List of men's national association football teams
This is a list of the men's national association football teams in the world. There are more nations with football teams than for any other sport, with teams representing 191 of the 193 UN member states, as well as several dependent territories, sub-national entities, and states who are not members of the United Nations. This list divides teams into two main groups:
- Teams which are either members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the world's football governing body (211 teams), or have membership in a FIFA-affiliated continental confederation without being members of FIFA (12 teams).
- Teams who are not members of FIFA or any continental federation, but which represent sovereign states. This group includes United Nations members and observer states, as well as states who are not members of the UN (11 teams).
This list excludes other teams, which generally play outside FIFA's recognition. Excluded teams include those who represent ethnic groups, sub-national entities and dependent territories other than those recognized by FIFA or its confederations (such as the UK), competitors at the Island Games, unrecognized states, separatist movements, and pseudo- or micro-nations.
- 1 Members of FIFA affiliated confederations
- 2 National teams not affiliated to FIFA confederations
- 3 Former national football teams
- 4 See also
- 5 Notes
- 6 References
- 7 Sources
Members of FIFA affiliated confederationsEdit
This section lists the current:
- 211 men's national football teams affiliated to FIFA, through their national football associations.
- 12 men's national football teams who have membership in one of FIFA's affiliated continental confederations, but 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.
Some national teams who are members of a confederation but not FIFA members compete in confederation-level and subregional tournaments. These teams, however, are not allowed to participate in the World Cup.
The six confederations are:
- Asia – Asian Football Confederation (AFC)[note 1]
- Africa – Confederation of African Football (CAF)[note 1]
- 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
While not a confederation in itself, the Union of Arab Football Associations (UAFA) coordinates football activities between Arabic-speaking countries. All 22 national governing bodies that form UAFA are also members of both FIFA and either the AFC or CAF. National teams from UAFA member countries are noted in the list below.
The Confederation of Independent Football Associations (ConIFA) is an organization for teams representing unrecognised states, subnational regions, and stateless minorities, as well as teams from recognised states that have not managed to gain entry into FIFA. While none of its current members are also members of FIFA, a few hold associate membership in one of the confederations affiliated with it. These teams are also noted in the list below.
Due to the geographical size of Asia, the AFC is subdivided into five sub-federations:
- West Asian Football Federation (WAFF) – represents nations at the western extremity of the continent, except Iran and Israel.
- East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) – represents nations in East Asia, plus Guam and Northern Mariana Islands.
- Central Asian Football Association (CAFA) – represents nations in Central Asia, except Kazakhstan, plus Iran and Afghanistan.
- South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) – represents nations in South Asia, except Afghanistan.
- ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) – represents nations in Southeast Asia, plus Australia.
- 1: National governing body was formerly a member of OFC (1966–2006)
- 2: National governing body is a 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); national governing body was a member of OFC from 1975 to 1989
- 5: Official name used by FIFA and AFC for Islamic Republic of Iran
- 6: Official name used by FIFA for Democratic People's Republic of Korea; official name used by AFC is DPR Korea
- 7: Official name used by FIFA and AFC for Republic of Korea
- 8: Official name used by FIFA and AFC for Kyrgyzstan
- 9: National governing body is an associate member of AFC but not a FIFA member
- 10: National governing body was formerly a member of OFC (2005–2009)
- 11: 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 America, Central America, and the Caribbean)Edit
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, plus Bermuda and three nations in South America.[note 2]
- 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: National governing body is a full member of CONCACAF but not a FIFA member
CONMEBOL (South America)Edit
National teams not affiliated to FIFA confederationsEdit
The national football teams included in this section are not members of FIFA, or of any of its affiliated continental confederations. The teams are not eligible to enter the FIFA World Cup or any continental confederation championships. FIFA's statutes do not allow member teams to compete against these sides without FIFA's prior permission. Several national associations for teams included in this section are members of ConIFA; these are indicated in the lists below.
This section lists:
- 5 teams representing sovereign states who are members or observers of the United Nations.
- 7 teams representing states which are not members of the United Nations.
