List of association football clubs playing in the league of another country

This is a list of association football clubs playing in the league of another country i.e. a country other than the one where they are based. Conditions for competing in a "foreign" league, as well as in a continental/confederational competition, are set case-by-case by FIFA, the international association football federation as well as the respective continental confederation and national football associations involved.

Clubs which are located in defunct nations that merged with others, new nations separated from others, or which stopped competing in a nation's league system because their locale was transferred to another nation, are not included in this article.

Great Britain and IrelandEdit

As a result of the history of football in the United Kingdom, the United Kingdom has four FIFA member countries instead of one. Therefore, clubs that play outside what would be regarded as their 'home country' are included.

England / ScotlandEdit

Shielfield Park, home of Berwick Rangers, an English club playing in Scotland's national leagues

   : English in Scotland

   : Scottish in England

England / WalesEdit

The New Saints of the Welsh Premier League play at Park Hall in the English town of Oswestry

   : English in Wales

Until 1995–96, English teams close to the border were allowed to compete in the Welsh Cup. They could not qualify for the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup this way.

   : Welsh in England

Although all the above clubs play in the English football league system and are allowed to compete in the FA Cup, Wrexham and Merthyr Town are under the jurisdiction of the Football Association of Wales for disciplinary and administration purposes. Swansea City, Cardiff City and Newport County previously had the same governance until an arrangement was made with the English FA for the 2011–12 season onwards which sees Welsh clubs playing in the top four divisions of English football under the governance of the English FA.[2]

Cardiff City (1921–29, 1952–57, 1960–62, 2013–14 and 2018–19) and Swansea City (1981–83 and 2011–18) have played in the top division of English football (currently the Premier League). Cardiff City are also the only non-English side to have won the FA Cup, winning it in 1927 (also winning the Welsh Cup that year, being the only team to win the national cups of different countries in the same season); they again reached the final in 2008, prompting the English FA to change the rules to allow Welsh clubs to represent England in UEFA competitions should they qualify to do so.[3] Swansea City won the 2012–13 Football League Cup, and are the first Wales-based club to qualify for a European competition through a place reserved for the English Football Association.

The following Welsh clubs have also played in the English football league system:

The following defunct Welsh clubs also played in the English league system:

Until 1995, the above clubs were allowed to participate in the Welsh Cup, and represented Wales in the Cup Winners' Cup if they won. Clubs playing in those parts of England close to the Welsh border could also play in the Welsh Cup by invitation but could not represent Wales if they won, this berth instead went to the best-finishing Welsh team.

Northern Ireland / Republic of IrelandEdit

Brandywell Stadium, home of Derry City, a team located in Northern Ireland and playing in the Republic of Ireland

   : Northern Irish in the Republic of Ireland

  • Two different clubs bearing the name Derry City have played in the Republic of Ireland football league system:
    • The original club, founded in 1928, played in the Northern Ireland football league system until 1972, when it was expelled from the Irish Football League due to issues related to The Troubles. The club then spent 13 years without a league until being admitted to the second level of the League of Ireland in 1985. Two years later, they earned promotion to the League of Ireland's first level, and continued there until their expulsion in 2009 for financial mismanagement. The club was dissolved shortly thereafter.
    • A new Derry City club, which considers itself to be a continuation of the original, was founded in January 2010, and was admitted to the second level of the League of Ireland starting with the 2010 season. They returned to the top flight at the first opportunity by winning the First Division title.

Derry City have won the league titles of both Northern Ireland (1964–65) and the Republic of Ireland (1988–89, 1996–97), and also the cup titles of both Northern Ireland (1948–49, 1953–54, 1963–64) and the Republic of Ireland (1988–89, 1994–95, 2002, 2006, 2012), and have represented both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in European club competitions.

Guernsey / EnglandEdit

   : Guernsey in England

The Guernsey Football Association has no international recognition; it has county status within the English Football Association.

Jersey / EnglandEdit

   : Jersey in England

The Jersey Football Association has no international recognition; it has county status within the English Football Association.

Isle of Man / EnglandEdit

   : Isle of Man in England

The Isle of Man Football Association has no international recognition; it has county status within the English Football Association.

