This is a list of the men's national association football teams in the world. There are more nations with football teams than for any other sport. Teams represent 191 of the 193 UN member states, as well as several dependent territories, sub-national entities, and states who are not members of the United Nations. This list divides teams into two main groups:
- Teams which are either members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the world's football governing body (211 teams), or have membership in a FIFA-affiliated continental confederation without being members of FIFA (12 teams).
- Teams who are not members of FIFA or any continental federation, but which represent sovereign states. This group includes United Nations members and observer states, as well as states who are not members of the UN (11 teams).
Members of FIFA affiliated confederations[change | change source]
This section lists the current 211 men's national football teams affiliated to FIFA, through their national football associations, and the 12 men's national football teams who have membership in one of FIFA's affiliated continental confederations, but are not members of FIFA. These are displayed in the main list in italics.
FIFA members are eligible to enter the FIFA World Cup and matches between them are recognized as official international matches. Based on their match results over the previous four-year period, the FIFA World Rankings, published monthly by FIFA, compare how good the national teams are on a point-based system.
Some national teams who are members of a confederation but not FIFA members compete in confederation-level and subregional tournaments. However, These teams are not allowed to participate in the World Cup.
The six confederations are:
- Asia – Asian Football Confederation (AFC)[note 1]
- Africa – Confederation of African Football (CAF)[note 1]
- North, Central America and the Caribbean – Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF)
- South America – Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol (CONMEBOL)
- Oceania – Oceania Football Confederation (OFC)
- Europe – Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)
- AFC – AFC Asian Cup
- CAF – Africa Cup of Nations
- CONCACAF – CONCACAF Gold Cup
- CONMEBOL – Copa América
- OFC – OFC Nations Cup
- UEFA – UEFA European Championship
Although it is not a confederation, the Union of Arab Football Associations (UAFA) coordinates football activities between Arabic-speaking countries. All 22 national governing bodies that form UAFA are also members of both FIFA and either the AFC or CAF. National teams from UAFA member countries are noted in the list below.
The Confederation of Independent Football Associations (ConIFA) is an organization for teams representing unrecognised states, subnational regions, and stateless minorities, as well as teams from recognised states that have not managed to gain entry into FIFA. While none of its current members are also members of FIFA, a few hold associate membership in one of the confederations affiliated with it. These teams are also noted in the list below.
AFC (Asia)[change | change source]
The AFC is subdivided into five sub-federations:
- West Asian Football Federation (WAFF) – represents nations at the western extremity of the continent, except Iran and Israel.
- East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) – represents nations in East Asia, plus Guam and Northern Mariana Islands.
- Central Asian Football Association (CAFA) – represents nations in Central Asia, except Kazakhstan, plus Iran and Afghanistan.
- South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) – represents nations in South Asia, except Afghanistan.
- ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) – represents nations in Southeast Asia, plus Australia.
- 1: National governing body was formerly a member of OFC (1966–2006)
- 2: National governing body is a member of UAFA
- 3: Official name used by FIFA and AFC for People's Republic of China
- 4: Official name used by FIFA and AFC for Republic of China (Taiwan); national governing body was a member of OFC from 1975 to 1989
- 5: Official name used by FIFA and AFC for Islamic Republic of Iran
- 6: Official name used by FIFA for Democratic People's Republic of Korea; official name used by AFC is DPR Korea
- 7: Official name used by FIFA and AFC for Republic of Korea
- 8: Official name used by FIFA and AFC for Kyrgyzstan
- 9: National governing body is an associate member of AFC but not a FIFA member
- 10: National governing body was formerly a member of OFC (2005–2009)
- 11: Official name used by FIFA and AFC for national team representing the Palestinian Territories
CAF (Africa)[change | change source]
CAF is divided into five regional federations:
- Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) – represents nations generally regarded as forming the regions of East Africa and some nations of Central Africa.
- Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) – represents nations generally regarded as forming Southern Africa, as well as island states off the coast of Southern Africa.
- West African Football Union/Union du Football de l'Ouest Afrique (WAFU/UFOA) – represents nations in West Africa.
- Union of North African Federations (UNAF) – represents nations regarded as forming North Africa.
- Union des Fédérations du Football de l'Afrique Centrale (UNIFFAC) – represents some of the nations that form Central Africa.
CONCACAF (North America, Central America, and the Caribbean)[change | change source]
The CONCACAF federation is divided into three regional federations that have responsibility for part of the region's geographical area:
- Caribbean Football Union (CFU) – represents all nations in the Caribbean, plus Bermuda and three nations in South America.[note 2]
- North American Football Union (NAFU) – represents the teams of Canada, Mexico and the USA.
- Union Centroamericana de Fútbol (UNCAF) – represents the seven nations of Central America.
