India and Pakistan have been one of the oldest foes in the ring. The neighbours will square off in their SAFF Championship opener at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru, Karnataka, on Wednesday. 

Ranked 195 in the latest FIFA rankings, the Pakistan national team are the lowest ranked team in the tournament. Known as the Pakistani Falcons, the South-East Asian team haven’t been at their best of late and will look to gather strength from a fixture that attracts the emotions of millions of Indians and Pakistanis.

Here's a closer look at their national team:


Governed and controlled by Pakistan Football Federation (PFF), the side joined FIFA in 1948, becoming a part of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), and made their debut in 1950 in a tour against Iran and Iraq. 

With the country leaning towards a unicentric sports system, focusing more towards cricket, football has been unable to garner enough support in the country. As such, the side hasn’t made it past the South Asian region in terms of international competitions, having failed to make it to the AFC Asian Cup and the FIFA World Cup. Further, the side haven't won a single FIFA World Cup qualifying game till date.

Form Guide

The Shahzad Anwar-coached team haven’t won a single game in 2023. The team has faced several roadblocks on their footballing path and have been winless in their last nine games in all competitions, with their last recorded win coming in the 2018 SAFF Championships in a 3-0 victory over Bhutan.


The two neighbouring rivals have a long-standing history spanning over decades. In 24 encounters between the two sides, India have been the dominant team, winning the fixture 11 times as compared to Pakistan’s three wins. The remaining ten fixtures have ended up in a stalemate. 

The Blue Tigers’ last win over the Pakistani Falcons in the 2018 SAFF Championship in 2018.

Key Players

Otis Khan: An academy product out of Manchester United, Khan has been playing in England since his youth days and is now plying trade for tier four English side Grimsby Town. In 39 appearances for Grimsby, the left-winger has netted six times and supplied two assists. 

Having made his debut for Pakistan close to two weeks back, the 27-year-old will be a critical asset in the team and needs to be kept in check given his clinical ability of playmaking and finishing. 

Hassan Bashir: One of the senior most campaigners in the team, Bashiris the captain of the team and his leadership will be on display as he takes charge of a young Pakistani side on the field. 

Having made over 20 appearances, the attacking midfielder is known to operate between the lines and has been at the forefront of goals, netting eight goals and providing three assists. 

Match Details

Fixture: India vs Pakistan

Date: June 21, 2023

Time: 7:30pm

Venue: Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru 

Telecast: Fancode