The country was under the Portuguese rule and then under Indonesia. It gained independence in 2000 and its football association became a member of AFC in 2002. In 2005, the Federação de Futebol de Timor-Leste was accepted as a member of FIFA.
The Timor-Leste national football team played their first international during the qualifying campaign for the AFC Asian Cup in 2003. That was a 2-3 loss at Sri Lanka.
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