Pakistan national football team

This article is about the men's team. For the women's team, see Pakistan women's national football team.
Nickname(s) Pak Shaheens
Association Pakistan Football Federation
Confederation AFC (Asia)
Head coach Sajjad Mehmood
Captain Hassan Bashir
Most caps Jaffar Khan (43)
Top scorer Muhammad Essa (10)
Home stadium Punjab Stadium
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 197 Steady (24 November 2016)
Highest 95 (February 1994)
Lowest 197 (October–November 2016)
Elo ranking
Current 190 (31 December 2014)
Highest 42 (August 1960)
Lowest 208 (May 2001 – March 2012)
First international
 Iran 3–1 Pakistan Pakistan
(Tehran, Iran; 27 October 1950)
Biggest win
Pakistan Pakistan 9–2 Guam 
(Taipei City, Taiwan; 6 April 2008)[1]
Biggest defeat
 Iran 6–1 Pakistan Pakistan
(Tehran, Iran; 12 March 1969)[2]

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, and the current team manager is Mohammad Al-Shamlan. Pakistan became a member of FIFA in 1948 joining the Asian Football Confederation. Pakistan's national team debuted in 1950.

Pakistan contest the South Asian Football Federation Championship and South Asian Games, which alternate biennially. Pakistan won the Colombo Cup in 1952, jointly with India. Pakistan have never won the SAFF South Asian Football Championship – their best performances being semi-final appearances at the 1997 and 2005 Championships.


Early years

Pakistan lost their first international 5–1 away to Iran on 6 January 1950. Two years later they entered the Colombo Cup in Ceylon, and were held to a goalless draw in the first match against India. They then beat hosts Ceylon 2–0 and a 1–0 win in their final match against Burma made them joint champions with India.

Pakistan then hosted Iran in April and drew 0–0. The following year Pakistan were runners-up in the Colombo Cup, having achieved a 6–0 win against Ceylon in Rangoon. In 1954, after again becoming runners up in the Colombo Cup, Pakistan defeated Singapore 6–2 in the Asian Games; this followed a 2–1 loss to Burma. In the final edition of the Colombo Cup, the team came second for the third year in a row to India. Pakistan failed to progress in the 1958 Asian Games after being defeated by Chinese Taipei 3–1 and a 1–1 draw to South Vietnam.

In 1959, they failed to qualify for the Asian Cup, after a 4–1 loss by Iran, 1–0 defeat to India and 2–0 loss to Israel. However, Pakistan earned their first win against India when they defeated them 1–0, and were able to reverse the score in the second match against Iran with a 4–1 victory and held Israel to a 2–2 draw.

Several months later, the Green Shirts travelled to Malaya for the Merdeka Cup. They started by beating Thailand 7–0, which still shares the Pakistani record. It was followed by a 1–0 loss to the hosts Malaya, then a 3–1 victory over Japan and finally a 4–0 defeat to Indonesia. Pakistan returned to the Merdeka Cup two years later and this time reached the final against Indonesia, but succumbed to 2–1 defeat.

Late 1960s and early 1970s

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 friendly tournament, in which they had a 2–1 win against Iraq and a record 9–1 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. They also lost 8–0 to Kenya in Riyadh Saudi Arabia's Arabi tournament

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.

1990–2003: Decline of soccer

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. The next year they failed to qualify for another Asian Cup after defeats in both qualifiers, after a World Cup qualifying campaign in 1993 where in one game they lost to Iraq 8–0. 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 trounced Bhutan 7–0 in their last game, but it was all for nothing, as the best team in the tournament according to the locals exited even before the semi-finals.

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 returning, 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 horrendous own-goal from Aquib Riaz. 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. Pakistan beat India 1–0 in the first friendly, leading the series, but the also won with a 2–0 win in the second friendly, winning the series but winning on aggregate with a score of 3–0.

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 with an aggregate score of 3–1 in favor of Yemen.[3]

Results and fixtures

The following matches were played or are scheduled to be played by the national team in the current or upcoming seasons.


Punjab Stadium (Lahore) main entrance.

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 time of 2003 this had largely settled down to having Punjab Stadium as the primary venue, with Jinnah Sports 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.


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.[12] 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 Nike.


