There is a common claim that India refused to play with shoes during the 1950 FIFA World Cup.

However it does mostly seem to be a myth. This, this and this article clearly seem to debunk this myth. However all of these are very vague about the actual reasons for India's withdrawal.

The India Times article says

According to India's Sports Illustrated magazine, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) announced that the team would not attend the World Cup, citing "disagreements over team selection, and insufficient practice time."


Nowhere in any of the discussions at the time was the barefoot issue. It might certainly have been something that would have annoyed the Indian team, but it did not appear as though it was the main reason for the team refusing to travel to Brazil.


So why did they not go? Was it lack of enthusiasm from the officials or some other reason which did not come to light?

It does seem as if the real reason has never conclusively been known.

What was the real reason for India pulling out of the 1950 World Cup?

  • This seems to me like a post that's explicitly about motivation and thus off-topic. – Christian Jul 2 '18 at 12:10
  • second @christian : there is no claim. – Mindwin Jul 2 '18 at 12:43
  • Seems like it might be a better fit for sports.stackexchange.com. – Ben Barden Jul 3 '18 at 18:58

Browse other questions tagged .