Sierra Leone's first match was at home on 10 August 1949 against another British colony, Nigeria, and was lost 2–0. In 1954 they played another British colony and British administered U.N trust territory, Gold Coast and Trans-Volta Togoland (now Ghana, and lost 2–0 away. On 22 April 1961 they again hosted Nigeria and lost 4–2. On 12 November 1966 they hosted Liberia in their first match against a non-British colony and earned their first draw, 1–1. A week later, they lost 2–0 in Liberia. On 13 January 1971 Sierra Leone played their first match against a non-African team, West Germany's B-team. The match in Sierra Leone was won 1–0 by the Germans. Sierra Leone's first match outside of Africa was also their first against an Asian nation, China. They lost 4–1 in China on 5 April 1974.
In August 2014, the Sierra Leone FA cancelled all football matches in an effort to stop the spread of the 2014 Ebola virus epidemic in Sierra Leone, a week after the Liberian FA did the same. Sierra Leonean players playing outside of Sierra Leone, such as Michael Lahoud playing in the United States, were discriminated against, with opposition players refusing to swap shirts, shake hands and allow them to certain places of the stadium just because they fear that they could be carrying the disease. The Sierra Leonean national team isn't allowed to play home games and all players must be foreign based.