Tunisia National Football Team
Few teams have had as much success on the African continent as the Tunisia National football team over the years. The sport goes back a long way in the country, and although the team’s success is yet to translate onto the World Cup stage regularly, the team is constantly improving.
Want to see how The Tunisia National Football Team will do in the Qatar 2022 World Cup? Click the links below to bet on your favourite World Cup matches!
Tuesday November 22 – Denmark vs Tunisia (Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan; kick-off 2pm).
Saturday November 26 – Tunisia vs Australia (Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah; kick-off 11am).
Wednesday November 30 – Tunisia vs France (Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan; kick-off 4pm).
Tunisia National Football Pre-independence
As a French colony in the early 20th century, Tunisia failed to establish its own official football team. However, an unofficial one started playing all the way back in 1928. It was primarily made up of players selected from the Tunisian domestic division. Most of their games at this time were either against other French colonies or weaker France sides.
Making It Official
The unofficial Tunisia National Football team’s last match came two days before the country gained its independence.
Once Tunisia gained independence after World War II, the officials wasted no time in setting up the needed structures. As a result, the Tunisian Football Federation (FTF) was officially founded in 1957, but much continuity was kept with the unofficial team from earlier years.
The same year the FTF joined FIFA and, three years later, the Confederation of African Football. That year the team played its first unofficial game against Algeria, and its first official game, a 4-3 victory against Libya in the Pan-Arab games.
Despite being the year of Tunisia’s first tournament, they managed to make it to the final, where they lost to Syria 3-1. In 1960 the team played in the first truly international tournament at the 1960 Summer Olympics. While the results weren’t anything to write home about, the country had rapidly integrated itself into international football.
The Golden Generation
Tunisians generally regard the 1960s and 70s as producing some of the best footballing talent the country has ever seen. The first indicator of the ability on show was the 1963 Arab Cup victory, which marked Tunisia’s first official trophy. Then, in 1973, the team won the now-defunct Palestine Cup of Nations, sweeping aside all before them.
During this era, the Tunisia National Football team also started qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations more regularly and, in 1978, even earned their first World Cup spot, although that campaign was ultimately unsuccessful.
The Long Decline
That 1978 World Cup experience proved to be a final positive until the mid-1990s. The team faltered in the Africa Cup of Nations qualification campaigns, and looked even more out of their depth competing for a World Cup spot.
Rising Again and Lighting Up The 21st-Century
In the 1990s, the team halted its decline and started looking more competitive in the Africa Cup of Nations again. By the 2000s, they were in full swing and, in 2004, took home their first-ever Africa Cup of Nations trophy. They also qualified for the World Cup in 2002 and 2006.
The 2010s didn’t see such impressive results, but the team has still maintained impressive FIFA world rankings, reaching 14th in 2018. As such, they go into the 2022 World Cup in Qatar as one of Africa’s best teams.
Tunisia National Football Trivia
- Tunisia’s record win is shared between four different matches. They beat Djibouti, Malawi, Togo, and the Republic of China by seven-goal margins at various stages in their history.
- The team has never succeeded in qualifying from the group stage of either the World Cup or the Olympics. It hopes to do so for the first time in Qatar in 2022.