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:
This list excludes other teams, which generally play outside FIFA's recognition. Excluded teams include those who represent ethnic groups, sub-national entities, separatist movements, and pseudo- or micro-nations.
This section lists the current:
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:
The Union of Arab Football Associations (UAFA) organizes football tournaments between Arab League member nations. All 22 national governing bodies that form UAFA are also members of both FIFA and either the AFC or CAF (though the Palestine national team was a UAFA member for many years before being allowed to become a member of FIFA and the AFC). National teams from UAFA member countries are noted in the list below. The Arab Cup is the top championship tournament for national teams organized by UAFA.
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. ConIFA is a successor to the Nouvelle Fédération-Board (N.F.-Board), which also organized tournaments for non-FIFA member teams. While none of the current ConIFA 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. The ConIFA World Football Cup is the top tournament for ConIFA member nations.
Due to the geographical size of Asia, the AFC is subdivided into five sub-federations:
Due to the geographical size of Africa, CAF is divided into five regional federations:
The CONCACAF federation is divided into three regional federations that have responsibility for part of the region's geographical area:
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:
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 or in 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. Was previously a member of the N.F.-Board.
4: Listed as associate member of the OFC in 2002 and again in 2006. It is unclear whether Palau is still associated with the confederation.
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 participated in local friendly matches on at least two occasions.
Three states with limited international recognition and no UN membership are members of both FIFA and an affiliated confederation: the Republic of China (as Chinese Taipei), Kosovo, and Palestine. The Cook Islands is an associated state with no UN membership, but it is a member of both FIFA and the OFC. These states are all listed above.
A further eight associated, de facto, or partially recognized states with no UN membership have fielded football teams in non-FIFA football tournaments or unsanctioned friendly matches. None of these states, however, are currently members of FIFA or any of its affiliated continental confederations.
1: National governing body is currently a member of ConIFA.
2: As of April 2021, 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.
3: National governing body was formerly an associate member of the OFC (membership revoked on March 2021).
4: National governing body was previously a member of the N.F.-Board.
5: 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.
6: The Transnistria national team, while a member of ConIFA, has only played against club teams so far.
Historically, the majority of FIFA and confederation members have been sovereign states with wide diplomatic recognition. Exceptions to this rule have included the British Home Nations (due to their seminal role in the development of football), Palestine (accepted into FIFA after the creation of the Palestinian National Authority), 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, FIFA members include 23 subnational and dependent territories, as well as three states with limited international recognition.[note 3] A further nine overseas, dependent, and autonomous territories with close ties to a sovereign state do not have membership in FIFA, but are members of one of its affiliated confederations (either in a full or associate capacity).
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.
Recently, FIFA and its affiliated confederations have rejected or rescinded membership for non-sovereign territories arguing that they cannot include more than one football association from the same country. For example, CAF rescinded Zanzibar's full membership (which had been approved only months before) in 2017 on the grounds that football in Zanzibar is under the auspices of the Tanzanian federation. In 2019, FIFA used a similar argument to reject Bonaire's bid to join as a football association separate from the Netherlands, despite Bonaire being a full CONCACAF member in its own right.
Beyond this list, a variety of teams representing national, separatist, sub-national, ethnic, and diaspora groups have been formed. There are also several teams representing dependent territories who do not have their own membership of neither FIFA nor a continental federation. These teams often play in international tournaments against each other, and in some cases in unsanctioned friendly games against FIFA members (for example, teams representing specific Spanish autonomous communities play occasional friendly matches against FIFA-affiliated national teams). Some subnational and dependent territory teams with no FIFA membership participate in regional football tournaments against FIFA or UN member nations (for example, the Mayotte and Reunion teams at the Indian Ocean Island Games or individual Micronesian state teams at the Micronesian Games). UEFA organizes the UEFA Regions Cup between amateur regional teams from Europe (with some teams representing entire FIFA- and UEFA-member nations such as San Marino).
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, which also organized football tournaments between FIFA-unrecognised teams. 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. ConIFA is not the only body dedicated to organising football tournaments between non-FIFA national teams; other initiatives include the Island Games football tournament, the now-defunct Coupe de l'Outremer for French overseas territories, and the CSANF competitions between (mostly) South American regional and ethnic communities, among others.
In some cases, participation in football tournaments organized outside the purview of FIFA and its affiliated confederations has been a first step for teams who later achieved FIFA membership. For example, the team representing Arab Palestine played in tournaments such as the Arab Cup and the Pan Arab Games for decades before being admitted into FIFA and the AFC. The Faroe Islands national team played in the Island Games football tournament before being admitted into FIFA and UEFA, while the Kosovo national team played in some tournaments for unrepresented teams before joining those same organizations. Gibraltar played in a variety of tournaments against both FIFA- and non-FIFA representative teams before joining FIFA and UEFA.
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 Federal Republic of 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 German Democratic Republic)
|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 (1961-1964)||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, after which its place in FIFA was given to the Israel national football team. 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 Arab Republic)
|Yemen||Represented North Yemen from 1965 until its union with South Yemen in 1990.|
| South Yemen
(officially People's Democratic Republic of 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)
|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 was given the Netherlands Antilles' place in FIFA and CONCACAF. The teams representing the former Netherlands Antilles territories of Bonaire and Sint Maarten are full members of CONCACAF, but not of FIFA. Two other former Netherlands Antilles territories (Saba and Sint Eustatius) have fielded national teams in unofficial friendly matches in the past, but neither has membership of FIFA or a continental federation.|
In addition to the above, other nations have been renamed: