List of men's national association football teams
This is a list of the men's national association football teams in the world. It consists of all association football teams representing recognized and semi-recognized sovereign states, as well as other representative teams which are members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the world's football governing body, or a FIFA-affiliated continental confederation. Excluded from the list are teams representing sub-national entities that are not members of the organisations mentioned above, or teams representing unrecognized states.
- 1 Members of FIFA affiliated confederations
- 2 National teams not affiliated to FIFA confederations
- 3 Former national football teams
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 Sources
Members of FIFA affiliated confederations
This section lists the current:
- 209 men's national football teams affiliated to the FIFA, through their national football associations.
- 13 men's national football teams who are members or associate members of one of the FIFA affiliated continental confederations, but who are not members of FIFA.
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. National teams who are members (full or associate) of their confederation, but do not have membership of FIFA, are able to compete in confederation championships, but their matches are not full internationals.
The six confederations are:
- Asia – Asian Football Confederation (AFC)
- Africa – Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF)
- Additionally 22 nations in Africa and Asia belong to the Union of Arab Football Associations (UAFA) in addition to their respective regional confederations.
- North and 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* – Asian Cup
- CAF** – Africa Cup of Nations
- CONCACAF – CONCACAF Gold Cup
- CONMEBOL – Copa América
- OFC – OFC Nations Cup
- UEFA – European Championship
UAFA runs a semi-regular tournament for its members, the Arab Nations Cup
*The AFC operates a second international tournament, the AFC Challenge Cup. This is for those national teams that are classed as emerging nations by the AFC. Winners of the Challenge Cup receive an automatic spot at the next Asian Cup
**The CAF operates a second international tournament, The African Nations Championship (sometimes referred to as African Championship of Nations or CHAN) which is played between the best national teams of Africa, exclusively featuring players who are active in the national championships and qualified to play in the ongoing season. Expatriate players, regardless of where they play, even in Africa, may not qualify to take part in the African Championship of Nations.
The current holders of the World Cup are marked by a ♠. The current holders of each confederation's championship are marked by a ♣.
Due to the geographical size of Asia, the AFC is subdivided into four sub-federations:
- West Asian Football Federation (WAFF) – represents nations at the western extremity of the continent.
- East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) – represents nations in Northeast Asia, plus Guam and Northern Mariana Islands.
- Central and South Asian Football Federation (CSAFF)– represents nations in Central Asia and South Asia.
- ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) – represents nations in Southeast Asia, plus Australia
1: Formerly member of OFC (1966–2006)
2: 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); Formerly member of OFC (1975–1989)
5: Official names used by FIFA and AFC; official names used by EAFF are "Hong Kong, China" (a) and "Macau, China" (b)
6: Official names used by FIFA and AFC for Democratic People's Republic of Korea (a) and Republic of Korea (b)
7: Associate member of AFC but not FIFA member
8: Formerly member of OFC (2005-2009)
9: Official name used by FIFA and AFC for national team representing the Palestinian territories
Due to the geographical size of Africa, 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 and Central America and Caribbean)
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
- 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: Associate member of CONCACAF but not FIFA member
2: Full member of CONCACAF but not FIFA member
CONMEBOL (South America)
1: Official name used by FIFA and UEFA for Bosnia and Herzegovina
2: Full member of UEFA but not FIFA member
3: Formerly member of AFC (1954–1974); Joined UEFA in 1994
4: Formerly member of AFC (1992–2002)
5: Official name used by FIFA and UEFA for Republic of Macedonia
6: Official name used by FIFA and UEFA for Ireland
National teams not affiliated to FIFA confederations
These national football teams are affiliated to neither FIFA, nor a continental confederation. The teams are not eligible to enter the FIFA World Cup or their continental confederation championships. Teams who are affiliated with FIFA may not compete against these sides without FIFA's prior permission.
This section lists:
- 5 teams representing sovereign states with full international recognition.
- 3 teams representing states with limited international recognition.
It also discusses the status of football in other fully or limited recognized sovereign states which have never had active national football teams.
Unaffiliated sovereign states
The football teams that represent the following sovereign states are not members of FIFA or their local confederation:
1: Member of the FIFA Small Nations Working Group
2: The football federation of Monaco was one of the founder members of the NF-Board in 2001, but resigned from the organization in 2010
3: There has never been a "United Kingdom national football team" participating in recognized internationals, although three friendly matches have been played under this name. A team representing the entire United Kingdom has only ever competed in the Olympic Games (most recently in the 2012 Games) under the name "Great Britain"; otherwise, the UK is represented by separate teams for each of its constituent countries
4: The Palau team has been inactive since 1998. It joined as an associate member of OFC in 2002, but this membership expired. In 2013 the Palau Football Association confirmed an intention to apply for membership of the East Asian Football Federation.
