A member of FIFA since 1988, the Faroe Islands competed in their first FIFA World Cup™ qualifying tournament ahead of USA 1994. With a population of just 50,000, they were one of the smallest nations to take part in the European qualifiers and registered ten losses in ten matches, with a minus-37 goal difference.
Four years later the Islanders enjoyed a small taste of success when they defeated Malta in both legs and clambered into the penultimate slot in their group, a feat they repeated in the qualifying rounds of the 2002 FIFA World Cup. As well as beating Luxembourg twice, they captivated spectators with a 2-2 draw against Slovenia, who eventually qualified for the finals.
There followed the Faroes' most impressive result to date, a 2-2 draw with Scotland in qualifying for UEFA EURO 2004, this in a campaign which also saw them give the Germans an almighty scare before the three-times world champions emerged with a narrow 2-1 win. Hopes were high of a further improved showing in qualifying for Germany 2006, but the Faroes were left disappointed at the end of a campaign in which they claimed just a single point, in a 2-2 draw away to Cyprus. Preliminaries for EURO 2008 have proved even more demoralising, with the team from the Norwegian sea yet to register a point, albeit in an admittedly imposing section boasting France, Italy, Scotland and Ukraine. As a result, little will be expected of these traditional minnows in qualifying for South Africa 2010.