Bhaichung asks Indian players to 'improve ranking'

Indian team skipper Bhaichung Bhutia feels that the time has come for the national players to deliver their best and for the country. The national team is currently preparing for the forthcoming season, keeping an eye on improving their FIFA rankings. “It is high time that we deliver, for the sake of revival of Indian football. All the players who will don national shirts have to pull up their socks and deliver. We haven’t performed well in recent times, especially when it mattered,” he told Sudeep Pakrashi of Express India.

India will play a friendly against a Portuguese first division club side in July and will then face two second division teams to conclude the tour. India’s first World Cup qualifier for the 2010 event in South Africa is likely to be played on 5 February 2008. In March 2008, India will take part in the AFC Challenge Trophy, where teams outside the top 15 in Asia participate.