Timor-Leste national football team
|Nickname(s)||O Sol Nascente |
(The Rising Sun)
Pequena Nação do Samba
(The Little Samba Nation)
|Association||Federação de Futebol de Timor-Leste|
|Sub-confederation||AFF (Southeast Asia)|
|Head coach||Norio Tsukitate|
|Captain||Nataniel Reis |
|Most caps||Anggisu Barbosa (30)|
|Top scorer||Rufino Gama (7)|
|Home stadium||National Stadium|
|Current||196 (16 July 2020)|
|Highest||146 (June 2015)|
|Lowest||206 (October 2012)|
| Sri Lanka 3–2 Timor-Leste |
(Colombo, Sri Lanka; 21 March 2003)
| Timor-Leste 5–1 Cambodia |
(Yangon, Myanmar; 5 October 2012)
| Timor-Leste 0–10 Saudi Arabia |
(Dili, Timor Leste; 17 November 2015)
|AFC Solidarity Cup|
|Appearances||1 (first in 2016)|
|Best result||Group stage (2016)|
The Timor-Leste national football team is the national team of East Timor (Portuguese: Timor-Leste) and is controlled by the Federação de Futebol de Timor-Leste. They joined FIFA on 12 September 2005.
Timor-Leste's international debut was in the preliminary round of the 2004 AFC Asian Cup qualification in March 2003, when they lost 3–2 to Sri Lanka and 3–0 to Chinese Taipei. They also participated in the 2004 AFF Championship. Timor-Leste's participation in Southeast Asia's premier international football event in 2004 was announced after an Asian Football Confederation council meeting in Petaling Jaya. Although not yet a member of the AFC, the Timor-Leste Football Association was invited to sit in on the meeting, where they were represented by FA president Francia Kalbuadi. Timor-Leste won their first international match on 5 October 2012 against Cambodia with a score of 5–1.
Football was established in Timor-Leste during the Portuguese colonial era, when many of the locals and the Portuguese officials played amateur football. After Portugal ended its colonial rule, Indonesia invaded and occupied the island. East Timor eventually gained independence from Indonesia in 2000, which resulted in a long running battle against Jakarta-led forces.
The East Timor Football Association was accepted as an associate member of AFC at the 20th AFC Congress in 2002. Their international debut came in March 2003 when they participated in the qualifying campaign for the 2004 AFC Asian Cup in China. Given their history, it was no surprise that they crashed out with defeats against the likes of Sri Lanka and Chinese Taipei. They entered the regional competition for the first time in 2004 as they played in the ASEAN Football Federation Championship (previously known as Tiger Cup) as an invited member. They finished in last place, showing that they had a long way to go before they could compete even on the regional stage.
They again had no success in the qualifying round of the 2007 AFF Championship, with four heavy losses, including a 7–0 trouncing by the Philippines. In the third qualifying round for the 2008 AFF Championship, they surprisingly drew against Cambodia; this feat was reported in international news.
In the ninth AFF Suzuki Cup, the country's football federation (FFTL) reportedly selected their foreign based players, who played in Brazil, Portugal, Australia and elsewhere, to fortify the team as they also did at the 2011 SEA Games.
On 5 October 2012, Timor-Leste won their first international match in a 5–1 victory against Cambodia. On 9 October 2012, the team won another match against Laos at AFF Suzuki Cup qualifier. Murilo de Almeida score the penalty at 43 minutes of the first half of the match. Later Adelino Trindade extended the Timorese advantage with a header early in the second half and then Alan Leandro added the third goal on the 83rd minute. After winning the second match against Laos, Emerson Alcântara stated "This is a win for the people of Timor Leste. They had to wait a long time for our team to win their first match in this competition but now we have two wins and this was an important victory for Timor Leste. "I think that about 70 percent of people in Timor Leste are poor so it is very important to get this result for them because they love football and the people can get confidence and take pride in this result. It is very important for us to motivate our people and to help to change their lives."
Naturalised players controversy
Since 2012 several Brazilian-born footballers, who are not of East Timorese descent and had not necessarily played in the East Timorese League, were expressly naturalised to raise the level of "Sol Nascente".
The country's recent history of naturalizing foreign players, mainly from Brazil such as Murilo de Almeida, Fellipe Bertoldo, and Diogo Santos Rangel has been criticized by many, including native East Timorese players and fans.
In a match on 8 October 2015 against Palestine seven of the starting eleven for the Timorese line-up were naturalized Brazilians. Following the match the Palestinian Football Association made a complaint to FIFA stating that the naturalized Timorese players were not eligible to represent Timor-Leste under FIFA rules.
