Mar 28, 2023 - Sports

The last country without a soccer team

marshall islands

Majuro, the capital and largest city of the Marshall Islands. Photo: Greg Vaughn/VW PICS/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The Marshall Islands is the last United Nations-recognized country in the world without a national soccer team. They're hoping to change that.

State of play: The Marshall Islands Soccer Federation, launched in 2020, has set out to grow soccer's presence on the islands and ultimately obtain FIFA recognition.

  • But this isn't just about soccer. MISF's greater purpose is to use the world's most popular sport to shine a light on climate change concerns.
  • Based on current projections, some 40% of the nation's land mass could be underwater by 2030, notes ESPN.

Context: The Marshall Islands are halfway between Australia and Hawaii and home to roughly 60,000 people spread across five islands and 30 atolls.

  • Battles were fought there during World War II, and the islands were used for U.S. nuclear weapons tests in the 1950s.
  • The islands established their own constitution in 1979 to break away from U.S. jurisdiction and became a U.N. member in 1991.
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