Asia

Did India's U17s Really Beat Italy's U17 National Team? Nope.

There is no doubt that the India U17 World Cup team earned an impressive road victory this week against a strong Italian side, knocking off the hosts 2-0.

There's just one problem with the narrative that arose after the match. The India U17s didn't actually beat the Italy U17 National Team. Instead, they played and won against a team comprised of youth players from clubs in Lega Pro and Lega Pro 2 (the third and fourth tiers of Italian football, respectively).

India Will Have A Shot At Qualifying For The 2026 World Cup

India’s National Team has never played in a World Cup, but there’s a decent chance that will change when the tournament includes 48 teams in 2026. The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) currently sends four teams to the World Cup, and its fifth place team competes in a playoff with the fourth place team from CONCACAF.

When the field expands, eight teams from the AFC will directly qualify. The World Cup’s growth, coupled with the national team’s improvements, provide sufficient reasons to be optimistic about the future of Indian soccer. 

I-League Champs Aizawl FC Threatened A Hunger Strike If Left Out Of Proposed Top Division Merger

Aizawl FC's improbable I-League title is one of the best sports stories of the year, but the fight isn't over for the club based in northeast India.

A proposal to merge the I-League with the Indian Super League to form one unified Indian top division includes every Indian Super League team and three I-League teams, but not Aizawl. The champs are, understandably peeved about this, so much so that they've threatened a hunger strike.

Underdogs Aizawl FC Are India's Version Of Leicester City

The I-League title race came down to the 18th and final match day of the season, and Aizawl FC prevailed in dramatic fashion. After scoring in the 83rd minute last week to defeat Mohun Bagan, Aizawl only needed a draw against Shillong Lajong FC to clinch the title. Aizawl had to work for the result, as they trailed midway through the second half before Willian Lalnunfela headed home an equalizer in the 67th minute. 

FIFA And AFC Official Richard Lai Pleads Guilty To Corruption Charges

Richard Lai, president of The Guam Football Association since 2001, pled guilty yesterday to two counts of wire fraud and one count of failing to disclose foreign bank accounts. His plea marks the first time that the U.S. investigation into FIFA corruption has indicted an official from outside the Americas. Although Guam is a U.S. Territory, the country competes with others in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

I-League Title Race Reflects Uncertainty Of The Future Of Soccer In India

Aizawl FC will probably win India’s premier league (I-league) title. They lead Mohun Bagan by three points going into the last game of the season, so all they have to do is win or draw, or have Mohun Bagan lose or draw. Much more is on the line, however, than just the championship and subsequent entry into a qualification round for the AFC Champions League.

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