Unaffiliated United Nations statesEdit
There are seven United Nations member and observer states which are not members of FIFA or any of its affiliated continental confederations. Five of them, however, have fielded national association-organised teams in unofficial friendly matches, regional tournaments (such as the Pacific Games or Micronesian Games), or in global tournaments held outside the auspices of FIFA. These teams are listed below.
1: Senior national football teams representing the United Kingdom have only played unofficial friendly matches (usually under the name "Great Britain", though there have also been "Rest of the United Kingdom" representative teams). Otherwise, the UK is represented in FIFA- and UEFA-organized football by the teams of its constituent countries: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales (these teams are listed in the UEFA subsection above). Teams representing the entire kingdom have also competed in the Summer Olympics and participate regularly at the Summer Universiade. See also UK national football teams.
2: Official name used by the Pacific Games Council for Micronesia.
3: National governing body is a member of ConIFA.
Two other UN member states (the Marshall Islands and Nauru) have never fielded a national association-organised football team, though there are reports that amateur football teams claiming to represent the latter have been fielded in local friendly matches on at least two occasions.
Unaffiliated non-UN statesEdit
Three states with limited international recognition and two associated states with no UN membership are members of both FIFA and an affiliated confederation and are therefore listed above: the Republic of China (as Chinese Taipei), the Cook Islands, Kosovo, Niue, and the State of Palestine.
There are other seven de facto sovereign or partially recognized states, none of which are members of FIFA or any of its affiliated continental confederations. Despite this, all of these states have fielded national teams in non-FIFA football tournaments or unsanctioned friendly matches. The national associations representing all of these teams are members of ConIFA.
1: As of September 2019, the ConIFA world rankings designate the team representing the Republic of Artsakh by its former name, Nagorno Karabakh. The team participated in the 2019 ConIFA European Cup as Artsakh.
2: In addition to playing in non-FIFA football tournaments and in unofficial matches against FIFA-affiliated nations, Northern Cyprus participated in the 1980 Islamic Games football competition.
3: The Transnistria national team, while a full member of ConIFA, has only played against club teams so far.
Membership criteria of FIFA and affiliated confederationsEdit
Historically, the majority of FIFA and confederation members have been sovereign states with wide diplomatic recognition. Exceptions to this rule include the British Home Nations (due to their seminal role in the development of football), the Republic of China (which does not enjoy wide recognition but is still accepted as representative of the Taiwan area), and certain dependent territories, autonomous areas, and protectorates which, on the grounds of their political autonomy, separate status, and/or distance from their parent state, have been allowed to hold membership in FIFA and/or one of its affiliated confederations. At present, 26 of FIFA's members are not internationally recognised sovereign nations[note 3], and most confederations have at least one member which is neither a sovereign state nor a member of FIFA (the most salient example is CONCACAF, which includes four French and two Dutch territories with no separate FIFA membership).
In 2016, FIFA made changes to its statutes to define 'country' as "an independent state recognized by the international community". The statutes further specify that a non-independent region can become a member with the authorization of the national association of the country where it is located. In 2011, UEFA had already changed its statutes so that only countries recognised as independent states by the United Nations could join the organization. Nonetheless, the associations of Kosovo (a state with limited recognition whose sovereignty is disputed by Serbia) and Gibraltar (a British dependent territory claimed by Spain), neither of whom have separate UN membership, were accepted into both FIFA and UEFA in 2016. Conversely, the application of the British crown dependency of Jersey to join UEFA was rejected in 2018, on the grounds of it not being a sovereign country as defined by the UN.
Dependent and disputed territories without separate FIFA membershipEdit
The following teams represent permanently inhabited dependent territories which, while not members of FIFA or any or its affiliated confederations, have participated in unofficial friendly matches, in regional tournaments, or in international competitions for teams not affiliated to FIFA (such as the ConIFA World Cup, the Island Games football tournament, or the Coupe de l'Outre-Mer). Participation of these teams in international football ranges from regular to sporadic.
