Soccer in Nauru

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Soccer is a minor sport in the island country of Nauru. The country is not a member of FIFA, has no official national team, and lacks any organised competition, although unofficial teams existed in the past.


The most popular codes of football in Nauru have long been Australian rules football, rugby league and rugby union, which were introduced during the early 20th century by Australians working in the phosphate industry.

Soccer was introduced in the 1960s, by migrant workers from Kiribati, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu. It enjoyed a period of relative popularity, and at one point the island had a six-team league.

A collapse of the Nauruan economy in the late 1990s, followed by a government policy of compulsorily repatriating immigrants, led to an absolute decline in the country's population by 2002. This appears to have severely affected sports other than Australian rules and the rugby codes. A 2009 World Soccer article noted that organised soccer had "fallen apart" on Nauru, and that the island's was unlikely to ever field a team at the Pacific Games (the main regional tournament for non-FIFA teams).[1]

Representative teams[edit]

The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation (RSSSF) suggests that it is "quite likely that there has been no official Nauru national football team". However, unofficial representative teams have been organised on at least two occasions. On 2 October 1994, a combined Nauru team played a team of expatriate workers from Solomon Islands in Denigomodu, winning 2–1.[2] Another Nauruan select team was raised in 2014, playing a team from the Nauru Regional Processing Centre to celebrate World Refugee Day.[3] In 2018, Nauru were due to compete at the Micronesian Games, but pulled out due to financial issues.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Micronesia is struggling to keep the game afloat, writes Steve Menary", World Soccer, 19 November 2009. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  2. ^ Paul Watson, "FIFA's Exiles", The Blizzard: The Football Quarterly 15, 10 December 2014, p. 106.
  3. ^ Nauru 2014, RSSSF. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  4. ^ "Nauru express disappointment at non-appearance as Micronesian Games open". Inside The Games. 15 July 2018. Retrieved 16 October 2018.