Fifa World Cup “SOUTH AFRICA 2010” Qualifying

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The Faroe Islands national football team (Faroese: Føroyska fótbóltsmanslandsliðið), represents the Faroe Islands in association football and is controlled by the Faroe Islands Football Association. The Faroe Islands became a member of FIFA in 1988 and UEFA in 1990 and is the fourth smallest UEFA country by population. Faroe Islands have never advanced to the finals of the FIFA World Cup or UEFA European Championship. They took part in the Island Games in 1989 and 1991 and won both tournaments. They also took part in the Nordic Football Championship for the first time in 2000–01, the last time the competition was played. In the Faroe Islands the team is known as the landsliðið. Home matches are played at Tórsvøllur. From 1930 to 1988, before international membership, the Faroe Islands only played national friendly matches against Iceland, Shetland, Orkney Islands, Greenland and Denmark U-21. None of these fixtures were considered official either by FIFA, nor the Faroe Islands Football Association. The Faroe Islands and Iceland) were the most successful teams at the friendly tournament known as the Greenland Cup, with two cup victories in 1983 and 1984. The Faroe Islands gained membership of FIFA on 2 July 1988 and joined UEFA on 18 April 1990. The first official victory was a 1–0 win, in a friendly against Canada in 1989. Faroe Islands participated in two Island Games, winning both tournaments in 1989 and 1991. They never entered the tournament again, as the opponent teams were considered too weak a match for the Faroese side. Faroe Islands pulled one of the biggest upsets in footballing history when they beat Austria 1–0 in their first ever competitive international on 12 September 1990. The game, a Euro 92 qualifier, that was played in Landskrona, Sweden, because there were no grass pitches on the Islands. Torkil Nielsen, a salesman for his local builders company scored the goal. 32 year old national coach Páll Guðlaugsson became a folk hero overnight, and is today remembered by his players as a fearless character, who always believed that the Faroe Islands could get a result against the bigger nations. In his self-biography, national goalkeeper Jens Martin Knudsen revealed that Guðlaugsson held a stunning pre-match speech, that boosted the players confidence prior to the match against the Austrians. Guðlaugsson pre-match speech goes; “Think of the Faroese flag. Your flag. Take it with you on that field. Throw yourself into the tackles against those arrogant Austrians with one mission – to win the game for your nation. Tonight you pay back your childhood home. You have the opportunity now and it is an irreparable blow if you don’t seize it!”[10] The win was against all odds and to this day, this is the story about Faroese football – and the story about sports in the Faroe Islands. American sports magazine Soccerphile rated the Faroese victory number 10 of all-time football greatest upsets. On 22 March 2009, the Faroese people got a glimpse of their future national team, a new generation of more technical and peaceful players beat the Icelandic national team 2–1 in a friendly match, their first ever victory over Iceland. Caretaker Heðin Askham managed the Faroese side in this match. On 11 October 2008 Faroe Islands managed to get a big result, which was against Austria in the Fifa World Cup “SOUTH AFRICA 2010” qualifying game. The game ended 1–1, giving the Faroe Islands their first qualifying point in four years. On 5 April 2009, former Republic of Ireland manager Brian Kerr was appointed new manager of the team. With his charisma and Irish humour, he soon became a favourite among the Faroese football fans. On 9 September 2009, the Faroe Islands recorded their first competitive win since the 2002 World Cup qualification stage after beating Lithuania 2–1.