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List of men's national association football teams

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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.[1] 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).

This list excludes other teams that generally play Non-FIFA football. Excluded teams include those who represent ethnic groups, sub-national entities, separatist movements, and micro-nations.

Members of FIFA affiliated confederations[change | change source]

Map of the World with the six confederations:

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:

FIFA runs the World Cup as a tournament for national teams to find the world champion. Each confederation also runs its own championship to find the best team from among its members:

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.[2]

AFC (Asia)[change | change source]

The AFC is subdivided into five sub-federations:

CAF (Africa)[change | change source]

CAF is divided into five regional federations:

  • 1: National governing body is a member of UAFA
  • 2: Official name used by FIFA for Democratic Republic of the Congo; official name used by CAF is RD Congo
  • 3: National governing body is an associate member of CAF, but not a FIFA member
  • 4: National governing body is a member of ConIFA

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:

  • 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]

  • 1: National governing body is an associate member of the OFC, but not a FIFA member
  • 2: National governing body is a member of ConIFA
  • 3: National governing body was formerly a member of AFC (1964–1966)

UEFA (Europe)[change | change source]

  • 1: National governing body was formerly a member of AFC (1954–1974); joined UEFA in 1994
  • 2: National governing body was formerly a member of AFC (1993–2002)

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.[3] 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.[4]
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.[5]

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.[6][7]

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)
(inherited position/results)
Other successor team(s) Notes
 Czechoslovakia  Czech Republic[8]  Slovakia Represented Czechoslovakia until its dissolution into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993.[9] Competed as Representation of Czechs and Slovaks for the remainder of their 1994 World Cup qualifying games.[10]
 Saarland  West Germany Represented the Saarland Protectorate from 1950 to 1956 before its union with the Federal Republic of Germany.[11]
 West Germany
(officially Germany FR)
 Germany Represented West Germany between 1950 and 1990, before reunification with East Germany.[12] Was considered a continuation of the team that had represented the German state prior to 1942.[13]
 East Germany
(officially Germany DR)
 Germany Represented East Germany between 1952 and 1990, before reunification with West Germany.[12]
 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.[14]
 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
(officially 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 AR)
 Yemen Represented North Yemen from 1965 until its union with South Yemen in 1990.
 South Yemen
(officially Yemen PDR)
 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.
 CIS  Russia  Armenia
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 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia  Bosnia and Herzegovina
 North Macedonia
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)
 Serbia  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
 Sint Maarten
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:


Related pages[change | change source]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Additionally 22 nations in Africa and Asia belong to the Union of Arab Football Associations (UAFA) in addition to their respective regional confederations.
  2. Guyana and Suriname are independent nations, and French Guiana is an overseas department of France

References[change | change source]

  1. Brown, Michael. "Biggest Global Sports". Archived from the original on 10 August 2015. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
  2. "ConIFA Members". CONIFA. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  3. "FIFA Statutes: July 2012 Edition" (PDF). FIFA. pp. Article 83. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 October 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
  4. http://websites.sportstg.com/get_file.cgi?id=36026860
  5. "World Cups and Beyond: Interview #6 (April 2013): Palau Football Asssociation president Charles Mitchell". 26 April 2013.
  6. Rogers, Martin. "Marshall Islands rare nation untouched by soccer's sprawling reach". USA Today. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  7. "Nauru 2014". RSSSF. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  8. "Czech Republic Country Info". FIFA.com. Archived from the original on 21 June 2013. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  9. "Czech Republic - Profile". FIFA. Archived from the original on 3 June 2013. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  10. "World Cup Ends On Belgian Note". Prague Post. Retrieved 18 July 2013.[permanent dead link]
  11. "Saarland 1950-1955". When Saturday Comes. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Germany: When East and West became one". FIFA. Archived from the original on 29 February 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  13. "(West) Germany - International Results". Rsssf. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  14. Byrne, Peter (1996). Football Association of Ireland: 75 years. Dublin: Sportsworld. p. 68. ISBN 978-1-900110-06-8.

Sources[change | change source]