Current squad

The following players are in the squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Yemen on 12 and 17 March 2015.
Caps and goals updated as of 17 March 2015 after the match against Yemen.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Rehman Ali (1997-09-06) 6 September 1997 5 0 Pakistan Water & Power Development Authority
20 1GK Saqib Hanif (1994-04-28) 28 April 1994 4 0 Maldives B.G. Sports Club
23 1GK Ahsanullah Ahmed (1995-12-25) 25 December 1995 0 0 Pakistan Sui Southern Gas

2 2DF Nabil Aslam (1984-08-03) 3 August 1984 1 0 Denmark Svebølle B&I
3 2DF Mohammad Ahmed (1988-01-03) 3 January 1988 6 0 Pakistan Khan Research Laboratories
4 2DF Muhammad Bilal (1996-08-14) 14 August 1996 4 0 Pakistan Water & Power Development Authority
13 2DF Ahsanullah Khan (1992-12-13) 13 December 1992 10 0 Pakistan Khan Research Laboratories
14 2DF Sufyan Asif (1994-09-03) 3 September 1994 1 0 Pakistan Air Force
15 2DF Mohsin Ali (1996-06-01) 1 June 1996 4 0 Pakistan Pakistan Navy

6 3MF Muhammad Riaz (1995-03-10) 10 March 1995 8 1 Pakistan K-Electric
7 3MF Bilalwal-ur-Rehman (1993-10-04) 4 October 1993 4 0 Pakistan Sui Southern Gas
8 3MF Mahmood Khan (1991-06-10) 10 June 1991 2 0 Pakistan Khan Research Laboratories
17 3MF Saddam Hussain (1993-04-10) 10 April 1993 16 0 Pakistan Khan Research Laboratories
18 3MF Saadullah Khan (1994-06-04) 4 June 1994 3 1 Maldives B.G. Sports Club
21 3MF Muhammad Adil (1992-06-09) 9 June 1992 20 0 Kyrgyzstan Dordoi Bishkek
22 3MF Naveed Ahmed (1993-01-03) 3 January 1993 11 0 Pakistan Pakistan Navy

9 4FW Muhammad Ali (1989-02-09) 9 February 1989 8 0 Denmark Holbæk B&I
10 4FW Kaleemullah Khan (Vice captain) (1992-08-09) 9 August 1992 25 4 United States Tulsa Roughnecks
11 4FW Hassan Bashir (Captain) (1987-01-07) 7 January 1987 15 4 Kyrgyzstan Dordoi Bishkek
19 4FW Mansoor Khan (1997-02-20) 20 February 1997 4 0 Pakistan Air Force
24 4FW Habib-ur-Rehman (1996-02-10) 10 February 1996 0 0 Pakistan K-Electric

Recent callups

The following players have also been called up to the Pakistan squad within the last 12 months and are still available for selection.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
DF Shahram Babar (1994-10-10) 10 October 1994 1 0 Pakistan Pakistan International Airlines v.  Afghanistan, 6 February 2015
DF Shabir Khan (1985-11-10) 10 November 1985 9 1 England Worcester City v.  Afghanistan, 6 February 2015

MF Muhammad Tahir (1995-11-21) 21 November 1995 1 0 Pakistan Afghan Clearing v.  Afghanistan, 6 February 2015
MF Muhammad Touseef (1992-04-02) 2 April 1992 1 0 Pakistan Lyallpur v.  Afghanistan, 6 February 2015

FW Muhammad Tahir Jr. (1996-02-16) 16 February 1996 1 0 Pakistan Muslim FC v.  Afghanistan, 6 February 2015
FW Osama Mohammed (1993-07-11) 11 July 1993 0 0 England Barnt Green Spartak A.F.C. v.  Afghanistan, 6 February 2015


Current technical staff

Pakistan coaching staff in front of PFF house
Position Name
Head coach Bahrain Mohammad Al-Shamlan
Assistant coach Pakistan Tanveer Ahmed
Assistant coach Pakistan Hassan Baloch
Goalkeeping coach Pakistan Aslam Khan
Physiotherapist Pakistan Dr Kamra Mehdi
Business manager Pakistan Asghar Anjum

