Aug
15
2008
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Solitary Appearances

The record books abound with interesting facts. Did you know, for example, that the Olympic Football Tournament is the only FIFA tournament in which some associations have participated? This list does not include China, of course, who made their international debut at the 1936 Olympics. However, the Baltic trio of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania took part in 1924 but have been unable to qualify for a FIFA competition since regaining independence in 1990-1991. And whereas India took part in all the Olympic Football Tournaments between 1948 and 1960, the Netherlands Antilles and Afghanistan only participated in 1952, and Indonesia’s solitary appearance came in 1956. Venezuela meanwhile, have no other FIFA merits to add to Olympic qualification in 1980. In Passau, FR Germany in 1972, there was even an encounter between two associations for whom that year’s games constitute their only participation in a final tournament. Burma (now Myanmar) defeated Sudan 2-0 and were knocked out of the tournament following 1-0 defeats against favourites the Soviet Union and Mexico, albeit with an equal goal difference. Luxembourg, on the other hand, have taken part in a dozen Olympic Football Tournaments but no team from the grand duchy has appeared in a FIFA final tournament since 1952.