List of men's national association football teams

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] with teams representing 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, which generally play outside FIFA's recognition. Excluded teams include those who represent ethnic groups, sub-national entities, separatist movements, and pseudo- or micro-nations.

Members of FIFA affiliated confederations[edit]

This section lists the current:

  • 211 men's national football teams affiliated to FIFA, through their national football associations.
  • 12 men's national football teams who have membership in one of FIFA's affiliated continental confederations, but are not members of FIFA.[2]

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 the relative strengths of the national teams.

Some national teams who are members of a confederation but not FIFA members compete in confederation-level and subregional tournaments. These teams, however, 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:

While not a confederation in itself, 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.[3]

AFC (Asia)[edit]

Due to the geographical size of Asia, the AFC is subdivided into five sub-federations:

CAF (Africa)[edit]

Due to the geographical size of Africa, 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)[edit]

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)[edit]

OFC (Oceania)[edit]

  • 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)[edit]

  • 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[edit]

The national football teams included in this section are not members of FIFA, or of any of its affiliated continental confederations. The 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.[4] 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[edit]

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 held outside the auspices of 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 and participate regularly at the Summer Universiade. See also UK national football teams.
2: Official name used by the Pacific Games Council for Micronesia.[5]
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.[6]

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 latter have participated in local friendly matches on at least two occasions.[7][8]

Unaffiliated non-UN states[edit]

Three states with limited international recognition and two associated states with no UN membership are members of both FIFA and an affiliated confederation and are therefore listed above: the Republic of China (as Chinese Taipei), the Cook Islands, Kosovo, andNiue

There are other seven de facto sovereign or partially recognized states, none of which are members of FIFA or any of its affiliated continental confederations. Despite this, all of these states have fielded national teams in non-FIFA football tournaments or unsanctioned friendly matches.[9][10][11][12][13] The national associations representing all of these teams are members of ConIFA.[14]

1: As of September 2019, the ConIFA world rankings designate the team representing the Republic of Artsakh by its former name, Nagorno Karabakh.[15] The team participated in the 2019 ConIFA European Cup as Artsakh.[16]
2: In addition to playing in non-FIFA football tournaments and in unofficial matches against FIFA-affiliated nations, Northern Cyprus participated in the 1980 Islamic Games football competition.
3: The Transnistria national team, while a member of ConIFA,[17] has only played against club teams so far.

Others[edit]

Membership criteria of FIFA and affiliated confederations[edit]

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 seminal role in the development of football), the Republic of China (which does not enjoy wide recognition but is still accepted as representative of the Taiwan area), and certain dependent territories, autonomous areas, and protectorates which, on the grounds of their political autonomy, separate status, and/or distance from their parent state, have been allowed to hold membership in FIFA and/or one of its affiliated confederations. At present, FIFA members include 23 subnational and dependent territories, as well as two states with limited international recognition.[note 3] A further ten 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.

In 2016, FIFA made changes to its statutes to define 'country' as "an independent state recognized by the international community".[18] The statutes further specify that a non-independent region can become a member with the authorization of the national association of the country where it is located.[19] In 2011, UEFA had already changed its statutes so that only countries recognised as independent states by the United Nations could join the organization.[20] Nonetheless, the associations of Kosovo (a state with limited recognition whose sovereignty is disputed by Serbia) and Gibraltar (a British dependent territory claimed by Spain), neither of whom have separate UN membership, were accepted into both FIFA and UEFA in 2016.[21][22] Conversely, the application of the British crown dependency of Jersey to join UEFA was rejected in 2018, on the grounds of it not being a sovereign country as defined by the UN.[23]

Dependent and disputed territories without separate FIFA membership[edit]

The following teams represent permanently inhabited dependent territories which, while not members of FIFA or any or its affiliated confederations, have participated in unofficial friendly matches, in regional tournaments, or in international competitions for teams not affiliated to FIFA (such as the ConIFA World Cup, the Island Games football tournament, or the Coupe de l'Outre-Mer). Participation of these teams in international football ranges from regular to sporadic.

1: National governing body is a member of ConIFA.

The following permanently inhabited dependent territories have no recorded football teams: Akrotiri and Dhekelia (Sovereign Base Areas of the United Kingdom), Norfolk Island (external territory of Australia), Pitcairn Islands (overseas territory of the United Kingdom), Svalbard (part of Norway), and Tokelau (territory of New Zealand). The disputed territories of Abyei, Azad Kashmir, and Gilgit Baltistan have also never had representative national football teams.

Separatist, subnational, and ethnic teams[edit]

For the most part, the national competitions organized by FIFA and its affiliated confederations are exclusively open to teams representing an entire nation state or dependent territory. These bodies usually do not organize competitions between teams representing subnational regions or specific ethnic groups. An exception is the UEFA Regions' Cup, an amateur tournament where teams representing subnational areas in Europe do participate. Another example is the now defunct Coupe de l'Outre-Mer, organised by the French football federation and involving overseas territories of France. During its existence, the Coupe de l'Outre-Mer included teams which are FIFA members, others who are only confederation members, and still others who are neither.