- 1: National governing body is a full member of CONCACAF but not a FIFA member
CONMEBOL (South America)[change | change source]
OFC (Oceania)[change | change source]
UEFA (Europe)[change | change source]
National teams not affiliated to FIFA confederations[change | change source]
The national football teams included in this section are not members of FIFA, or of any of its affiliated continental confederations. These teams are not eligible to enter the FIFA World Cup or any continental confederation championships. FIFA's statutes do not allow member teams to compete against these sides without FIFA's prior permission. Several national associations for teams included in this section are members of ConIFA; these are indicated in the lists below.
This section lists:
- 5 teams representing sovereign states who are members or observers of the United Nations.
- 7 teams representing states which are not members of the United Nations.
Unaffiliated United Nations states[change | change source]
There are seven United Nations member and observer states which are not members of FIFA or any of its affiliated continental confederations. Five of them, however, have fielded national association-organised teams in unofficial friendly matches, regional tournaments (such as the Pacific Games or Micronesian Games), or in global tournaments that are not regulated by FIFA. These teams are listed below.
1: Senior national football teams representing the United Kingdom have only played unofficial friendly matches (usually under the name "Great Britain", though there have also been "Rest of the United Kingdom" representative teams). Otherwise, the UK is represented in FIFA and UEFA organized football by the teams of its constituent countries: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales (these teams are listed in the UEFA subsection above). Teams representing the entire kingdom have also competed in the Summer Olympics, such as the Great Britain Olympic football team.
2: Official name used by the Pacific Games Council for Micronesia.
3: National governing body is a member of ConIFA.
4: Listed as associate member of the OFC in 2002 and again in 2006. It is unclear whether Palau is still associated with the confederation.
Two other UN member states (the Marshall Islands and Nauru) have never fielded a national association-organised football team, though there are reports that amateur football teams claiming to represent the Nauru national soccer team have participated in local friendly matches on at least two occasions.
Others[change | change source]
Membership criteria of FIFA and affiliated confederations[change | change source]
Historically, the majority of FIFA and confederation members have been sovereign states with wide diplomatic recognition. Exceptions to this rule include the British Home Nations (due to their small role in the development of football), the Republic of China (which does not enjoy wide recognition but is still accepted as a representative of the Taiwan area), and certain dependent territories, autonomous areas, and protectorates, which have been allowed to hold membership in FIFA and/or one of its affiliated confederations based on their political autonomy, separate status, and/or distance from their parent state. At present, FIFA members include 23 subnational and dependent territories, as well as two states with limited international recognition.
The FIFA-affiliated football teams that belong to non-UN members are:
Ten other overseas, dependent, and autonomous territories with close ties to a sovereign state do not have membership in FIFA, but are members of one of its affiliated confederations.
Former national football teams[change | change source]
These national teams no longer exist due to the dissolution of the nation or territory that they represented. Only national teams that were once members of FIFA are listed below.
|Preceding team||Successor team(s)
|Other successor team(s)||Notes|
|Czechoslovakia||Czech Republic||Slovakia||Represented Czechoslovakia until its dissolution into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993. Competed as Representation of Czechs and Slovaks for the remainder of their 1994 World Cup qualifying games.|
|Saarland||West Germany||Represented the Saarland Protectorate from 1950 to 1956 before its union with the Federal Republic of Germany.|
| West Germany
(officially Germany )
|Germany||Represented West Germany between 1950 and 1990, before reunification with East Germany. Was considered a continuation of the team that had represented the German state prior to 1942.|
| East Germany
(officially Germany )
|Germany||Represented East Germany between 1952 and 1990, before reunification with West Germany.|
|Ireland||Northern Ireland||Republic of Ireland||Represented Ireland from 1882. From 1922, when the Irish Free State (later Republic of Ireland) left the United Kingdom, until 1953, it continued to pick players from across the Island of Ireland, before becoming restricted to players only from Northern Ireland under pressure from FIFA.|
|Malaya||Malaysia||Represented the Federation of Malaya from 1953 until its union with Sarawak, North Borneo and Singapore to form Malaysia in 1963. Singapore, which gained independence in 1965, retained its preexisting national team.|
|Tanganyika||Tanzania||Represented Tanganyika until its union with Zanzibar as Tanzania in 1964. Zanzibar is an associate member of CAF and so is not a member of FIFA.|
|Mandatory Palestine||Israel||Palestine||Represented the British Mandate for Palestine from 1934 until the formation of the State of Israel in 1948. A team representing the Palestinian territories was formed in 1953 and was admitted into FIFA in 1998.|
| South Vietnam