Continental EuropeEdit

Andorra / SpainEdit

   : Andorran in Spain

Austria / GermanyEdit

   : Austrian in Germany

  • SV Kleinwalsertal played in Germany from the 1960s until 2018, playing in the tier eleven B-Klasse Allgäu 8 in 2017–18.[5]

Bosnia and Herzegovina / YugoslaviaEdit

   : Bosnian in Yugoslavia

  • FK Borac Banja Luka played in the Yugoslav football league system. Technically, the club stayed Yugoslav and continued to participate in Yugoslav competition until 1995, despite Bosnia and Herzegovina having been recognised as independent in 1992.

Cyprus / GreeceEdit

   : Cypriot in Greece

From 1967 to 1974, the champion of the Cypriot First Division was promoted to the Greek First Division.

Czechoslovakia / HungaryEdit

   : Czechoslovak in Hungary

  • SC Rusj Užhorod (1925 – 1945), due to partitioning of Czechoslovakia in 1938-39, Rusj Užhorod was forced to play in Hungarian competitions in 1939 – 1945

Finland / SwedenEdit

   : Finnish in Sweden

All clubs are based in the Åland Islands, an autonomous region of Finland with an indigenous ethnically Swedish population.

Georgia / Soviet UnionEdit

   : Georgian in the Soviet Union

  • FC Dinamo Sukhumi played in the Soviet football league system. Technically, the club stayed Soviet and continued to participate in Soviet competition. Concurrently, in Georgia was conducted separate championship and some former footballers from Dynamo Sukhumi created FC Tskhumi in Tbilisi.

Germany / SwitzerlandEdit

   : German in Switzerland

Italy / SwitzerlandEdit

   : Italian in Switzerland

   : Swiss in Italy :

  • FC Chiasso played in the Italian league system between 1914 and 1923.

Kosovo / SerbiaEdit

   : Kosovar in Serbia
Kosovo is still only a partially recognised state and the government of Serbia still claims the territory as its own. Due to Serbian refusal of Kosovo institutions, Serbs in North Kosovo act independently in sport. For example, the Football First League of North Kosovo was primarily formed of Serbian clubs from four of North Kosovo's municipalities. Both governments agreed upon creating a Community of Serb Municipalities.

In 2016, Kosovo became the 55th member of UEFA, and therefore Football Federation of Kosovo's Football Superleague of Kosovo became a recognised independent league.

From 2010 to 2015, the Football First League of North Kosovo was the top football regional league in North Kosovo, ranked fifth in the Serbian league system. The league was formed primarily of Serbian football clubs that come from four of North Kosovo's municipalities such as Leposavić, Zvečan, Zubin Potok and Northern Kosovska Mitrovica. The league was formed in protest to the establishment of the Kosovo Super League by the Republic of Kosovo; the Serbian clubs from North Kosovo refuse to enter the Republic of Kosovo's institutions as per the Assembly of the Community of Municipalities of the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija.

There are two other clubs from North Kosovo, which compete in different leagues:

Latvia / Soviet UnionEdit

   : Latvian in the Soviet Union

  • FK Pārdaugava, same as the Georgian FC Dynamo Sukhumi, it was one of the few clubs that continued to compete in the Soviet football competitions despite official withdrawal of its domestic football organizations. The club was created in place of the Soviet Daugava club which was a regional branch of the Soviet bigger Dynamo sports society associated with the Soviet KGB and law enforcement.

Liechtenstein / SwitzerlandEdit

Rheinpark Stadion, home of FC Vaduz, the only Liechtensteiner team to have ever played top-flight football in Switzerland

   : Liechtensteiner in Switzerland

All clubs in Liechtenstein play in the Swiss Football League system, as Liechtenstein has no properly recognized league of its own. These clubs also compete in the Liechtenstein Football Cup, which is effectively the championship of Liechtenstein, with the winner representing Liechtenstein in the UEFA Europa League. Liechtenstein clubs do not play in the Swiss Cup, and are not eligible for qualification to European competitions via the Swiss league system. FC Vaduz has had three stints in the top flight in Switzerland, the first in the 2008–09 season and the second running from 2014 to 2017 through 2020–21. They are the only Liechtenstein club to have ever played in the Swiss Super League.

