Time to wake up team Singapore? 5 smaller nations that made headlines for World Cup

Singapore never received a chance to play under FIFA banner.

FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup Reuters

Singapore, the south-east Asian country has its own glamour and priority in the field of sports. The country which has less than a six million population could be recalled by the name of the Olympian Joseph Isaac Schooling or Singapore Grand Prix. But still, there is no ring-a-bell when it comes to playing under the FIFA banner despite football being the most popular sport in the world.

Meanwhile, there are a few smaller countries than Singapore who have already made their mark in the history of FIFA World Cup with their remarkable performances.

Currently ranked 162 in FIFA world ranking list, the national football team of Singapore had the highest ranking of 75 in 1993. The national team has featured in 1954, 1958, 1966 and 1990 Asian Games and regional tournaments such as AFF Championship and Southeast Asian Games. But, it never received a chance to play under FIFA banner.

However, since 1974 the national team of Singapore has participated in every FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign in Asia. They still need to push their limits hard to reach the desired destination. When the entire world is busy celebrating the madness of 2017 FIFA Under 17 World Cup, IBTimes Singapore brings you the list of countries, smaller than Singapore who lived their World Cup dream once and some of them are about to do so.


Ranked 22 in the current FIFA ranking list, Iceland became the smallest country in the World Cup history to qualify for 'Road to Russia 2018'. They defeated Kosovo by 2-0 on 10 October in Reykjavik. The nation with about 335,000 population, will be playing their first ever World Cup match in 2018 Russian World Cup. They had already stunned the world with their outstanding appearance and Viking thunder-clap during 2016 EURO.


Another small country from CONCACAF, Panama has qualified for 2018 FIFA World Cup. Their victory over Costa Rica by 2-1 sealed their position in the Russia World Cup. The team, currently standing on the 60th rank, is ready to play their first ever World Cup. The country that has about 4.034 million population, became the third team to join Mexico and Costa Rica on the qualifying list.

Costa Rica

Almost with a total of 4.857 million population, Costa Rica made its way to Russia to play 2018 World Cup after receiving the second place with 16 points in 10 matches. The 2014 World Cup quarter-finalist first featured in 1990 World Cup. Since then, 'Road to Russia 2018' will be their fifth appearance.

Trinidad and Tobago

The Caribbean team will not be seen in Russia for the upcoming World Cup but after defeating the US team in the qualifying match on 10 October, Tuesday, Trinidad and Tobago demolished US's World Cup dream. Although the match only affected T&T's all over points, the significance is quite bigger as they beat one of the toughest contestants in from the group. They are currently ranked 99 in the FIFA world ranking list. In 2006, T&T first appeared as an independent nation in a World Cup tournament in Germany.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland, which is a part of the United Kingdom, is a country with almost 1.811 million. Despite the fact that it is one of the smallest countries, Northern Ireland made its World Cup debut in 1958 in Sweden. Although France dominated them in the quarter-final match, their appearance made the country proud.