Madagascar made its debut in 1947 in a home match against Mauritius which was lost 2-1. The game was part of a Triangulaire tournament between Madagascar, Mauritius and Reunion. Madagascar's second match was at home to Reunion and saw their first ever win, 4-2. The triangular tournament was staged every year until 1958, and Madagascar's highest-scoring game was on 13 July 1953 when they beat Reunion 6-4 at home. Their worst loss was on 31 July 1952 when they lost 7-0 to Mauritius in Reunion.
Madagascar played against opposition different from Mauritius or Reunion for the first time in 1960, as part of a tournament between French-speaking nations held on the island. In their first match on 15 April 1960 they beat the Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso) 6-1. The second game was a quarter-final against France's amateur side on 17 April and was lost 2-1. On 19 April Madagascar beat the Congo 8-1 in the third-place play-off.
In April 1963 Madagascar entered another competition for French-speaking countries, this time in Senegal, and was placed in a group with Dahomey (now Benin), Liberia and Chad. They opened with a 1-0 win over Dahomey on 11 April, and then beat Chad 2-1 on 13 April and Liberia 3-1 on 15 April. In the semi-finals, Madagascar were beaten 2-1 by Tunisia on 19 April, and then lost 4-1 to France's amateur team in the third-place play-off on 21 April.
In September 1963 the Triangulaire between Madagascar, Reunion and Mauritius was reinstated for the first time since 1958. On 15 September they beat Reunion 6-1 at home, and on 18 September drew 1-1 to Mauritius in a home game which was abandoned.