Match record

Official A-team matches only

Name Period Matches Wins Draws Losses Honours
Germany Burkhard Ziese September 1987 – October 1990 17 11 4 2
Coaching committees from 1990 to 2000
England Dave Burns January 2000 – March 2001 4 0 0 4
England John Layton March 2001 – January 2002 6 0 1 5
Slovakia Joseph Herel January 2002 – March 2003 11 4 2 5
Pakistan Tariq Lutfi November 2003 – October 2005 5 2 1 3
Bahrain Salman Sharida November 2005 – August 2007 16 3 3 10
Pakistan Akhtar Mohiuddin September 2007 – September 2008 10 3 1 5
Pakistan Shahzad Anwar October 2008 1 0 0 1
Austria George Kottan February 2009 – February 2010 6 2 3 1
Pakistan Tariq Lutfi March 2011 – November 2011 9 1 3 5
Serbia Zaviša Milosavljević November 2011– August 2013 12 3 4 5
Pakistan Shahzad Anwar September 2013 3 1 1 1
Bahrain Mohammad Al-Shamlan September 2013 – July 2015 8 2 0 6

FIFA Ranking history


1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
142 158 160 173 153 168 179 190 181 178 168 177 158 164 163 165 156 171 179 189 172 190

Competition records

     Champions       Runners-up       Third Place       Fourth Place  

*Denotes draws includes knockout matches decided on penalty shootouts. Red border indicates that the tournament was hosted on home soil. Gold, silver, bronze backgrounds indicates 1st, 2nd and 3rd finishes respectively. Bold text indicates best finish in tournament.

FIFA World Cup record

FIFA World Cup finals record qualifications record
Hosts / Year Result Position GP W D* L GS GA GP W D L GS GA
1930 to 2018 Did not Qualify ------
Total-0/20000000 000000

Asian Cup record


AFC Challenge Cup record

SAFF Championship

Hosts/Year Result Position GP W D L GS GA
Pakistan 1993Fourth Place4/4302126
Sri Lanka 1995Group Stage5/6210112
Nepal 1997Third Place3/6420234
India 1999Group Stage6/6200206
Bangladesh 2003Fourth Place4/8530253
Pakistan 2005Semi Finalist4/8421121
MaldivesSri Lanka 2008Group Stage8/8300329
Bangladesh 2009Group Stage5/8311171
India 2011Group Stage5/8303011
Nepal 2013Group Stage5/8311133
India 2015Withdrew-------



Third Place (1): 1997
Semi Finalist (1): 2005*
Third Place (5): 1965, 1967*, 1969, 1970, 1974*
Champions (1): 1952 (Joint)
Runners-Up (3): 1953, 1954, 1955*


Runners-Up (1): 1962
Fourth Place (1): 1960
Third Place (1): 2013

See also


  1. Yemen will host their home match outside of their country due to security concerns.[4]
  1. Pakistan was originally scheduled to play their home match on 17 March 2015 (15:00 UTC+5) at Punjab Stadium, Lahore,[6] but it was postponed due to safety and security reasons after the Lahore church bombings and civil unrest in the city.[7][8] The match was subsequently rescheduled to be played in Bahrain.[9][10][11]


  1. Pakistan: Fixtures and Results – 2008
  2. Pakistan: Fixtures and Results – 1969
  4. "Green-shirts resume camp ahead of major events". The News International (Pakistan). 13 February 2015. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  5. "Pakistan vs Yemen – 1st Leg (2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier)". 25 February 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  6. "FIFA Match Report: Pakistan v Yemen".
  7. "Qualifier match between Pakistan and Yemen postponed". FIFA. 16 March 2015.
  8. "Pakistan versus Yemen qualifier postponed due to safety concerns". AFC. 17 March 2015.
  9. "Pakistan 2018 FIFA World Cup tie switched from Lahore to Bahrain". IBN Live. Reuters. 18 March 2015. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  10. "Qualifying match between Pakistan and Yemen rescheduled". 19 March 2015.
  11. "Pakistan versus Yemen qualifier rescheduled". AFC. 20 March 2015.
  12. "Government of Pakistan: Flag description". Retrieved 11 December 2007.
  13. FIFA-ranking
  14. Bojan Jovanovic; Majeed Panahi; Pieter Veroeveren. "Asian Nations Cup 1956". RSSSF. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  15. Mark Cruickshank; Bojan Jovanovic; Majeed Panahi; Hyung-Jin Yoon; Yaniv Bleicher. "Asian Nations Cup 1964". RSSSF. Retrieved 25 July 2013. India were to play with Iran, Pakistan and a couple of other teams that were to be played either on home and away basis, or a special tournament, but all the teams involved refused to play India due to political reasons at that time and thus India were awarded a place in the Asia Cup Finals.
  16. Bojan Jovanovic; Majeed Panahi; Asghar Zarei; Pieter Veroeveren. "Asian Nations Cup 1976". RSSSF. Retrieved 25 July 2013.

External links

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