qazi (1995-03-25)25 March 1995 (aged 23) 5 0 La Máquina FC
4 2DF Yaqoob Ijaz Butt (1988-09-18) 18 September 1988 5 0 Jægersborg Boldklub
6 2DF Zesh Rehman (Captain) (1983-10-14) 14 October 1983 25 1 Southern
14 2DF Ali Khan Niazi (2000-12-14) 14 December 2000 0 0 K-Electric
17 2DF Ali Uzair (1996-10-14) 14 October 1996 2 0 WAPDA

8 3MF Mehmood Khan (1991-06-10) 10 June 1991 10 0 Khan Research Laboratories
18 3MF Samir Nabi (1996-12-16) 16 December 1996 2 0 Torquay United
19 3MF Navid Rahman (1996-05-26) 26 May 1996 2 0 Achilles
23 3MF Rahis Nabi (1999-04-15) 15 April 1999 2 0 Alvechurch

7 4FW Ahmed Faheem (1994-12-04) 4 December 1994 3 1 WAPDA
9 4FW Muhammad Ali (1989-09-02) 2 September 1989 15 2 Greve Fodbold
10 4FW Hassan Bashir (Vice-Captain) (1987-01-07) 7 January 1987 21 8 Tårnby Boldklub
11 4FW Adnan Mohammad (1996-07-02) 2 July 1996 3 0 Lyngby
12 4FW Tabish Hussain (2001-06-06) 6 June 2001 2 0 Guiseley
16 4FW Muhammad Riaz (1996-02-27) 27 February 1996 8 2 K-Electric

Recent call-ups

The following players have also been called for the national team in recent matches.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
DF Jamal Raisani (1998-11-20) 20 November 1998 1 0 Chiangrai United 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification

DF Ahsan Ullah (1992-12-13) 13 December 1992 4 0 Khan Research Laboratories Asian Games Prep. Camp
DF Arsalan Ali (1998-12-28) 28 December 1998 1 0 Khan Research Laboratories v.  Palestine, 16 November 2018
DF Faisal Iqbal (1992-04-08) 8 April 1992 18 0 National Bank Asian Games Prep. Camp
DF Mohsin Ali (1996-06-01)1 June 1996 (aged 22) 8 0 WAPDA 2018 SAFF Championship
DF Shahbaz Younas (1996-03-02)2 March 1996 (aged 22) 3 0 Pakistan Army 2018 SAFF Championship
DF Mehdi Hassan (1999-06-20) 20 June 1999 1 0 Pakistan Airforce v.  Palestine, 16 November 2018
MF Naveed Ahmed (1993-01-03)3 January 1993 (aged 25) 8 0 KRL v.  Palestine, 16 November 2018
DF Saad Ahmed (1997-10-29) 29 October 1997 0 0 Al-Mesaimeer 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification PRE
MF Saddam Hussain (1993-04-10)10 April 1993 (aged 25) 22 0 Sui Southern Gas v.  Palestine, 16 November 2018
MF Bilawal Ur-Rehman (1993-10-04)4 October 1993 (aged 24) 5 0 Sui Southern Gas 2018 SAFF Championship
MF Saadullah Khan (1994-06-04)4 June 1994 (aged 24) 7 1 Sui Southern Gas 2018 SAFF Championship
MF Adel Rahman (1995-06-06) 6 June 1995 0 0 ProStars 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification PRE
MF Muhammad Adil (1992-07-09)9 July 1992 (aged 26) 19 0 KRL 2018 SAFF Championship
MF Zainul Abideen Ishaque (1998-05-25) 25 May 1998 1 0 Civil Aviation Authority v.  Palestine, 16 November 2018

FW Shabban Hussain (1996-05-15) 15 May 1996 0 0 Vanløse IF 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification PRE
FW Mansoor Khan (1997-02-20) 20 February 1997 8 0 Pakistan Airforce v.  Palestine, 16 November 2018

Current staff

Position Name
Head Coach José Antonio Nogueira
Assistant Coach Mohammad Essa
Assistant Coach Muhammad Habib
Goalkeeping Coach Marcello Costa
Fitness Coach Jose Beto Portella
Physiotherapist Mohammad Adnan
Masseur Mohammad Aslam
PFF Technical Director Shahzad Anwar


Pakistan often develops football rivalry with their neighbors and those who has historical tensions, although it was not large comparing to cricket rivalry.

