Results

Asia - World Cup Qualifying 06/11 15:00 6 [3] Tajikistan v Pakistan [4] L 3-0
Asia - World Cup Qualifying 06/06 15:30 5 [4] Pakistan v Saudi Arabia [1] L 0-3
Asia - World Cup Qualifying 03/26 19:00 4 [3] Jordan v Pakistan [4] L 7-0
Asia - World Cup Qualifying 03/21 09:00 3 [4] Pakistan v Jordan [3] L 0-3
Asia - World Cup Qualifying 11/21 09:00 2 [4] Pakistan v Tajikistan [2] L 1-6
Asia - World Cup Qualifying 11/16 16:30 1 [3] Saudi Arabia v Pakistan [3] L 4-0
Asia - World Cup Qualifying 10/17 09:00 14 Pakistan v Cambodia W 1-0
Asia - World Cup Qualifying 10/12 12:00 14 Cambodia v Pakistan D 0-0
South Asian Championship 06/27 10:00 3 [3] Nepal v Pakistan [4] L 1-0
South Asian Championship 06/24 10:00 2 [4] Pakistan v Kuwait [2] L 0-4
South Asian Championship 06/21 14:00 1 [2] India v Pakistan [2] L 4-0
International Match 06/17 12:00 - Djibouti v Pakistan L 3-1

Stats

 TotalHomeAway
Matches played 12 5 7
Wins 1 1 0
Draws 1 0 1
Losses 10 4 6
Goals for 3 2 1
Goals against 38 16 22
Clean sheets 2 1 1
Failed to score 9 3 6

The Pakistan national football team (Urdu: پاکستان قومی فٹ بال ٹیم) represents Pakistan in men's international football in FIFA-authorized events and is controlled by the Pakistan Football Federation, the governing body for football in Pakistan. Pakistan became a member of FIFA in 1948 joining the Asian Football Confederation and its national team debuted in 1950.

Pakistan contests the South Asian Football Federation Championship and South Asian Games, which alternate biennially. Pakistan's football team has won gold at the South Asian Games in 1989, 1991, 2004 and 2006.

Pakistan has never qualified for any major tournament outside the South Asian region. Football has struggled to gain popularity in Pakistan largely due to the heavy influence of cricket in South Asia.

History

Early years (1950s)

Shortly after the creation of Pakistan in 1947, the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) was created, and Muhammad Ali Jinnah became its first Patron-in-Chief. PFF received recognition from FIFA in early 1948.

Pakistan visited Iran and Iraq for its international debut in October 1950. Captained by the goalkeeper Osman Jan, Pakistan faced Iran in their first official international game in Tehran, losing 5–1 during the Shah of Iran's birthday celebrations. Reportedly the Pakistan national team played the match barefoot, which was the norm back in South Asia. Pakistan also engaged in unofficial friendly matches during the tour, defeating Tehran's Taj FC (now Esteghlal FC) with a 6–1 scoreline and drew 2–2 against a team from Isfahan. In Iraq, due to the Iraqi FA's inability to gather a full national team, Pakistan played an unofficial friendly against the club Haris al-Maliki resulting in a 1–1 draw.

Pakistan's next international outing came in the 1952 Colombo Cup where the team captained by Abdul Wahid Durrani played its first match against India after victories over Ceylon and Burma, which ended in a goalless draw and emerged as joint winners of the tournament after finishing with the same points in the table.

Pakistan national team in 1953

During the 1950s, Pakistan played internationally in the following Colombo Cup editions which were played in Burma in 1953, India in 1954, then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) in 1955, and the Asian Games in Philippines in 1954 and in Japan in 1958.

Masood Fakhri had most notably scored a hat-trick in a side captained by Moideen Kutty, and became the first player from Pakistan to do so as his national team thumped Singapore 6–2 in a group match at the 1954 Asian Games in Manila, Philippines.

Pakistan national team in 1955, with Masood Fakhri (second from middle right), Qayyum Changezi (second from top right), Moideen Kutty (bottom left), and manager Abdul Wahid Durrani (bottom middle)

The Pakistan Football Federation became one of the 13 founding members of the Asian Football Confederation on May 8, 1954. Initially scheduled to play against Israel in the inaugural 1956 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers, the team withdrew along with Afghanistan due to reluctance to host the Israeli team.