The Marshall Islands are the only sovereign nation state which has no recorded national association football team.
Unaffiliated states with limited international recognition
Two states with limited international recognition are full members of FIFA and are listed above: Palestine and the Republic of China, the latter under the name "Chinese Taipei" due to the objections of the government of the People's Republic of China. Three further states with limited international recognition have active teams which are not currently affiliated with FIFA or their local confederation:
Both Kosovo and Northern Cyprus were members of FIFA's recent unaffiliated nations working group, though the activities of this are currently suspended. The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic team had played just one game between 1988 and 2011, but was reformed in 2012,  leading to them competing at the 2012 VIVA World Cup.  Although matches against these teams are unofficial, FIFA confirmed in May 2012 that members would be permitted to play friendlies against Kosovo without sanction.
The three states with limited international recognition in the Caucasus - Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh and South Ossetia - have competed in matches against each other. The first of these came between Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabakh in September 2012,  while South Ossetia played Abkahzia in October 2013.  These sides remain unrecognized by FIFA.
The state of Transnistria, which only has recognition from other states with limited international recognition, has no national football team. The Moldova national team still regularly plays in Transnistria and the side contains a large number of Transnistrian players.
FIFA's entry criteria state that:
Any association which is responsible for organising and supervising football in its country may become a member of FIFA. In this context, the expression 'country' shall refer to an independent state recognised by the international community.
The main condition for joining FIFA is thus general international recognition as a nation state and membership of the UN. However, this rule is not applied retroactively, and 23 of FIFA's members are not internationally recognised sovereign nations.
Non-sovereign associations may still join FIFA in specific circumstances. In particular, an exception is made for associations representing a dependency, which may apply for membership if authorised by the association in its parent state. Most recently, this was allowed for New Caledonia in 2004; this was on the grounds of the distance of New Caledonia from its 'parent' nation, France. By contrast, both Zanzibar and Gibraltar – who would compete in the same confederation as their parent state – have had their application to join FIFA rejected.  While Gibraltar's FIFA bid was rejected, a 2011 ruling issued by the Court of Arbitration for Sport stated that UEFA "must do everything in its power to allow Gibraltar entry into the organisation by June 2012". Gibraltar was voted in as a member of UEFA in May 2013,  although it is unknown if they now intend to apply to join FIFA.
A variety of other national, separatist, sub-national and pseudo-national teams compete in football matches outside of FIFA's jurisdiction. In 2001, the N.F.-Board (Nouvelle Fédération-Board), was founded to promote international football among sovereign nations, unrecognised nations, regions and stateless peoples that are not members of FIFA, and to assist in their possible future membership of FIFA. A total of 37 nations were listed on the N.F. Board's website as of August 2013,  although at least one of these (Monaco) is no longer a member.  The nature of these other teams is heterogeneous: whilst some such as Catalonia, Galicia or Tibet play semi-regularly, often against FIFA member nations, others are much less active. For a full list of teams that have been documented, see the list of non-national representative teams in men's football.
Former national football teams
These national teams no longer exist due to the dissolution of the nation or territory that they represented.
