Fixtures

AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers 09/05 12:00 14 Sri Lanka vs Cambodia - View
AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers 09/10 12:00 14 Cambodia vs Sri Lanka - View

Results

International Match 06/11 12:15 - Brunei v Sri Lanka L 1-0
International Match 03/25 15:15 - Sri Lanka v Bhutan W 2-0
International Match 03/22 15:15 - Sri Lanka v Papua New Guinea D 0-0
Asia - World Cup Qualifying 10/17 09:30 14 Sri Lanka v Yemen D 1-1
Asia - World Cup Qualifying 10/12 17:00 14 Yemen v Sri Lanka L 3-0
AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers 06/14 12:00 3 [4] Maldives v Sri Lanka [3] L 1-0
AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers 06/11 12:00 2 [3] Sri Lanka v Thailand [1] L 0-2
AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers 06/08 15:30 1 [2] Uzbekistan v Sri Lanka [2] L 3-0
South Asian Championship 10/10 11:00 1 [3] Maldives v Sri Lanka [5] L 1-0
South Asian Championship 10/07 11:00 1 [3] India v Sri Lanka [5] D 0-0
South Asian Championship 10/04 16:00 1 [4] Sri Lanka v Nepal [2] L 2-3
South Asian Championship 10/01 11:00 1 Sri Lanka v Bangladesh L 0-1

Stats

 TotalHomeAway
Matches played 5 3 2
Wins 1 1 0
Draws 2 2 0
Losses 2 0 2
Goals for 3 3 0
Goals against 5 1 4
Clean sheets 2 2 0
Failed to score 3 1 2

The Sri Lanka national football team (Sinhala: ශ්‍රී ලංකා පාපන්දු කණ්ඩායම Shri Lanka Papandu Kandayama, Tamil: இலங்கை தேசிய கால்பந்து அணி Ilaṅkai Tēciya Kālpantu Aṇi) represents Sri Lanka in Association football and is administered by Football Federation of Sri Lanka, the governing body of football in Sri Lanka. They have been a member of FIFA since 1952 and a member of AFC since 1954. Sri Lanka's home stadium is the Sugathadasa Stadium in Colombo. The Sri Lankan team was known as the Ceylon national football team until 1972 when Ceylon was renamed Sri Lanka.

A member of the AFC, the team has yet to make their first appearance in FIFA World Cup or AFC Asian Cup finals. They have been South Asian champions once, in 1995. As is true elsewhere on the sub-continent, top-level football in Sri Lanka stands somewhat in the shadow of the country's Cricket team. However, the side did reach the second qualification stage for the 2006 World Cup. In the same year, they became the runners-up in the 2006 Challenge Cup.

In 2014, at the 75th anniversary of FFSL, FIFA President Sepp Blatter visited Sri Lanka and opened a new football stadium in Jaffna. During the visit, Blatter said he was not pleased with the development of Football in Sri Lanka and that the authorities haven't taken enough steps to support football on the island. The AFC President Sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa also joined the visit.

In the qualification round of the 2018 World Cup, Sri Lanka lost both matches against Bhutan and failed to qualify for the next round. However, Sri Lanka national football team had managed to qualify for the semi-finals of the 2015 SAFF Championship.

History

Early history (1890s–2014)

Football was introduced to Sri Lanka (then called Ceylon) by the British. There is evidence of it being played in Galle Face, a sandy area near the coast, by British servicemen stationed in Colombo in the 1890s. The game was also played at grounds of the barracks at Echelon Barracks and the army grounds (presently the Taj Samudra Hotels).

British servicemen of the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, Royal Engineers, Royal Artillery and the Royal Garrison Command began and promoted competitive football in Ceylon. The British administrative service and the planting community enthusiastically took it to the Central, Southern, and Up-Country regions. By early 1900 competitive football was popular with the local youth.

The game became popular and local football clubs were formed. St. Michael's SC, Havelock's Football Club, Java Lane SC, Wekande SC, Moors FC, and CH & FC, the last being a European monopoly, were some of the first clubs in Columbo. Harlequins FC and Saunders SC soon joined. The trophies of the early tournaments were the De Mel Shield and the Times of Ceylon Cup.

Football also became popular in the country's Southern Provence, where the planting and administrative community promoted the game. British planter T R. Brough in Deniyaya heavily promoted football in the south between 1910 and 1920, and British servicemen from the Navy wireless station in Matara also helped popularise it.

