The global soccer industry is worth billions. According to a research paper by the Business Research Company, of the $250 billion that the professional sports industry is worth, soccer has 43%. There are 250 million people, in 200 countries, who play soccer which equates to most of the world playing soccer.
However, there are some countries which don’t have a national soccer team which is affiliated with FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association). Here are some of them.
A sovereign state within the border of Italy, Vatican City, is in the centre of Rome. The Pope – who is the head of the Catholic Church – is the ex officio head of state. Although there is a soccer team, which takes part in the Vatican City Championships – against other European teams – Vatican City’s soccer team isn’t affiliated with FIFA.
Just as Vatican City is a sovereign state within Italy, Monaco is a sovereign state within the southern part of France. It’s been run by the Grimaldi family for the past couple of centuries. Monaco is famous around the world for their grand Prix and, on the soccer front, is quite active in local competitions. However, it is not part of FIFA or UEFA (Union of European Football Associations).
Moving away from Europe and into the Pacific, we find another nation which is not affiliated with FIFA. This is an island country, which is made up of 16 of smaller Gilbert islands, which is situated in the Pacific Ocean. Its national soccer team is an associated member of the Oceania Football Confederation and has participated in the Commonwealth Games.
Located in French Polynesia, which is also in the Pacific Ocean, Tuvalu has a population of 11 192, according to a census that took place in 2017. Soccer is played at club and national level and competes in the Pacific Games. Another very popular sport in this nation is kilikiti, which is similar to cricket.
Nauru is an island state in Micronesia, which is a subregion of Oceania in the Pacific. It is a country which is humid and hot throughout the year owing to its proximity to the Equator and has a little over 10 000 inhabitants. Australian rules football is the most popular sport here, with Rugby Sevens gaining in popularity.
Palau is in the western Pacific Ocean and the country contains almost 340 islands. It is part of the chain of Caroline Islands. Palau’s national football team is organised by the Palau Football Association and baseball is another very popular sport in the country.
Just because a country’s national soccer team may not be a member of a body such as FIFA or UEFA, doesn’t mean that it means less or is worth less than other teams. Soccer is a very powerful way of bringing people together and developing communities, and this is where its intrinsic value lies. We must not forget this – ever!