Monaco / FranceEdit

   : Monegasque in France

San Marino / ItalyEdit

   : Sammarinese in Italy

The home league of San Marino was established only in 1985. Before that year, other Sammarinese teams have competed in the Italian system, though only San Marino Calcio was allowed to take part in the system and also to Coppa Italia exclusively:

Spain / FranceEdit

   : Spanish in France

Ukraine / RussiaEdit

  ( ) →   : Ukrainian in Russia

The three clubs are from Crimea, a territory recognized by Ukraine and a majority of countries as part of Ukraine, but have been under effective Russian control as the Republic of Crimea since the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation. FC Sevastopol and SC Tavriya Simferopol last played in the 2013–14 Ukrainian Premier League, and were dissolved after the completion of the season. The three clubs were reformed as football organizations of the Russian Federation and joined the Russian Professional Football League starting from the 2014–15 season, after approval from the Russian Football Union.[6] The inclusion of Crimean clubs in Russian competitions have not been approved by either FIFA or UEFA, and the Football Federation of Ukraine have lodged a complaint.[7] On 22 August 2014 UEFA decided "that any football matches played by Crimean clubs organised under the auspices of the Russian Football Union will not be recognised by UEFA until further notice",[8] and on 4 December 2014, decided to prohibit Crimean clubs to play in competitions organised by the Russian Football Union as from 1 January 2015 and for the region to be considered as a "special zone" for football purposes until further notice.[9]


Western Sahara / MoroccoEdit

   : Western Saharan in Morocco


Many North American sports leagues are made up of teams from different countries—three of the four largest professional leagues have teams representing cities on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border. This phenomenon can also be seen in soccer leagues. Although foreign clubs can and do participate in leagues based in the United States, no such team is eligible to participate in the U.S. Open Cup, which is only open to teams affiliated with the United States Soccer Federation (U.S. Soccer). They are also not eligible to represent the United States in the CONCACAF Champions League or the CONCACAF League (the latter of which does not feature any U.S.-based teams). Those teams that do participate in U.S. leagues also participate in various competitions under their local federations to gain entry into the Champions League and CONCACAF League.

Antigua and Barbuda / United StatesEdit

   : Antiguan and Barbudan in the United States

  • Antigua Barracuda FC played in USL Pro (the league now known as the USL Championship) from 2011 to 2013. The team was forced to play its entire 2013 schedule on the road due to issues with its home stadium, normally a cricket ground, and folded after that season.

Bermuda / United StatesEdit

   : Bermudian in the United States

Canada / United StatesEdit

   : Canadian in the United States


Several Canadian clubs played in previous incarnations of the NASL, including:

Canada's other MLS teams began fielding USL reserve sides in 2015, but both USL sides have since been folded. FC Montreal was folded by the Impact upon the announcement by Ottawa Fury FC that they would join the USL, with the Fury becoming the Impact's top affiliate. The Whitecaps folded Whitecaps FC 2 after the 2017 season in favor of an affiliation with a new USL side, Fresno FC. The Toronto Lynx (which had played in the USL A-League/First Division until 2006) also participated in the PDL until 2014. In addition, two Canadian MLS teams, the Impact and Whitecaps, previously fielded under-23 sides in the PDL. Former Canadian PDL teams include the Abbotsford Mariners, Hamilton Rage, K–W United FC, FC London, original Ottawa Fury, and Vancouver Whitecaps Residency (replaced by Whitecaps U-23).

FC Edmonton played in the modern North American Soccer League until 2017, at which time it halted professional operations. The club resumed professional play in 2019 on its own side of the US–Canada border in the new Canadian Premier League.

The Ottawa Fury began play in the NASL in 2014, replacing a PDL team of the same name. The team moved to the league now known as the USL Championship after the 2016 season before suspending operations following the 2019 season.

