Football in San Marino has developed slowly over the years, but has established a firm base.
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San Marino celebrate a European Qualifiers goal against PolandGetty Images
One of the smallest nations in Europe in terms of population, San Marino has around 35,000 inhabitants but the Football Association of San Marino (FSGC) continues to have high aspirations for the nation’s footballers.
The association’s first Stategic Plan, running from 2021-24, has earmarked five key areas for development:-
Improving the San Marino national team’s FIFA Ranking.
Raising participation levels, especially in terms of women, referees and coaches.
Helping and leading in the development of local clubs.
Developing women’s football.
Improving the nation’s footballing infrastructure.
Enthusiastically participating in FIFA and UEFA’s development projects, the FSGC’s drive to establish the women’s game has involved organising training camps and summer schools, working with schools and other national institutions, and training coaches and referees.
"The vision and mission of our 2021-24 Strategic Plan are driven by the values that our association has aways wanted to promote, like inclusion, equality and teamwork. Football in San Marino must be open and accessible to everybody and we are committed to enhancing the growth of football in many different areas."
Luigi Zafferani, FSGC general secretary
UEFA HatTrick funding was crucial to the opening of the FSGC’s Casa del Calcio in 2008 and the upgrading of the national stadium, plus another arena and fursal pitch in Acquaviva. UEFA is currently supporting an FSGC project in Serravalle, which involves the renovation of a pitch and its floodlights, plus the construction of a car park, a stand and a futsal arena, with all the necessary facilities for the smooth organisation of futsal games. UEFA also continues to support the FSGC’s efforts on such projects as women’s football, facilities for disabled supporters, good governance and elite youth development.
1928San Marino’s first club, AC Libertas, is founded in September as football begins to take hold in San Marino in the late 1920s.1931The San Marino Football Federation (FSGC) is founded.1937San Marino’s first official competition kicks off in the summer, with four teams taking part in the inaugural Coppa Titano, as Libertas, La Castellana, SP La Fiorita and US Titania (now SP Tre Penne) play in a league format at the Borgo Maggiore – then the republic's only stadium. Libertas triumphed, and won the next five editions too, that run lasting until 1961 due to a long hiatus spanning the war years.1960The FSGC launches a club side, SS Serenissima, to play in the Italian league system; initially presided over by administrator Carlo Casali, the team starts out in the second division of the amateur league, achieving its first promotion in 1962. Serenissima go on to spend two seasons in the semi-professional Serie D before merging with another club in 1973 to become AC San Marino (and then San Marino Calcio in 1988, when they are playing in Serie C2).1963The FSGC establishes the Nucleo Addestramento Giovani Calciatori – the territory's first youth football academy – overseen by Guglielmo Giovannini, a committed and respected figure in the Sammarinese game.1985With more clubs being founded, and the FSGC eager to gain recognition from football’s governing bodies, San Marino’s first league competition launches in October, with SC Faetano winning the first edition.1986The Trofeo Federale (which pits the league champions against the Coppa Titano winners) is contested for the first time, La Fiorita beating Faetano 2-0.1988After two years as a probationary member, the FSGC becomes an official member of UEFA at the UEFA Congress on 24 January. FIFA admits the FSGC six months later.2000SS Folgore become San Marino’s first representative in a UEFA club competition, losing 12-1 on aggregate against Basel in the UEFA Cup qualifying round.2007SS Murata are the first side from San Marino to take a place in UEFA Champions League qualifying, going down 7-1 to APOEL over two legs; in the same campaign, Libertas are the first Sammarinese club to avoid defeat in a UEFA game, holding Ireland’s Drogheda United to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of a UEFA Cup first qualifying round tie.2008The FSGC’s new Casa del Calcio headquarters opens on 18 October.2013Tre Penne are the first Sammarinese side to win a UEFA club competition game, beating Armenia’s Shirak 1-0 in the second leg of a UEFA Champions League first qualifying round tie.Present day
National team history
1989San Marino’s Under-21s become the first team in the republic to play a competitive game, losing 5-0 to Switzerland in a qualifier in Serravalle on 6 June.1990Switzerland are the opponents when the senior national team makes its debut, the hosts losing 4-0 in Serravalle on 14 November.1993San Marino avoid defeat for the first time as they hold Turkey to a 0-0 draw in a FIFA World Cup qualifier on 10 March; their next draw is a 1-1 against Latvia in Riga on 25 April 2001.2004Andy Selva scores the only goal as San Marino earn their first senior international victory, 1-0 against Liechtenstein in a 28 April friendly game.2014San Marino end a 61-game international losing streak by drawing 0-0 at home against Estonia in November.2020San Marino earn 0-0 draws against Liechtenstein and Gibraltar in UEFA Nations League Group D2, racking up their highest points tally to date in a qualifying campaign.Present day