Qualification history
With cricket the nation's dominant sport, football in Sri Lanka often takes a back seat. They may have emerged the regional victors in the 1995 SAFF (South Asian Football Federation) Championship, but Sri Lanka's record at the continental level is far from satisfying. The south Asians have yet to reach the AFC Asian Cup finals and have never progressed beyond the first qualifying stage for the FIFA World Cup™ since 1994. Under Nikola Kavazovic, they entered Asia's opening round against Bhutan for Russia 2018 seeking redemption. Despite their status as the strongly favoured side, however, they lost both home and away to crash out 3-1 on aggregate in inexplicable fashion.