The Azerbaijan national football team only began attempting to qualify for world cup and European championship finals in 1996. They have entered every one since then but have never qualified. Up to when Azerbaijan gained it’s independence as a country in 1991, the golden era in football as a country included a linesman making it to the world cup final. During the Soviet era an Azerbaijan official made himself the most popular man in Wembley as he awarded England a goal in the 1966 world cup final against West Germany.
Soon after independence the Azerbaijan FA was formed in 1992 and was then awarded FIFA and UEFA membership in 1994. As I have mentioned their first qualifying campaign for a major tournament came in 1996, but due to security concerns the team played all their home games in Turkey. The Azerbaijan national football team endured years of instability following the 1996 campaign until former German international Berti Vogts was appointed as manager in 2008. He took control of that year’s European championship qualifying and was given a two year contract extension after, meaning he became the first manager of the Azerbaijan national football team to take the team through two successive qualifying campaigns. He was also given another contract extension until the end of qualifying for Brazil 2014.