Barbados began their attempts to qualify for the World Cup in 1978. Their forays usually ended in lopsided defeats and early exits. After making positive strides in the qualifiers for South Africa 2010, the Brazil 2014 campaign proved a disaster for Barbados, with the side losing all six of their second-round group games. Russia 2018 qualifying almost began worse. They lost their opening preliminary leg against the US Virgin Islands at home, but the Bajans rallied to win 4-0 on the road to book a place in the second round, where they met Aruba.
They secured a win in that tie, but were ultimately disqualified after fielding an ineligible player, with Aruba progressing.
As a result of the decision taken by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee on 29 June 2015, Barbados were sanctioned for fielding an illegible player, with their second round game with Aruba was declared to be forfeited and the result awarded 3-0 in favour of Aruba.