After the game was introduced by Italian colonialists in 1930, football in Eritrea
enjoyed its heyday during the 1970s, when around 155 teams took part in the national championship, which comprised three divisions and a youth competition. Eritrea
has always had talented footballers and it is little wonder that in 1962, with the nation under Ethiopian control, 90% of the players in the Ethiopian squad that won the 3rd African Cup of Nations were of Eritrean origin. Following its independence in 1991, Eritrea
immediately joined the regional and continental confederations. Each Eritrean national is obliged to carry out military service until the age of 40. In April 2002, the Eritrean military team won the football competition at the African Military Games in Nairobi (Kenya) and went on to represent Africa in the Military World Games in September 2003. Between 1994 and 2000, ten youth teams (boys' and girls' teams at U-11 and U-16 level) took part in the World Youth Games in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Austria, winning a total of 24 trophies.