Outside the jurisdiction of FIFA and its associated confederations, a variety of other national, separatist, sub-national, ethnic, and diaspora teams have been formed; these teams often play in international tournaments against each other, and in some cases in unsanctioned friendly games against FIFA members.[26] The Confederation of Independent Football Associations (ConIFA), was founded with the aim of regularising non-FIFA international football, by having a two-year international tournament cycle, with the ConIFA World Football Cup in even numbered years, and continental tournaments in odd-numbered years.[27] This developed the work of the now-defunct N.F.-Board (Nouvelle Fédération-Board), founded in 2001. [28] ConIFA aims to help unrecognised national teams gain recognition, but also to provide a platform for representative teams of regions or diasporas, which do not have a place in a system of international football based on nation-states.[29] In some cases, participation in non-FIFA football has been a first step for teams who later sought (and in some cases, achieved) the right to play in matches sanctioned by FIFA or one of its affiliated continental confederations. For example, the Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, and Kosovo played in non-FIFA football tournaments before participating in FIFA- and UEFA-sanctioned matches.

Former national football teams[edit]

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[30]  Slovakia Represented Czechoslovakia until its dissolution into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993.[31] Competed as Representation of Czechs and Slovaks for the remainder of their 1994 World Cup qualifying games.[32]
 Saar  West Germany Represented the Saarland Protectorate from 1950 to 1956 before its union with the Federal Republic of Germany.[33]
 West Germany
(officially Germany FR)
 Germany Represented West Germany between 1950 and 1990, before reunification with East Germany.[34] Was considered a continuation of the team that had represented the German state prior to 1942.[35]
 East Germany
(officially Germany DR)
 Germany Represented East Germany between 1952 and 1990, before reunification with West Germany.[34]
 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 solely from Northern Ireland under pressure from FIFA.[36]
 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 (see North Vietnam national football team for information on the North Vietnam team). 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
 Latvia
 Lithuania
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
 Azerbaijan
 Belarus
 Georgia
 Kazakhstan
 Kyrgyzstan
 Moldova
 Tajikistan
 Turkmenistan
 Ukraine
 Uzbekistan
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
 Croatia
 Macedonia
 Slovenia
Represented Yugoslavia between 1920 and 1992, before the dissolution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia into Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Macedonia and Slovenia
 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
(later renamed Serbia and Montenegro)
 Serbia  Montenegro
 Kosovo
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
 Bonaire
 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[edit]

In addition to the above, other nations have been renamed:

Notes

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b 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
  3. ^ The FIFA-affiliated football teams that belong to non-UN members are:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brown, Michael. "Biggest Global Sports". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
  2. ^ These are displayed in the main list in italics.
  3. ^ "Members". CONIFA. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  4. ^ "FIFA Statutes: July 2012 Edition" (PDF). FIFA. pp. Article 83. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
  5. ^ http://websites.sportstg.com/get_file.cgi?id=36026860
  6. ^ http://nonfifafootball.blogspot.com/2013/04/interview-6-april-2013-palau-football.html
  7. ^ Rogers, Martin. "Marshall Islands rare nation untouched by soccer's sprawling reach". USA Today. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  8. ^ "Nauru 2014". RSSSF. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  9. ^ "Abkhazia founds national football team". Vestnik Kavkaza. 3 December 2012. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 June 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Somaliland". wordpress.com. 31 July 2015. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  12. ^ "Non-FIFA Football Updates: South Ossetia make international bow in Abkhazia loss". nonfifafootball.blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  13. ^ "Tournaments (Russian)". www.ffpmr.md/. 27 March 2018. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  14. ^ "Members". CONIFA. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  15. ^ http://www.conifa.org/en/rankings/
  16. ^ http://www.conifa.org/en/2019/01/18/conifa-european-football-cup-2019-live-draw-announced/
  17. ^ "Transnistria". CONIFA. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  18. ^ "FIFA Statutes" (PDF). FIFA. p. 4. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  19. ^ "FIFA Statutes" (PDF). FIFA. p. 11. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  20. ^ https://jurisprudence.tas-cas.org/Shared%20Documents/410.pdf
  21. ^ Homewood, Brian. "Gibraltar, Kosovo accepted as members of FIFA". Reuters. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  22. ^ "Kosovo admitted as 55th member of European governing body UEFA". Sky Sports. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  23. ^ https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/43183023
  24. ^ http://www.rsssf.com/tablesi/interislandpost05.html
  25. ^ http://www.rsssf.com/tablesi/interislandpost05.html
  26. ^ http://outcasts-book.blogspot.com/
  27. ^ "ConIFA aim to lead non-FIFA football forward". Back Page Football. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  28. ^ "Football Associations Members of the N.F.-Board". N.F.-Board. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  29. ^ Guardian Football Weekly. "Unai Emery unveiled, England's new captain and Liverpool's big final – Football Weekly Extra". Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  30. ^ "Czech Republic Country Info". FIFA.com. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  31. ^ "Czech Republic - Profile". FIFA. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  32. ^ "World Cup Ends On Belgian Note". Prague Post. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  33. ^ "Saarland 1950-1955". When Saturday Comes. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  34. ^ a b "Germany: When East and West became one". FIFA. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  35. ^ "(West) Germany - International Results". Rsssf. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  36. ^ Byrne, Peter (1996). Football Association of Ireland: 75 years. Dublin: Sportsworld. p. 68. ISBN 1-900110-06-7.

Sources[edit]