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Current FIFA affiliates
There are currently 208 men's national football teams affiliated to the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the world's football governing body, through their national football associations. They 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.
Each of these national teams is also affiliated to one of the six confederations, according to their continental zones:
- Asia - Asian Football Confederation (AFC)
- Africa - Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF)
- 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)
In addition, 22 Arab nations in Africa and Asia belong to the Union of Arab Football Associations (UAFA) in addition to their own regional confederation.
Below is a list of the national football teams by their confederations. Some national teams are full members of their confederation, but do not have membership of FIFA; these are listed with a note explaining this. There are also notes of teams who have left one confederation to join another.
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. The WAFF has six members, but the AFC groups those non members into a single geographical region.
- East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) - represents nations generally agreed to constitute the "far east".
- Central and South Asian Football Federation (CESAFA) - represents nations in central Asia and the Indian subcontinent.
- ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) - represents nations from Southeast Asia, plus Australia
- South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) - represents nations from South Asia
1: Formerly member of OFC (joined AFC in 2006)
2: 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); OFC member 1975-1989
5: Official names used by FIFA and AFC; official names used by EAFF are "Hong Kong, China" (a) and "Macau, China" (b)
6: Iran is member of two sub-federations (WAFF and CESAFA)
7: Official names used by FIFA and AFC for Democratic People's Republic of Korea (a) and Republic of Korea (b)
Due to the geographical size of Africa, CAF is divided into six regional federations:
- Council of East and Central African Football Associations (CECACAF) - represents nations generally regarded as forming the regions of East Africa and some nations of Central Africa.
- Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) - represents nations generally regarded as forming Southern Africa, as well as island states off the coast of Southern Africa.
- Union of West African Football Associations (WAFU) - one of two bodies that represent 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.
- Union du Football de l'Ouest Afrique - one of two bodies that represent nations in West Africa.
1: Member of UAFA
2: Official name used by FIFA and CAF for Democratic Republic of Congo
CONCACAF (North and Central America and Caribbean)
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
- North American Football Union (NAFU) - represents the three sovereign nations of North America
- Union Centroamericana de Fútbol (UNCAF) - represents the seven nations of Central America
1: Geographically considered as part of North America, but member of the CFU
2: Geographically part of South America, but member of CONCACAF (CFU)
4: Official name used by FIFA and CONCACAF for United States of America
CONMEBOL (South America)
1: Official name used by FIFA and OFC for French Polynesia
1: Official name used by FIFA and UEFA for Ireland
2: Formerly member of AFC (AFC 1954-1974; Joined UEFA in 1994)
3: Formerly member of AFC (Joined UEFA in 2002).
4: Official name used by FIFA and UEFA for Republic of Macedonia
NB: Gibraltar was a provisional member of UEFA between 8 December 2006 and 26 January 2007 until the GFA had its application for full membership rejected.
Teams not affiliated to FIFA
These national teams are not affiliated to FIFA. Because their national associations are not FIFA members, they are ineligible to enter the FIFA World Cup, and their matches are not recognized as official.
FIFA Confederation members
These following teams have membership of their local confederations, but are not members of FIFA. The CONCACAF members are full members of their confederation; the other nations are all associate members of their confederation.
CONCACAF (North and Central America and Caribbean)
The "Consejo Sudamericano de Nuevas Federaciones" is the South American confederation of NF-Board.
International Football Union
The IFU is an organisation formed with the intention of giving opportunities for national teams and teams of recognised autonomous areas that aren't members of FIFA to play international football. As of October 2009, two national teams have joined the organisation as provisional members.
Currently unaffiliated sovereign nations
The football teams that represent the following sovereign nations are not members of FIFA, the NF-Board, or their local confederation:
1. The Republic of Kosovo was unilaterally declared in February 2008. As of 2010-01-12, 65 countries have formally recognised Kosovan independence
2. The United Kingdom national football team has only ever competed in the Olympic Games (most recently in qualification for the 1972 Games) and in three friendly matches; otherwise, the UK is represented by separate teams for each of its constituent countries.
The Marshall Islands are the only sovereign nation state which has no national football team with any records.
Former national football teams
These national teams no longer exist due to the dissolution of the nation or territory that they represented. Note that this does not cover all changes to national teams - Croatia, for example, is an example of a team that played, was incorporated into another national team, and then reformed when the country regained independence.
|Team||Successor teams inheriting team's results||Other successor teams||Notes|
|Czechoslovakia|| Czech Republic|
|Represented Czechoslovakia until its dissolution into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993|
|Saar||West Germany||Represented the Saarland Protectorate from 1950 to 1956 before its absorption into the Federal Republic of Germany|
|West Germany||Germany||Represented the Federal Republic of Germany from 1950 till 1990, before it absorbed East Germany. Was considered a continuation of the team which had represented the German state between 1908 and 1942.|
|East Germany||Germany||Represented East Germany between 1952 and 1990, before that nations absorption into a united Germany.|
|Republic of Ireland||Northern Ireland||Republic Ireland||Represented Ireland until the secession of the Irish Free State from the United Kingdom in 1922. The team continued to be known as Ireland, selecting some players from the Irish Free State, later the Republic of Ireland, until 1953 when it was renamed Northern Ireland to reflect its geographic mandate.|
|North Vietnam||Vietnam||Represented North Vietnam from 1949 till its union with South Vietnam in 1975.|
|South Vietnam||Vietnam||Represented South Vietnam from 1949 till its union with North Vietnam in 1975.|
|North Yemen||Yemen||Represented North Yemen from 1965 till its union with South Yemen in 1990.|
|South Yemen||Yemen||Represented South Yemen from 1965 till 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 1924 until its dissolution in 1991. This was considered a continuation of the team that had previously represented the Russian Empire.|
|Represented the Commonwealth of Independent States and Georgia in 1992 until the creation of separate national teams for its constituent nations.|
|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, between 1992 and 2006 when it was split into Serbia and Montenegro|
In addition to the unification or dissolution of nations, other nations have been renamed without changing their borders:
- Belgian Congo → Congo-Leopoldville in 1960 → Congo-Kinshasa in 1963 → Zaire in 1971 → DR Congo in 1997
- Czechoslovakia (1918-1939) → Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia in 1939 → Czechoslovakia in 1945
- British Gambia → Gambia in 1965
- British Guiana → Guyana in 1966
- Burma → Myanmar in 1989
- Sri Lanka → Sri Lanka in 1972
- Middle Congo → Congo-Brazzaville in 1960→ Congo in 1992
- Dahomey → Benin in 1975
- Dutch East Indies → Indonesia in 1949
- Dutch Guiana → Suriname in 1975
- French Somaliland → Djibouti in 1977
- French Togoland → Togo in 1960
- Gold Coast → Ghana in 1957
- Irish Free State→ Republic Ireland in 1937
- Ivory Coast → Ivory Coast in 1983
- Khmer Republic → Kampuchea in 1975→ Cambodia in 1979
- Madagascar → Malagasy Republic in 1958→ Madagascar in 1975
- Malaya → Malaysia in 1963
- New Hebrides → Vanuatu in 1980
- Northern Rhodesia → Zambia in 1964
- Nyasaland → Malawi in 1966
- Palestine/Eretz Israel → Israel in 1948
- Portuguese Guinea → Guinea-Bissau in 1975
- Southern Rhodesia → Rhodesia in 1964→ Zimbabwe in 1980
- Tanganyika → Tanzania in 1964
- Russia → Soviet Union in 1917.
- United Arab Republic → Egypt in 1972
- Upper Volta → Burkina Faso in 1984
- Western Samoa → Samoa in 1996