This is a list of the men's national association football teams in the world.
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. National teams who are members (full or associate) of their confederation, but do not have membership of FIFA, are able to compete in confederation championships, but their matches are not full internationals.
The six confederations are:
*The AFC operates a second international tournament, the AFC Challenge Cup. This is for those national teams that are classed as emerging nations by the AFC. Winners of the Challenge Cup receive an automatic spot at the next Asian Cup
**The CAF operates a second international tournament, The African Nations Championship (sometimes referred to as African Championship of Nations or CHAN) which is played between the best national teams of Africa, exclusively featuring players who are active in the national championships and qualified to play in the ongoing season. Expatriate players, regardless of where they play, even in Africa, may not qualify to take part in the African Championship of Nations. 
The current holders of the World Cup are marked by a ♠. The current holders of each confederation's championship are marked by a ♣.
Due to the geographical size of Asia, the AFC is subdivided into four sub-federations:
1: Formerly member of OFC (1966–2006)
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); Formerly member of OFC (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: Official names used by FIFA and AFC for Democratic People's Republic of Korea (a) and Republic of Korea (b)
7: Associate member of AFC but not FIFA member
8: 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:
The CONCACAF federation is divided into three regional federations that have responsibility for part of the region's geographical area:
1: Geographically considered as part of North America, but member of the CFU
2: Associate member of CONCACAF but not FIFA member
3: Geographically part of South America, but member of CONCACAF and CFU
4: Full member of CONCACAF but not FIFA member
1: Official name used by FIFA and UEFA for Bosnia and Herzegovina
2: Provisional member of UEFA but not FIFA member
3: Formerly member of AFC (1954–1974); Joined UEFA in 1994
4: Formerly member of AFC (1992–2002)
5: Official name used by FIFA and UEFA for Republic of Macedonia
6: Official name used by FIFA and UEFA for Ireland
These national football teams are affiliated to neither FIFA, nor a continental confederation. The teams are not eligible to enter the FIFA World Cup or their continental confederation championships. Teams who are affiliated with FIFA may not compete against these sides without FIFA's prior permission.
This section lists:
It also discusses the status of football in other fully or limited recognized sovereign states which have never had active national football teams.
The football teams that represent the following sovereign states are not members of FIFA or their local confederation:
1. Member of the FIFA Small Nations Working Group
2. The football federation of Monaco was one of the founder members of the NF-Board in 2001, but resigned from the organization in 2010
3. There has never been a "United Kingdom national football team" participating in recognized internationals, although three friendly matches have been played under this name. A team representing the entire United Kingdom has only ever competed in the Olympic Games (most recently in the 2012 Games) under the name "Great Britain"; 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 recorded national association football team.
Two states with limited international recognition are full members of FIFA and are listed above: Palestine and the Republic of China, the latter under the name "Chinese Taipei" due to the objections of the government of the People's Republic of China. Three further states with limited international recognition have active teams which are not currently affiliated with FIFA or their local confederation.
Both Kosovo and Northern Cyprus were members of FIFA's recent unaffiliated nations working group, though the activities of this are currently suspended. The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic team had played just one game between 1988 and 2011, but has since been more active. Although matches against these teams are unofficial, FIFA confirmed in May 2012 that members would be permitted to play friendlies against Kosovo without sanction.
The three states with limited international recognition in the Caucasus - Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh and South Ossetia - have made limited steps towards forming national teams. To date, Abkazhia and Nagorno-Karabakh have only competed in matches against each other, with the first of these taking place in September 2012. South Ossetia has sent representative teams for 'mini-football' matches, but has not competed in a full game. These sides remain unrecognized by FIFA.
The state of Transnistria, which only has recognition from other states with limited international recognition, has no national football team. The Moldova national team still regularly plays in Transnistria and the side contains a large number of Transnistrian players.
FIFA's entry criteria state that:
Any association which is responsible for organising and supervising football in its country may become a member of FIFA. In this context, the expression 'country' shall refer to an independent state recognised by the international community.
The main condition for joining FIFA is thus general international recognition as a nation state and membership of the UN. However, this rule is not applied retroactively, and 24 of FIFA's members are not internationally recognised sovereign nations.
Non-sovereign associations may still join FIFA in specific circumstances. In particular, an exception is made for associations representing a dependency, which may apply for membership if authorised by the association in its parent state. Most recently, this was allowed for New Caledonia in 2004; this was on the grounds of the distance of New Caledonia from its 'parent' nation, France. By contrast, both Zanzibar and Gibraltar – who would compete in the same confederation as their parent state – have had their application to join FIFA rejected, though in 2011, the Court of Arbitration for Sport issued a ruling on the issue of Gibraltar's potential membership of UEFA, stating that it "must do everything in its power to allow Gibraltar entry into the organisation by June 2012". UEFA's Executive Committee admitted Gibraltar as a provisional member as of the 1 October 2012, pending a vote at its Congress in May 2013 to make it a full member, allowing the possibility of its admission to FIFA.
A variety of other national, separatist, sub-national and pseudo-national teams compete in football matches outside of FIFA's jurisdiction. In 2001, the N.F.-Board (Nouvelle Fédération-Board), was founded to promote international football among sovereign nations, unrecognised nations, regions and stateless peoples that are not members of FIFA, and to assist in their possible future membership of FIFA. However, the NF board does not maintain a full list of its members. Twenty five different organisations were listed in their April 2010 rankings, a further two were not listed but participated in the 2010 VIVA World Cup, whilst five more are listed as part of the "Consejo Sudamericano de Nuevas Federaciones", which is the South American confederation of NF-Board.
The nature of these other teams is heterogeneous: whilst some such as Catalonia, Galicia or Tibet play semi-regularly, often against FIFA member nations, others are much less active. For a full list of teams that have been documented, see the list of non-national representative teams in men's football.
These national teams no longer exist due to the dissolution of the nation or territory that they represented.
|Preceding team||Successor team(s)
|Other successor team(s)||Notes|
|Czechoslovakia|| Czech Republic
|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||Germany||Represented the Federal Republic of Germany from 1950 till 1990, before reunification with East Germany. Was considered a continuation of the team which had represented Germany between 1908 and 1942.|
|East Germany||Germany||Represented East Germany between 1952 and 1990, before reunification with West Germany.|
|Ireland||Northern Ireland||Republic of 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.|
|Malaya||Malaysia||Represented the Federation of Malaya until its union with Sarawak, North Borneo and Singapore to form Malaysia in 1963. Singapore had a separate national team from 1953 and gained independence in 1965.|
|Tanganyika||Tanzania||Zanzibar||Represented Tanganyika until its union with Zanzibar as Tanzania in 1964. Zanzibar is an associate member of CAF.|
|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|
|Netherlands Antilles||Curaçao||Sint Maarten||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 team representing Sint Maarten is a full member of CONCACAF, but not of FIFA.|
In addition to the above, other nations have been renamed:
1: Still commonly called Ivory Coast in English-speaking countries
1. Unincorporated unorganized territory of the United States
2. British overseas territory
3. Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
4. Sovereign state with limited international recognition
5. State in free association with New Zealand
6. Constituent country of the United Kingdom
7. Constituent country of the Kingdom of Denmark
8. Unincorporated organized territory of the United States
9. Special administrative region of China
10. Overseas collectivity of France
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