India did make it to the world cup, once. Kind of. Well, not really:
No, don’t rub your eyes in disbelief. India did make it to the 1950 World Cup finals. Well sort of. Four countries from Asia were invited to participate in the qualifiers. Burma, Philippines and Indonesia all withdrew, so India qualified automatically.
India was placed in Group 3 with Sweden, Italy, and Paraguay. But their request to play barefoot was turned down by FIFA and they withdrew!
Sadly, this was back in the hey days of Indian Soccer. Until India makes it to the world cup again, we’ve always got Vikas Dhorasoo and his action figures.