|Vietnam||Represented South Vietnam from 1949 until 1975. North and South Vietnam maintained separate football teams from 1954 to 1975. The current Vietnam national football team is considered a successor of the South Vietnam team as North Vietnam was not a FIFA member.|
| North Yemen
(officially Yemen )
|Yemen||Represented North Yemen from 1965 until its union with South Yemen in 1990.|
| South Yemen
(officially Yemen )
|Yemen||Represented South Yemen from 1965 until its union with North Yemen in 1990.|
|United Arab Republic||Egypt||Syria||Represented the United Arab Republic from 1958 to 1961 until the secession of Syria. Was considered a continuation of the previous Egypt national football team, which became its successor team. The team continued to be known as the United Arab Republic until 1970.|
|Soviet Union||CIS|| Estonia
|Represented the Soviet Union from 1940 until its dissolution in 1991. This was considered a continuation of the team that had previously represented the Russian Empire. Teams representing Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania had all been active independently prior to their incorporation into the Soviet Union in 1940.|
|Represented the Commonwealth of Independent States and Georgia from January 1992 until the end of the Euro 1992 tournament, in order to take the Soviet Union's place in that competition.|
|Yugoslavia||Federal Republic of Yugoslavia|| Bosnia and Herzegovina
|Represented Yugoslavia between 1920 and 1992, before the dissolution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia into Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, North Macedonia and Slovenia|
| Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
(later renamed Serbia and Montenegro)
|Represented the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, known as Serbia and Montenegro after 2003, from 1992 until its dissolution into Serbia and Montenegro in 2006. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, and its national team was accepted into UEFA and FIFA in 2016.|
|Netherlands Antilles||Curaçao|| Aruba
|Aruba became a separate nation in 1986 and was recognized by FIFA in 1988. The former team represented the Netherlands Antilles until the dissolution of the country in 2010. Formerly known as "Curaçao", this name was restored in March 2011 when the new constituent country of Curaçao took the Netherlands Antilles' place in FIFA and CONCACAF. The teams representing Bonaire and Sint Maarten are full members of CONCACAF, but not of FIFA.|
New names[change | change source]
In addition to the above, other nations have been renamed:
- Belgian Congo → Congo-Léopoldville in 1960 → Congo-Kinshasa in 1963 → Zaire in 1971 → DR Congo in 1997
- British Gambia → Gambia in 1965
- British Guiana → Guyana in 1966
- Burma → Myanmar in 1989
- Cambodia → Khmer Republic in 1970 → Kampuchea in 1975 → Cambodia in 1979
- Ceylon → Sri Lanka in 1972
- Curaçao → Netherlands Antilles in 1958 until 2010
- Czechoslovakia → Representation of Czechs and Slovaks in 1993
- Dahomey → Benin in 1975
- Dutch East Indies → Indonesia in 1945
- FR Yugoslavia → Serbia and Montenegro in 2003
- FYR Macedonia → North Macedonia in 2019
- French Somaliland → Djibouti in 1977
- French Togoland → Togo in 1960
- Gold Coast → Ghana in 1957
- Irish Free State → Ireland in 1936 → Republic of Ireland in 1954
- Ivory Coast → Côte d'Ivoire in 1983
- Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes → Yugoslavia in 1929
- Madagascar → Malagasy Republic in 1958 → Madagascar in 1975
- Middle Congo → Congo-Brazzaville in 1960 → Congo in 1992
- New Hebrides → Vanuatu in 1980
- Northern Rhodesia → Zambia in 1964
- Nyasaland → Malawi in 1966
- Portuguese Guinea → Guinea-Bissau in 1975
- Russian Empire → Soviet Union in 1923
- Southern Rhodesia → Rhodesia in 1964 → Zimbabwe in 1980
- Surinam → Dutch Guiana in 1954
- Swaziland → Eswatini in 2018
- United Arab Republic → Egypt in 1971
- Upper Volta → Burkina Faso in 1984
- Western Samoa → Samoa in 1996
Related pages[change | change source]
Notes[change | change source]
- Additionally 22 nations in Africa and Asia belong to the Union of Arab Football Associations (UAFA) in addition to their respective regional confederations.
- Guyana and Suriname are independent nations, and French Guiana is an overseas department of France
References[change | change source]
- Brown, Michael. "Biggest Global Sports". Archived from the original on 10 August 2015. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "ConIFA Members". CONIFA. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
- "FIFA Statutes: July 2012 Edition" (PDF). FIFA. pp. Article 83. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 October 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
- "World Cups and Beyond: Interview #6 (April 2013): Palau Football Asssociation president Charles Mitchell". 26 April 2013.
- Rogers, Martin. "Marshall Islands rare nation untouched by soccer's sprawling reach". USA Today. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
- "Nauru 2014". RSSSF. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
- "Czech Republic Country Info". FIFA.com. Archived from the original on 21 June 2013. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
- "Czech Republic - Profile". FIFA. Archived from the original on 3 June 2013. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
- "World Cup Ends On Belgian Note". Prague Post. Retrieved 18 July 2013.[permanent dead link]
- "Saarland 1950-1955". When Saturday Comes. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
- "Germany: When East and West became one". FIFA. Archived from the original on 29 February 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
- "(West) Germany - International Results". Rsssf. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
- Byrne, Peter (1996). Football Association of Ireland: 75 years. Dublin: Sportsworld. p. 68. ISBN 978-1-900110-06-8.