Netherlands Antilles national football team

Netherlands Antilles National Football Team

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Netherlands Antilles national football team

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The Netherlands Antilles national football team was the national team of the former Netherlands Antilles and was controlled by the Nederlands Antilliaanse Voetbal Unie. The NAVU consisted of Curaçao and Bonaire. Aruba split in 1986 and has its own team.

The Netherlands Antilles team never qualified for the FIFA World Cup. The country managed to come third in the CONCACAF championships of 1963 and 1969; for four days in March 1963 they could have been regarded as unofficial World Champions, beating Mexico 2-1 before losing to Costa Rica 0-1.


Under the name Curaçao, the team played its first international game in 1934 (against Suriname, which was then still part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands as well) and continued to use the name Curaçao until the qualifications for the World Championships of 1958, although the name of the area had changed from "Territory of Curaçao" to "Netherlands Antilles" in 1948. In order to boost the competence of the team's players, in 1968 an agreement was nearly reached which would allow the Netherlands Antilles to play in the Combined Counties Football League in the lower divisions of the English football pyramid. The move would have seen the team adopting a home ground in the Netherlands as a base and travelling to play English teams as a regular team, albeit one without promotion or relegation prospects. However, the idea was shelved after initial promise due to cost concerns for most...
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