As in the men's game, the women's soccer pyramid contains leagues that operate on both sides of the border. The current top level, the National Women's Soccer League, operates solely in the U.S., although it receives financial backing from both U.S. Soccer and the Canadian Soccer Association, and also had backing from the Mexican Football Federation until that body organized its own women's league in 2017.

Puerto Rico / United StatesEdit

   : Puerto Rican in the United States

Even though Puerto Rico is a dependent territory of the United States, it has a separate football federation, the Puerto Rican Football Federation. The highest level of competition within Puerto Rico is the Puerto Rico Soccer League, and teams can qualify domestically as Puerto Rican entrants in the Caribbean Club Championship and the CONCACAF Champions League.

Asia and OceaniaEdit

Australia / SingaporeEdit

   : Australian in Singapore

Brunei / MalaysiaEdit

   : Bruneian in Malaysia

Brunei / SingaporeEdit

   : Bruneian in Singapore

China / Hong KongEdit

   : Mainland Chinese in Hong Kong

While Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China, it has its own football federation (Hong Kong Football Association) and professional league (Hong Kong Premier League).

Macau / ChinaEdit

   : Macau in Mainland Chinese

While Macau is a special administrative region of China, it has its own football federation (Macau Football Association ) and league (Liga de Elite).

  • Macau Football Association runs MFA Development, fielding under-23 players. Beginning with Season 2018, it could participate in CMCL Regional Competition, but is not permitted to promote to League Two.

Malaysia / AustraliaEdit

  : Malaysian in Australia

Malaysia / SingaporeEdit

   : Malaysian in Singapore

   : Singaporean in Malaysia

New Zealand / AustraliaEdit

Westpac Stadium, home of the Wellington Phoenix, the sole New Zealand team in Australia's A-League

   : New Zealand in Australia

As New Zealand is a member of OFC and Australia is a member of AFC since moving from OFC in 2006, Wellington Phoenix are playing in the league of a member of another football confederation. As per agreement with FIFA, AFC and OFC, Wellington Phoenix are not allowed to participate in the AFC Champions League.[11] They also do not participate in the OFC Champions League, as New Zealand is represented by clubs from its football league, the New Zealand Football Championship. Wellington Phoenix are the only extant professional football team in New Zealand; the New Zealand Football Championship is amateur. The reserve team of Wellington Phoenix began play in the NZ Championship in 2014–15,[12] and have featured in every season since.

Foreign and Satellite teams in SingaporeEdit

Besides DPMM FC, a number of "foreign" teams have also played in the S.League. These clubs, while playing their home games in Singapore, are either satellite teams of foreign clubs or are made up exclusively of foreign players:

As of 2016, only Albirex Niigata Singapore FC play in the S.League. The foreign teams are not allowed to represent Singapore in AFC club competitions such as the AFC Champions League and the AFC Cup.

In recent years, foreign clubs from other countries have also been invited to participate in the Singapore Cup.


  1. ^ "League entry denied". Archived from the original on 20 January 2018. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  2. ^ Scott, Matt (6 May 2011). "Football Association breaks Welsh jurisdiction over Cardiff and Swansea". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
  3. ^ FA approves Cardiff for Uefa Cup
  4. ^ a b c d Twydell, Dave (5 November 2001). Denied F.C.: The Football League Election Struggles. Harefield: Yore Publications. p. 24. ISBN 1-85983-512-0.
  5. ^ BK Allgäu 8 BFV website, accessed: 5 August 2019
  6. ^ "Crimean clubs to play in Russian second division from next season". Inside World Football. 13 August 2014.
  7. ^ "Ukraine crisis: Russia's claim on Crimea's football clubs". BBC Sport. 15 August 2014.
  8. ^ "UEFA Emergency Panel decision on Crimean clubs". 22 August 2014.
  9. ^ "UEFA Nations League format and schedule confirmed". 4 December 2014.
  10. ^ "港超︱富力R&F落實棄戰港超 稱退出因現時香港足球氛圍". Ming Pao (in Chinese). 14 October 2020. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  11. ^ Ad hoc Committee for Professional Clubs
  12. ^ "Phoenix reserve team to play in national league". 22 August 2014.