Georgia Erovnuli liga
Football is the most popular sport in Georgia. It is governed by the Georgian Football Federation (GFF). The GFF organizes the national teams of men, women and futsal. Modern football was introduced at the beginning of the 20th century by English sailors who played in poti.
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The Georgian national football team represents the country Georgia at international football matches and is controlled by the Georgian Football Association. The first game of the Georgian team took place in 1990, when Georgia was still part of the Soviet Union. The team has been trying to qualify for every major tournament since 1996 but has not yet reached the qualification. Home games will be played at the Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena in Tbilisi.
The history of the Georgian national football team began in 1990, when the team played their first international match against Lithuania, which was the first country to accept an invitation. The game took place on May 27, 1990 in the National Stadium. Georgia was coached by Givi Nodia. The friendly ended in a 2-2 draw. This was the only game before the Declaration of Independence on April 9, 1991. Shortly thereafter, the team played another friendly against Moldova.
The Georgian Football Federation became both a member of UEFA and FIFA in 1992 , allowing Georgia to play in competitive matches. The first loss to Moldova in September 1994 was a 1-0 defeat in qualifying for the 1996 European Championships. Georgia was third in its group ahead of Moldova and Wales, but seven points behind second-placed Bulgarian qualifiers.
Georgia did not qualify for the 1998 FIFA World Cup France. It scored 10 points and finished fourth, tied with Poland. At that time, Georgia reached the forty-second place in the FIFA World Ranking.
In the UEFA Euro 2000 qualifiers, the Georgian national team won a game, played two draws and finished with five points in last place in the group. This was the beginning of a period of decline of Georgian football.
The team finished fifth (and last) with seven points in their qualifying group for the 2004 European Championships, despite defeating Russia with a goal scored by Malkhaz Asatiani.
In the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, Georgia defeated Albania 2-0 at home and 2-1 away to Kazakhstan. They finished in sixth place (second place) with ten points in Group 2.
Georgia was in the qualifying group for the UEFA Euro 2008 with ten points sixth of seven teams. They defeated Scotland 2-0 at home and the Faroe Islands 6-0 away and 3-1 at home.
Héctor Cúper became a Georgia coach in August 2008. During the qualifying round for the 2010 FIFA World Cup 2010 Georgia could not win any games and finished with three points to sixth (and last) place. Cuper did not renew his contract and on 6 November 2009 Temur Ketsbaia was appointed as the new manager of the Georgian national football team. Ketsbaia resigned as coach after a 4-0 home defeat by Poland in qualifying for the UEFA Euro 2016 on 14 November 2014, having previously announced that he would do so before the match regardless of the outcome.
In June 2016, Georgia defeated the two-time European champion Spain in the friendly match before the European Championship 2016 1-0.
In 2018, they were the first team to make it to the new UEFA Nations League. They scored the first goal of the event in a UEFA Champions League D game in Kazakhstan before triumphing twice against Latvia and Andorra. Two games were still pending.
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