The Indonesia national football team was founded in 1930, some 15 years before the country gained independence. The team joined FIFA in 1952 and the Asian Football Confederation in 1954. Until 1945 the team competed as the Dutch East Indies national football team.
Although games played before Indonesia’s independence are not recognised by the country’s football association, the Dutch East Indies had a remarkable early history. The team was the first from Asia to play at a world cup after qualifying for the 1938 tournament.
Despite never returning to the biggest stage, independent Indonesia has a good record in Asian football. This was put at risk by difficulties with FIFA in the years between 1958 and 1974. The new team entered the world cup in time for the 1958 competition and beat China in the opening qualifying game. The team refused to play the next match against Israel for political reasons and was banned from the world cup until 1974 for various external and internal issues.
The most exciting thing to happen to Indonesia since the world cup ban came in the 1998 Tiger Cup. The last group match of the tournament saw the team face Thailand when both teams had already qualified for the semi-finals. The winner of the game would face the much fancied Vietnam whilst the loser would play the lower ranked Singapore. With the scored tied at 2-2 in extra-time, Indonesian defender Mursyid Effendi scored a deliberate own-goal, despite Thailand’s attempts to stop him. The player was given a life ban from international football. In the end, both teams lost their semi-finals and Singapore won the competition.