Founded in 1939, the Macau national football team did not affiliate with the Asian Football Confederation until 1976. Association with FIFA followed in 1978.
A strange entity in world football, Macau was a dependent territory of Portugal until 1999. The small nation was then handed over to the Peoples’ Republic of China but continued to represent itself in international competitions. China’s One Country, Two Systems rule allows teams like Macau to play in international matches whilst being part of the nation. Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei enjoy the same freedom.
Football is the most popular sport in Macau. Rink hockey also has a large following, a product of Portuguese rule. Macau’s rink hockey team is one of the best in Asia. Lesser sports in the country include car and motorbike racing.
The football team has the dubious honour of losing by a record 10 goals to the same team twice. Macau lost 10-0 to Japan in both March and June 1997.
Macau first attempted to qualify for the 1982 world cup. Despite several attempts the team has never progressed to the tournament proper.