The Ireland national football team represented Ireland at association football from 1882 until 1950. It was organised by the Irish Football Association (IFA), and is the fourth oldest international team in the world. It mainly played in the British Home Championship against England, Scotland and Wales. Though often vying with Wales to avoid the wooden spoon, Ireland did win the Championship in 1914, and shared it with England and Scotland in 1903.
After the partition of Ireland in the 1920s, although the IFA's administration of club football was restricted to Northern Ireland, the IFA national team continued to select players from the whole of Ireland until 1950, and did not adopt the name "Northern Ireland" until 1954 in FIFA competition, and the 1970s in the British Home Championship. The IFA's modern Northern Ireland national football team is recognised as the successor to the original Ireland national team. During this era a separate international team, organised by the separate Football Association of Ireland (the F.A.I.), had briefly fielded a team called Ireland, and this team now represents the Republic of Ireland.Close