Following a concern from some Timorese who complained to the prime minister, the prosecutor general and the minister for justice regarding the naturalisation program, Timor Leste Football Federation (FFTL) decided to drop their oversea-born legion. It meant Timor Leste would be without seven naturalised Brazilian players for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and 2019 AFC Asian Cup joint qualifiers match against United Arab Emirates on 12 November 2015. In that match coach Fernando Alcântara played an all national line up including six who were under twenty, including Ervino Soares who was 16. Timor Leste ended up losing the match 8–0. Alcântara took responsibility for the defeat although he also added that he had been forced to play such an inexperienced line-up by the FFTL.
The next match, Timor-Leste did even worse, suffering a record 0–10 home defeat to a strong Saudi Arabia side, who eventually qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Jesse Pinto, an Australian-Timorese footballer, told reporters that the FFTL gives Brazilian players Timorese passports so that they can be registered as "Asian" players and meet the quotas of teams. Pinto also added that the FFTL often takes advantage of players from poor backgrounds, but that it often did not meet its promises of allowing players to travel back to Brazil to meet their families.
In December 2016, the FFTL was charged with using forged and falsified documents, fielding ineligible players and bringing the game into disrepute.
A decision was made on the 20 January 2017 that Timor-Leste is barred from participating in the qualification tournament for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup after being found to have fielded a total of twelve ineligible players in 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification matches and among other competitions.
Since 2018, the kits are made by Narrow, an Indonesian apparel. The home kit is red shirts, black shorts, and red socks, with black as a secondary color. The away kit all white. From 2008 to 2010, their away kits were yellow but at 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup qualification, the away kits changed back into all whites. Their kits were made by Nike in 2012. Previous kit makers include mitre, Joma, Nike and Tiger.
Timor Leste's home stadium is the East Timor National Stadium in Dili. The stadium capacity is 5,000. The first official match played in the stadium was a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Mongolia on 12 March 2015.
|Timor Leste national football team home stadiums|
|East Timor National Stadium||13,000||Dili||v Saudi Arabia|
(17 November 2015; 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification)
World Cup record
|FIFA World Cup||FIFA World Cup qualification|
|1930 to 1974||Part of Portugal||Part of Portugal|
|1978 to 1998||Part of Indonesia||Part of Indonesia|
|2002 to 2006||Did not enter|
|2010||Did not qualify||2||0||0||2||3||11|
|2026||To be determined||To be determined|
Asian Cup record
|1956 to 1972||Part of Portugal|
|1976 to 2000||Part of Indonesia|
|2004||Did not qualify|
|2007||Did not enter|
|2019||Did not qualify|
AFC Challenge Cup record
|AFC Challenge Cup|
|2006||Did not enter|
|2010||Did not enter|
|2012||Did not enter|
|2014||Did not enter|
- 2006 – Was originally selected to take part, but was then replaced
- 2008 – Was selected to take part, but withdrew
AFC Solidarity Cup record
|AFC Solidarity Cup|
|Total||Best: Group stage||2||0||1||1||0||4|
- Finals Records Only
AFF Championship Cup qualification history
Results and fixtures
Win Draw Lose
International match records
As of 11 June 2019
The following players were call-up for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC First Round matches against Malaysia on 7 and 11 June 2019.
Caps and goals are correct as of 11 June 2019, after the match against Malaysia.
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|1||GK||Aderito||15 May 1997||13||0||Ponta Leste|
|12||GK||Fernando||18 June 1995||0||0||Benfica Laulara|
|20||GK||Natalino||25 December 2000||0||0|
|2||DF||Duarte||29 December 2000||0||0|
|3||DF||Gaspar||26 August 1996||1||0|
|4||DF||Candido||2 December 1997 (aged 20)||8||0||Ponta Leste|
|5||DF||João Panji||29 October 2000||4||0||Assalam F.C.|
|6||DF||Ade||2 June 1995||24||3||Ponta Leste|
|13||DF||Gumario||18 October 2001||8||0||Boavista|
|17||DF||Victor||5 December 1997||15||0||Karketu Dili|
|18||DF||Filomeno Junior||5 August 1998 (aged 20)||9||0||Benfica Laulara|
|22||DF||Avigmas||24 December 1999||15||1||Boavista|
|8||MF||Mouzinho||26 June 2002||1||0|
|11||MF||Gelvanio||8 October 1998 (aged 19)||4||0||Boavista|
|14||MF||Elias||27 March 2002||1||0|
|15||MF||Armindo||18 April 1998||4||0||Académica|
|16||MF||Danilson||15 May 2001||1||0|
|19||MF||Gali||31 December 1996||3||0||Benfica Laulara|
|23||MF||Osvaldo||18 October 2000||8||0||Karketu Dili|
|7||FW||Rufino Gama||20 June 1998||18||7||Karketu Dili|
|9||FW||Savio||28 August 1992||4||0||Boavista|
|10||FW||João Pedro||20 August 2000||8||2||North Bangkok University|
|21||FW||Kefi||27 January 1997||10||0||Boavista|
As of match against Malaysia on 11 June 2019.