However, in 1959, Pakistan finally decided to participate in the 1960 Asian Cup qualifiers hosted by India in Kerala. Under the captainship of Qayyum Ali Changezi, Pakistan faced Iran, India and Israel twice each in the qualifiers. Although Israel managed to qualify by topping the group, Pakistan achieved a memorable victory over Iran by 4–1 and secure a draw against Israel, finishing in third place in the group, ahead of hosts India but behind Iran.

Early 1960s and 1970s

Pakistan national team squad for the 1960 AFC Asian Cup qualification

Pakistan had participated in various friendly tournaments in the early 1960s, with the Merdeka Cup hosted in Malaysia after the country first participation in 1960. Pakistan recorded some famous victories including a 7–0 walloping of Thailand, and a 3–1 win over the Asian powerhouses Japan. In the 1962 Merdeka Tournament, Pakistan ended runner up after falling to Singapore by 1–2 in the final.

Pakistan national team finalists in the 1962 Merdeka Tournament with Malayan prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman

The era also saw one of the finest players to ever grace the field in Pakistan football history, such as Abdul Ghafoor, nicknamed the "Pakistani Pelé" and "Black Pearl of Pakistan", Musa Ghazi, Muhammad Umer Baloch, Turab Ali, Qadir Bakhsh, Ayub Dar, among others.

Abdul Ghafoor shakes hands with the Chinese chief guest before a match

During the China national team tour in Pakistan in 1963, the first test in Dhaka in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) ended in a 0–0 tie. The second match in Peshawar ended in a 3–2 victory for Pakistan, with the third fixture in Lahore ending in another 1–1 draw. The final fourth match in Karachi ended in a 2–0 defeat for Pakistan. The 1964 Summer Olympics qualification the same year included a 4–1 loss in Iran and a 1–0 win in Pakistan. Pakistan visited China the next year for an unofficial test match ending in a 2–0 victory.

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 four-match series of friendlies against Saudi Arabia, resulting in three 2–2 draws, with the last match equalised by 1–1. Later in the year Pakistan lost their Asian Cup qualifiers against Burma and Cambodia 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.

Despite the game's growth in the 1960s, Pakistan did not actively participate in the Asian Games football tournaments held in 1962, 1966, and 1970 due to financial constraints. The World Cup qualifiers followed a similar pattern, with Pakistan missing crucial matches because of a lack of interest from the federation and insufficient government support. Nonetheless, Pakistan did take part in the qualifiers for the 1964 Olympic Games. This involved a two-legged match against Iran in November 1963, resulting in a 4–1 loss in Iran and a 1–0 victory in Pakistan.

Pakistan at the 1974 RCD Cup
Pakistani captain Abdul Ghafoor with Iran national team captain Parviz Ghelichkhani (left) during the 1974 Asian Games

As a result of the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, East Pakistan became Bangladesh and the Pakistani team lost the right to call upon Bengali players from the Dhaka League. In the early 1970s the national side's participation was restricted to the RCD Cup, 1974 Asian Games, the inaugural Quaid-e-Azam International Cup held in Karachi in 1976, and a single friendly against South Korea in 1978. The most notable result in this period was a 2–2 draw against Turkey.

Rise and fall (1980–1990)

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 against 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 the Quaid-e-Azam International Cup involving Iran, Bangladesh, Oman and Nepal in 1982. The Green Shirts started off with a 2–1 win over Bangladesh. They then 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 1987 South Asian Games, winning the bronze medal match against Bangladesh 1–0. In 1988, after losing the Asian Cup qualifiers, Pakistan began with their first ever participation for the 1990 FIFA World Cup qualifiers for Italy in January and February, ending up unsuccessful. The national team bounced back, when several months later they took Gold at the 1989 South Asian Games, beating Bangladesh 1–0 in the final, from a solitary goal by Haji Abdul Sattar in the dying minutes of the game.

Decline (1990s–2003)

Pakistan had another early exit in the Asian Games, losing all three games in 1990. In the 1991 South Asian Games however, Pakistan beat the Maldives in the final 2–0 to win their second Gold, from goals scored by Qazi Ashfaq and Mohammad Nauman Khan. Later in the year the first SAFF Cup took place in Lahore in 1993, 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 the 2002 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, under the inspiration of the attacking midfielder Sarfraz Rasool, Pakistan stunned India, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan in three victories as they reached the semi-finals only to fall short against Maldives by 1-0. 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.

