The Kiribati national football team was founded in 1980. The team is not a member of FIFA so cannot compete in the world cup. Kiribati is a member of the Oceania Football Confederation and can enter the Nations Cup.
The team is also a member of the New Federation Board, an association that represents teams not affiliated to FIFA.
The island nation of Kiribati comprises thirty-two atolls and one island. It lies on the equator and borders the international date line. With a population of over 100,000 it has more people to pick from than some of its neighbours but fares much worse.
As a team on the outskirts of world football, Kiribati has played a few international matches. Only seven official games have been recorded by the team. Kiribati has never won an international match.
All of Kiribati’s games have come at the South Pacific Games. In 1979, the team played three times in the competition. They were beaten heavily twice, 13-0 by Papua New Guinea and 24-0 by Fiji.
By 2003, the team became more professional and entered a full international line-up and not a club side as they had before. Kiribati played four games, losing 3-2 to Tuvalu, 7-0 to Solomon Islands, 12-0 to Fiji and 18-0 to Vanuatu.
The team is some way off gaining FIFA recognition. There are better teams who have yet to gain recognition and who play far more games that Kiribati. If the team is to improve it must play outside the South Pacific Games.