In 1952, Ceylon became a member of FIFA and gained the opportunity to play football at the international level. The country's first international game was played against India in the 1952 Colombo Cup, organized by The Ceylon Football Association.

On 24 October 1953, Tom Ossen, a product of Dharmaraja College, scored the country's first official international goal against Burma at the 1953 Colombo Cup. The game ended in a 2–3 defeat, with T. J. Azeez netting Ceylon's second goal.

Renaissance of Sri Lanka football (2015–2019)

In 2015, Sri Lanka played for the first time in the Bangabandhu Cup. This tournament was organised by Bangladesh Football Federation. The national U-23 teams of Thailand, Bahrain, Malaysia and Singapore participated in this tournament. The national football teams of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka also competed in this tournament.

Sri Lanka was placed in the group with Malaysia and Bangladesh. In the first game Sri Lanka played against the Malaysian team. Malaysia won the match by 2–0. The second match was played against the host Bangladesh. Sri Lanka lost the game 1–0. Sri Lanka failed to score a goal in this tournament. After a six years of poor performance in the international football field Sri Lanka football team managed to qualify for the Semi Final of 2015 SAFF Championship. The poor performance continued in the Solidarity Cup as well. They had another shock defeat this time by the hands of Mongolia the lowest ranked team in Asia. As a result of this defeat Sri Lanka eliminated in the group stage of the tournament.

In July 2018, Sri Lanka welcomed a historical encounter when they faced Lithuania, marked for the first time Sri Lanka will face a European team. The Sri Lankans managed a respectable 0–0 draw to the UEFA side but lost 0–2 in the second encounter. During 2022 World Cup campaign however, Sri Lanka suffered another poor performance as the team fell 0–1 in Zhuhai to Macau. Macau was subsequently disqualified, as the team refused to travel to Sri Lanka in the aftermath of 2019 Sri Lanka Easter bombings, Sri Lanka was awarded a 3–0 win in response, thus qualified to the second round of the World Cup for the first time since 2006 campaign.

Amir Alagic era (2020–2022)

In the second round, Sri Lanka was unlucky to be drawn with four 2019 AFC Asian Cup participants, South Korea, North Korea, Lebanon and Turkmenistan. As predicted, Sri Lanka proved too weak for the group, losing all matches without scoring a single goal as for the end of 2019, and was eliminated from World Cup contention. Sri Lanka had improved since then, and participated in the 2020 Bangabandhu Cup, but the team still finished bottom with two defeats and no goal.

In February 2020, the Football Federation of Sri Lanka announced the appointment of Bosnian-Australian specialist Amir Alagić as head coach of the national team. Sri Lanka then travelled to South Korea to finish their two remaining games against Lebanon and South Korea, losing both, yet optimism rose when Sri Lanka demonstrated an outstanding performance against Lebanon, scoring two goals and only lost by one goal margin, which was also the country's first-ever goals in the qualification. Alagić resigned as coach of Sri Lanka after the qualification, as Sri Lanka, rated as the weakest team in the group, were eliminated without scoring a point. He was replaced by Scottish manager, Andy Morrison.

FIFA suspension and Participation in FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifying (2023)

On 22 January 2023, FIFA announced the suspension of the FFSL from 21 January 2023 until further notice due to the government interference in football, but was provisionally included in the draw, pending a resolution. Therefore, all teams/clubs affiliated with the FFSL are no longer entitled to take part in international competitions. However, after the issue was settled, the ban was lifted allowing Sri Lanka to take part in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification under a strict condition: FFSL must conduct a new election ten days before the fixture against Yemen; failure to do so would result in automatic disqualification of the team. The suspension was lifted on 29 August 2023.

Sri Lanka then participated in the first round of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification facing against Yemen on 12 October 2023 but lost 3–0 in the process.

The Sri Lanka national soccer team, commonly known as "Sri Lanka," represents the island nation of Sri Lanka in international soccer competitions. The team is governed by the Football Federation of Sri Lanka and has a rich history in the sport.

The team's colors are blue and yellow, and they are known for their passionate and dedicated players who always give their best on the field. The team has had some notable successes in regional competitions and has a growing fan base both in Sri Lanka and around the world.

Sri Lanka's soccer team has faced challenges in the past, but they continue to work hard to improve and compete at a high level. With a strong sense of national pride and determination, the Sri Lanka soccer team is always a force to be reckoned with on the international stage.