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Countries Banned from the World Cup

There are many teams that have been banned from the World Cup at some stage. Here are the details of the teams and why they were banned.

Germany (1950)

The World Cup was not held in 1942 and 1946 due to World War II, and when the tournament returned in 1950, Germany (which at the time was was split into three entities, East Germany, West Germany, and Saarland) was not allowed to be involved due to their role in the second World War.  

Japan (1950)

For the same reason as Germany, the Japanese national football team was barred from the 1950 World Cup for their participation in the Second World War.

South Africa (1970 - 1990)

South Africa was banned from taking part in the World Cup due to its oppressive apartheid regime. FIFA suspended South Africa in 1961, this ban lasted until 1992.

Mexico (1990)

Mexico was banned for two years by FIFA after they fielded four players during the qualifying round of the world junior tournament who were above the age limit.

Yugoslavia (1994)

Following the break up of Yugoslavia in 1991 and the subsequent conflict, the Yugoslav national football team was suspended from international competition in 1992 as part of United Nations sanctions against the country. The team was subsequently unable to participate in the qualifiers for the 1994 World Cup.

Chile (1994)

FIFA banned Chile from the 1994 tournament after the Chilean keeper Roberto Rojas pretended to be hurt by a flare thrown by a fan during his country’s clash against Brazil in 1989. In fact, Rojas had used a hidden blade in his glove to cut himself.

Myanmar (2006)

Myanmar pulled out of a qualifying match for the 2002 World Cup which was scheduled to be played in Iran. They were fined by FIFA and also banned from the following World Cup in 2006.

Kuwait (2018)

Kuwait was banned in 2016 from international competition following government interference in the country’s local football association. The team was not able to complete their qualifying games.

Indonesia (2018)

Indonesia was banned by FIFA in 2015 due to the interference of Indonesia’s local soccer association by the government. Although the ban was lifted in 2016, it prevented the team from competing in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers

Russia (2022)

After their invasion of Ukraine, FIFA decided the Russian football team was to be banned from participating in the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

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