- As of June 2019
|Manager||Gaspar Quintao da Silva|
|Assistant Manager||Jose Carlos da Fonseca|
|Head Coach||Norio Tsukitate|
|Assistant Coach||Eduardo Pereira|
|Goalkeeping Coach||Juliao Monteiro|
|Physiotherapist||Richa Arun Kulkarni|
|Media Officer||Zelfa Beatvi Borges Soares|
|Administrator||Frederico Pereira Martins|
|Official||Joao Pedro Ribeiro|
|Kitman||Mateus de Oliveira Soares|
List of Coaches
As of 11 June 2019
|José Luís||2004–2006||10||0||0||10||0.0||2004 AFF Championship – Group stage|
2006 Lusophony Games – Group stage
|João Paulo Pereira||2007||2||0||0||2||0.0|
|Pedro Correia de Almeida||2007–2008||5||0||1||4||0.0|
|Antonio Carlos Vieira||2011–2012||6||1||1||4||16.7|
|Manuel da Costa Soares||2015||1||1||0||0||100.0|
|Fábio Magrão||2015–2016||3||1||2||33.3||2016 AFC Solidarity Cup – Group stage|
|Simón Elissetche||2017–2018||3||1||0||2||33.3||2017 CTFA Tournament – Third place|
|Norio Tsukitate||2018–||9||1||1||7||11.1||2018 AFF Championship – Group stage|
2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – Did not qualify
- Coaches in Italics were hired as caretakers
- "Timor-Leste national football team captain". 1 July 2014. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014.
- "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 16 July 2020. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
- "East Timor matches, ratings and points exchanged". World Football Elo Ratings: East Timor. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
- Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 1 August 2020. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
- "Member Association – Timor-Leste". FIFA.com. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
- "Timor-Leste – Timor-Leste – Results, fixtures, squad, statistics, photos, videos and news – Soccerway". us.soccerway.com. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
- "Timor Leste cause upset; Myanmar win". ESPNStar.com. 5 October 2012. Archived from the original on 12 October 2012.
- "KIMURA FOR LAOS' AFF SUZUKI CUP 2012 QUALIFYING CAMPAIGN". ASEAN Football. 23 May 2012.
- "Cambodia 1-5 Timor Leste". 5 October 2012. Archived from the original on 11 April 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
- "Timor Leste 3 Laos 1". Archived from the original on 11 October 2012. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
- "Win dedicated to Timorese people". 10 October 2012. Archived from the original on 16 April 2018.
- "How Timor-Leste, like others, (probably) flouted FIFA's eligibility rules". These Football Times. 29 November 2016. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
- "Timor Leste naturalisation of Brazilian footballers criticized". Football Channel Asia. 3 October 2015. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
- Jack Kerr (1 October 2015). "Success Is No Longer Foreign to East Timor, but the Players Are". The New York Times.
- Jack Kerr (8 October 2015). "East Timor Fields Seven Ex-Brazilians in Tie With Palestine". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
- Jack Kerr (16 October 2015). "East Timor Fields Seven Ex-Brazilians in Tie With Palestine". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
- "Is East Timor Illegally Putting Together a National Soccer Team With Brazilian Players?". Sports. 13 July 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
- "Timor Leste set to be without seven naturalised Brazilians for UAE clash". Football Channel Asia. 12 November 2015. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
- Amith Passela (12 November 2015). "Coach Mahdi Ali cautions his players that tougher challenges await as UAE thrash East Timor to get World Cup qualification back on track". The National. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
- Jack Kerr (7 November 2015). "Darwin soccer player who captained Timor-Leste opens up on team's FIFA controversy". ABC. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
- Jack Kerr (9 December 2016). "East Timor Is Accused of Using Ineligible Players for Its Soccer Team". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
- "Federacao Futebol Timor-Leste expelled from AFC Asian Cup 2023". The-AFC.com. Archived from the original on 20 January 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
- "Timor Leste Football Federation sign Kubba sportswear contract".
- "2017-18 Timor-Leste Away Shirt *BNIB*". Сlassic Football Shirts. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
- "Timor-Leste national team". www.colours-of-football.com. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
- "Fixtures Results". eloratings. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
- "Malaysia – Timor Leste". AFCS.
- László Földesi. "International Goals of East Timor". RSSSF. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
- Bola.com (27 October 2017). "Former Persita Coach Officially Handles the Timor Leste National Team". bola.com (in Indonesian).