- Åland Islands, an autonomous area of Finland
- Chagos Islands1, representing the British Indian Ocean Territory, an overseas territory of the United Kingdom whose indigenous population was removed in the late 1960s-early 1970s
- Christmas Island, an external territory of Australia
- Cocos (Keeling) Islands, an external territory of Australia
- Falkland Islands, an overseas territory of the United Kingdom
- Greenland, a self-governing country part of the Kingdom of Denmark
- Guernsey, a crown dependency of the United Kingdom
- Isle of Man, a crown dependency of the United Kingdom (also represented internationally by the Ellan Vannin football team1)
- Jersey, a crown dependency of the United Kingdom (also represented internationally by the Parishes of Jersey football team1)
- Saint Barthélemy, an overseas collectivity of France
- Saint Helena, an overseas territory of the United Kingdom
- Saint Pierre and Miquelon, an overseas collectivity of France
- Wallis and Futuna, an overseas collectivity of France
1: National governing body is a member of ConIFA.
The following permanently inhabited dependent territories have no recorded football teams: Akrotiri and Dhekelia (Sovereign Base Areas of the United Kingdom), Norfolk Island (external territory of Australia), Pitcairn Islands (overseas territory of the United Kingdom), Svalbard (part of Norway), and Tokelau (territory of New Zealand). The disputed territories of Abyei, Azad Kashmir, and Gilgit Baltistan have also never had representative national football teams.
Separatist, subnational, and ethnic teamsEdit
For the most part, the national competitions organized by FIFA and its affiliated confederations are exclusively open to teams representing an entire nation state or dependent territory. These bodies usually do not organize competitions between teams representing subnational regions or specific ethnic groups. An exception is the UEFA Regions' Cup, an amateur tournament where teams representing subnational areas in Europe do participate. Another example is the now defunct Coupe de l'Outre-Mer, organised by the French football federation and involving overseas territories of France. During its existence, the Coupe de l'Outre-Mer included teams which are FIFA members, others who are only confederation members, and still others who are neither.
Outside the jurisdiction of FIFA and its associated confederations, a variety of other national, separatist, sub-national, ethnic, and diaspora teams have been formed; these teams often play in international tournaments against each other, and in some cases in unsanctioned friendly games against FIFA members. The Confederation of Independent Football Associations (ConIFA), was founded with the aim of regularising non-FIFA international football, by having a two-year international tournament cycle, with the ConIFA World Football Cup in even numbered years, and continental tournaments in odd-numbered years. This developed the work of the now-defunct N.F.-Board (Nouvelle Fédération-Board), founded in 2001.  ConIFA aims to help unrecognised national teams gain recognition, but also to provide a platform for representative teams of regions or diasporas, which do not have a place in a system of international football based on nation-states. In some cases, participation in non-FIFA football has been a first step for teams who later sought (and in some cases, achieved) the right to play in matches sanctioned by FIFA or one of its affiliated continental confederations. For example, the Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, and Kosovo played in non-FIFA football tournaments before participating in FIFA- and UEFA-sanctioned matches.
Former national football teamsEdit
These national teams no longer exist due to the dissolution of the nation or territory that they represented. Only national teams that were once members of FIFA are listed below.