|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.|
|Saar||West Germany||Represented the Saarland Protectorate from 1950 to 1956 before its union with the Federal Republic of Germany.|
|East Germany||Germany||Represented East Germany between 1952 and 1990, before reunification with West Germany. |
|Ireland||Northern Ireland||Republic of Ireland||Represented Ireland until the secession of the Irish Free State from the United Kingdom in 1922. The team continued to be known as Ireland, selecting some players from the Irish Free State, later the Republic of Ireland, until 1953 when it was renamed Northern Ireland to reflect its geographic mandate.|
|Malaya||Malaysia||Represented the Federation of Malaya until its union with Sarawak, North Borneo and Singapore to form Malaysia in 1963. Singapore had a separate national team from 1953 and gained independence in 1965.|
|Tanganyika||Tanzania||Zanzibar||Represented Tanganyika until its union with Zanzibar as Tanzania in 1964. Zanzibar is an associate member of CAF.|
|North Vietnam||Vietnam||Represented North Vietnam from 1949 till its union with South Vietnam in 1975.|
|South Vietnam||Vietnam||Represented South Vietnam from 1949 till its union with North Vietnam in 1975.|
|North Yemen||Yemen||Represented North Yemen from 1965 till its union with South Yemen in 1990.|
|South Yemen||Yemen||Represented South Yemen from 1965 till 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 1924 until its dissolution in 1991. This was considered a continuation of the team that had previously represented the Russian Empire.|
|Represented the Commonwealth of Independent States and Georgia in 1992 until the creation of separate national teams for its constituent nations.|
|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, 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, between 1992 and 2006 when it was split into Serbia and Montenegro|
|Netherlands Antilles||Curaçao|| Bonaire
|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 Sint Maarten and Bonaire are full or associate members of CONCACAF, but not of FIFA.|
In addition to the above, other nations have been renamed:
- Belgian Congo → Congo-Léopoldville in 1960 → Congo-Kinshasa in 1963 → Zaire in 1971 → Congo DR 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
- Czechoslovakia (1918–1939) → Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia in 1939 → Czechoslovakia in 1945 → Representation of Czechs and Slovaks in 1993
- Dahomey → Benin in 1975
- Dutch East Indies → Indonesia in 1945
- FR Yugoslavia → Serbia and Montenegro in 2003
- FLN team → Algeria in 1962
- French Somaliland → Djibouti in 1977
- French Togoland → Togo in 1960
- Gold Coast → Ghana in 1957
- Irish Free State → Republic of Ireland in 1937
- Ivory Coast → Côte d'Ivoire in 19831
- 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
- Palestine, British Mandate → Israel in 1948
- Portuguese Guinea → Guinea-Bissau in 1975
- Russia → Soviet Union in 1923
- Southern Rhodesia → Rhodesia in 1964 → Zimbabwe in 1980
- Surinam → Suriname in 1954
- United Arab Republic → Egypt in 1971
- Upper Volta → Burkina Faso in 1984
- Western Samoa → Samoa in 1996
1: Still commonly called Ivory Coast in English-speaking countries
- National team appearances in the FIFA World Cup
- List of non-national representative teams in men's football
- List of FIFA country codes
- List of women's national football teams
- Non-FIFA Football
- These are displayed in the main list in italics.
- Holders Mazembe remain standing FIFA.com 10–11–10. Accessed 13–10–11
- "FIFA Statutes: July 2012 Edition". FIFA. pp. Article 83. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
- FIFA working group to help small unrecognized nations and territories – PlayTheGame.org 06–05–10. Accessed 13–10–11
- Monaco quits NF Board
- "Interview #6 (April 2013): Palau Football Association president Charles Mitchell". Non-FIFA Football. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
- CAS rules in favour of Gibraltar – Outcasts Blog. 05–09–11. Accessed 13–10–11
- "Establishment of Saharawi national football team (Minister of Youth and Sport)". SPS. 2012-03-25. Retrieved 2012-03-27.
- "Results". VIVA World Cup. Retrieved 12 November 2013.
- "FIFA ExCo makes reform progress and Audit and Compliance Committee appointment". Media Release. FIFA.com. 22 May 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
- "Abkhazia founds national football team". Vestnik Kavkaza. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
- "South Ossetia make international bow in Abkhazia loss". Non-FIFA Football. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- "FIFA and UEFA do not recognize Abkhaz football". Vestnik Kavaza.net. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
- Eberhardt, Adam. "The Paradoxes of Moldovan Sports An insight into the nature of the Transnistrian conflict". Centre for Eastern Studies. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
- Outcasts: The Lands That FIFA Forgot Menary, Steven. 25–08–10. Accessed 27–09–10
- Fifa Statutes FIFA, May 2008
- The affiliated non-sovereign football teams are:
1. Unincorporated unorganized territory of the United States
2. British overseas territory
3. Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
4. Sovereign state with limited international recognition
6. Constituent country of the United Kingdom
7. Constituent country of the Kingdom of Denmark
8. Unincorporated organized territory of the United States
9. Special administrative region of China
10. Overseas collectivity of France
- Menary, Steven. 2007. When is a National Team not a National Team? Sport in Society 10(2), 195–204
- "European Football - Gibraltar admitted as UEFA member". Eurosport. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
- "Football Associations". NF Board. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
- "Monaco quits NF Board". Outcasts Blog. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
- "Czech Republic Country Info". FIFA.com. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
- "Czech Republic - Profile". FIFA. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
- "World Cup Ends On Belgian Note". Prague Post. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
- "Saarland 1950-1955". When Saturday Comes. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
- "Germany: When East and West became one". FIFA. Retrieved 18 July 2013.