New set-up and changes (2004–2015)

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 and a draw against India in a three match series, the final match ending 3–0 in favour to the Green Shirts, followed by the reach in the semi-finals of the 2005 SAFF Cup, losing 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 2010 World Cup qualifiers in 2007, they fell to a heavy defeat by the Asian champions Iraq, losing 7–0 on aggregate across the two legs after drawing 0–0 in the second round. 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 the 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 defeated 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. 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, Pakistan lost 3–0 to Bangladesh in Dhaka, before earning a 0–0 draw in Lahore a few days later.

That saw the end of Lutfi's reign, with Serbian coach 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.

Pakistan coaching staff in 2011 including Zaviša Milosavljević and Gohar Zaman

2012's sole game was witnessed in November against Singapore, who thrashed Pakistan 4–0 at home. Pakistan started 2013 well, 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 without their foreign-based players. Coach Zaviša Milosavljević was controversially 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 lost their first game 1–0 to India after an 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 but failed to advance to the semi-finals.

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

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, eliminating Pakistan from the tournament on aggregate.

Inactivity and FIFA suspension (2015–2017)

Pakistan was suspended from all football activities by FIFA on 10 October 2017, after the controversial tenure of the PFF president and politician Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat, widely described as a "feudal lord of Pakistani football".

For three years since March 2015, the top division of the Pakistan Premier League remained suspended because of the crisis created due to his actions, along with the men's senior team, who remained suspended from any international competition, and FIFA rankings of the senior team had slumped from 168 in 2003 to the lowest 201 in 2017.

Post suspension (2018–2020)

FIFA restored membership of PFF on 13 March 2018. With the 2018 SAFF Cup in September, Pakistan football team had little 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.

Pakistan 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 was not 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 4 September 2018 which ended in a 2–1 win. Pakistan lost its next match to hosts Bangladesh on 6 September 2018 by 1–0 after conceding a late goal. Green shirts played their final group game against Bhutan on 8 September 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 12 September 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. Star footballer Kaleemullah Khan wasn't a part of these events due to his disputes with PFF authorities, as the former spoke out on the federation's incompetence which ultimately led him not to be selected for both events. PFF banned the Pakistani players to speak about this matter on any platform.

After the SAFF Cup, Pakistan negotiated with the Palestine Football Association for a friendly. It was initially reported that the match will be played in Lahore, Pakistan on 15 November 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 16 November 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.

Disappointment would soon strike again as Pakistan missed out the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup at the same time, when Pakistan lost to Cambodia twice in the first round and was eliminated.

FIFA suspension (2021–2022)

Pakistan were once again suspended from all football activities by FIFA on 7 April 2021. The suspension was lifted on 29 June 2022.

Comeback to International Football (2022–present)

Pakistan made their comeback by playing a friendly match against Nepal in November 2022, losing 0–1 in a late minute goal. They played a second friendly match against Maldives in March 2023 losing 0–1.

Pakistan subsequently took part in the 2023 Mauritius Four Nations Cup featuring Mauritius, Kenya, Djibouti and the 2023 SAFF Championship alongside India, Kuwait and Nepal in the group stages, losing all six matches and finishing last in their group in each competition.

On 27 July 2023, the draw for the first round of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification took place in which Pakistan were drawn once again against Cambodia, followed by the appointment of the English coach Stephen Constantine. In the first leg in Phnom Penh, Pakistan contested in a goalless 0–0 draw. Pakistan won their second leg beating Cambodia 1–0 in Islamabad, due to a goal by former QPR player, Harun Hamid, recording their first-ever victory in World Cup qualifiers in their first fixture at home for eight years, and qualifying for the second round for the first time.

Following the victory in Islamabad, the Shaheens were drawn in a group with Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Tajikistan. Being the 193rd ranked team, Pakistan were the lowest-ranked team in the qualifiers, and terminated the campaign losing all the games in the group.

The Pakistan national soccer team, commonly known as "Pakistan," represents the country in international soccer competitions. The team is governed by the Pakistan Football Federation and has a rich history in the sport.

Despite facing challenges such as lack of resources and infrastructure, Pakistan has produced talented players who have showcased their skills on the international stage. The team has participated in various regional and international tournaments, including the South Asian Football Federation Championship and the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.

Pakistan's soccer team is known for its passionate and dedicated players who strive to compete at the highest level. With a growing interest in the sport and efforts to develop youth talent, the team is working towards improving its performance and making a mark in the global soccer community.

Overall, Pakistan's soccer team is a symbol of national pride and unity, representing the country's passion for the beautiful game and its determination to succeed on the international stage.