|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.|
| West Germany
(officially Germany )
|Germany||Represented West Germany between 1950 and 1990, before reunification with East Germany. Was considered a continuation of the team that had represented the German state prior to 1942.|
| East Germany
(officially Germany )
|Germany||Represented East Germany between 1952 and 1990, before reunification with West Germany.|
|Ireland||Northern Ireland||Republic of Ireland||Represented Ireland from 1882. From 1922, when the Irish Free State (later Republic of Ireland) left the United Kingdom, until 1953, it continued to pick players from across the Island of Ireland, before becoming restricted to players solely from Northern Ireland under pressure from FIFA.|
|Malaya||Malaysia||Represented the Federation of Malaya from 1953 until its union with Sarawak, North Borneo and Singapore to form Malaysia in 1963. Singapore, which gained independence in 1965, retained its preexisting national team.|
|Tanganyika||Tanzania||Represented Tanganyika until its union with Zanzibar as Tanzania in 1964. Zanzibar is an associate member of CAF and so is not a member of FIFA.|
|Mandatory Palestine||Israel||Palestine||Represented the British Mandate for Palestine from 1934 until the formation of the State of Israel in 1948. A team representing the Palestinian territories was formed in 1953 and was admitted into FIFA in 1998.|
| South Vietnam
|Vietnam||Represented South Vietnam from 1949 until 1975. North and South Vietnam maintained separate football teams from 1954 to 1975 (see North Vietnam national football team for information on the North Vietnam team). The current Vietnam national football team is considered a successor of the South Vietnam team as North Vietnam was not a FIFA member.|
| North Yemen
(officially Yemen )
|Yemen||Represented North Yemen from 1965 until its union with South Yemen in 1990.|
| South Yemen
(officially Yemen )
|Yemen||Represented South Yemen from 1965 until 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 1940 until its dissolution in 1991. This was considered a continuation of the team that had previously represented the Russian Empire. Teams representing Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania had all been active independently prior to their incorporation into the Soviet Union in 1940.|
|Represented the Commonwealth of Independent States and Georgia from January 1992 until the end of the Euro 1992 tournament, in order to take the Soviet Union's place in that competition.|
|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, from 1992 until its dissolution into Serbia and Montenegro in 2006. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, and its national team was accepted into UEFA and FIFA in 2016.|
|Netherlands Antilles||Curaçao|| Aruba
|Aruba became a separate nation in 1986 and was recognized by FIFA in 1988. The former team 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 Bonaire and Sint Maarten are full 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 → DR Congo 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
- Curaçao → Netherlands Antilles in 1958 until 2010
- 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
- FYR Macedonia → North Macedonia in 2019
- French Somaliland → Djibouti in 1977
- French Togoland → Togo in 1960
- Gold Coast → Ghana in 1957
- Irish Free State → Ireland in 1936 → Republic of Ireland in 1954
- Ivory Coast → Côte d'Ivoire in 1983
- 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
- Nagorno Karabakh (state with limited recognition) → Artsakh in 2017
- New Hebrides → Vanuatu in 1980
- Northern Rhodesia → Zambia in 1964
- Nyasaland → Malawi in 1966
- Portuguese Guinea → Guinea-Bissau in 1975
- Russian Empire → Soviet Union in 1923
- Southern Rhodesia → Rhodesia in 1964 → Zimbabwe in 1980
- Surinam → Suriname in 1954
- Swaziland → Eswatini in 2018
- United Arab Republic → Egypt in 1971
- Upper Volta → Burkina Faso in 1984
- Western Samoa → Samoa in 1996
- Additionally 22 nations in Africa and Asia belong to the Union of Arab Football Associations (UAFA) in addition to their respective regional confederations.
- Guyana and Suriname are independent nations, and French Guiana is an overseas department of France
- The FIFA-affiliated football teams that belong to non-UN members are:
- 1 associated state of New Zealand
- 4 constituent countries of the United Kingdom
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- 1 constituent country of the Kingdom of Denmark
- 4 unincorporated territories of the United States
- 2 overseas territories of France
- 2 special administrative regions of China
- Brown, Michael. "Biggest Global Sports". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- These are displayed in the main list in italics.
- "Members". CONIFA. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
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- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 June 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter
|deadurl=(help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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- "Tournaments (Russian)". www.ffpmr.md/. 27 March 2018. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
- "Members". CONIFA. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
- "Transnistria". CONIFA. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
- "FIFA Statutes" (PDF). FIFA. p. 4. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
- "FIFA Statutes" (PDF). FIFA. p. 11. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
- Homewood, Brian. "Gibraltar, Kosovo accepted as members of FIFA". Reuters. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
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- "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.
- "(West) Germany - International Results". Rsssf. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
- Byrne, Peter (1996). Football Association of Ireland: 75 years. Dublin: Sportsworld. p. 68. ISBN 1-900110-06-7.
- "List of FIFA Associations". FIFA.