Pakistan's major rival is India, due to long historical tensions between two countries. Pakistan's overall result against India is negative, achieving only three victories against its neighbor while drawing six and lost 15 matches. The rivalry is less known than their own cricket and hockey rivalries, due to Pakistan's lack of success comparing to India.[13]

Pakistan's other rival is Bangladesh, and their result is also negative, though less than with India, with six wins, four draws and seven defeats. Afghanistan is also another rivalry of Pakistan, due to previous tensions and war with Taliban. Their recent meeting in 2013 ended with 3–0 victory for Afghanistan, prompted celebration and anti-Pakistan sentiment in Afghanistan.[14]

Results and fixtures

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

  Win   Draw   Loss



Pakistan vs Argentina December 18

Pakistan vs Sri lanka

Pakistan vs Qatar


List of head coaches of Pakistan

Pakistan team in FIFA world ranking

1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
142 158 160 173 153 168 179 190 181 178 168 177 158 164 163 165 156 171 179 189 172 188 184 197 201 199 201[15]

Honours and recognition

Other records

Pakistan's all-time records

Last match updated :  Cambodia on 11 June 2019

Pakistan national football team head to head records
Opponents Played Won Drawn Lost GF GA GD Confederation
 China PR9126824–16AFC
 Chinese Taipei531175+2AFC
 North Korea1010000AFC
 South Korea4004124–23AFC
 Russia (inc.  Soviet Union)100105–5UEFA
 Sri Lanka208482831–3AFC
 United Arab Emirates5005417–13AFC
 Vietnam (inc.  South Vietnam)1010110AFC
Total 230 55 39 136 123 520 -397 43 Nations

Tournament records

FIFA World Cup

FIFA World Cup FIFA World Cup qualification
Hosts / Year Pld W D* L GS GA Pld W D* L GF GA
1930 to 1938Did not existDid not exist
1950 to 1986Did not enterDid not enter
1990Did Not Qualify4004112
2026To be determined To be determined

AFC Asian Cup

AFC Asian Cup AFC Asian Cup qualification
Hosts / Year Pld W D* L GS GA Pld W D* L GF GA
1960Did not qualify6213810
1968Did not qualify301214
1972- 1980WithdrewWithdrew
1984Did not qualify4103414
2011- 2015Did not enterDid not enter
2019Did not qualify201113

AFC Challenge Cup

The AFC Challenge Cup was held every two years from 2006 through 2014.

AFC Challenge Cup AFC Challenge Cup qualification record
Hosts / Year Round Pld W D* L GS GA Pld W D* L GF GA
2006Group Stage311134
2008Did not qualify32011210

Asian Games

Football at the Asian Games has been an under-23 tournament since 2002.
Asian Games Record
Year Result GP W D* L GS GA
2002–present See Pakistan national under-23 football team

SAFF Championship

SAFF Championship
Year Host country Position
1993 Lahore, Pakistan 4th
1995 Colombo, Sri Lanka Round-1
1997 Kathmandu, Nepal
1999 Margao, India Round-1
2003 Dhaka, Bangladesh 4th
2005 Islamabad, Pakistan Semi-Finalist
2008 Malé, Maldives and Colombo, Sri Lanka Round-1
2009 Dhaka, Bangladesh Round-1
2011 New Delhi, India Round-1
2013 Kathmandu, Nepal Round-1
2015 Kerala, India DNP
2018 Dhaka, Bangladesh Semi-Finalist
2020 Dhaka, Bangladesh TBD

See also


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