Today, Myanmar is no longer considered a powerhouse in football and many teams in the region are not too worried when they are drawn to face this Southeast Asian team in any competition. But this brings us to the fact that until recently, Myanmar had shied away from the international arena.Now that they have returned to compete regularly in the Southeast Asian Games (SEA) and Tiger Cup tournaments, Myanmar, maybe even without realising it, has begun the arduous process of team building. Many may not know this but Myanmar used to be a feared force in the game in the 60s and 70s.

The older Southeast Asian fans will remember how Myanmar dominated the biennial SEA Games from 1965 to 1973, winning the tournament an unprecedented five times. This feat has never been repeated. Myanmar also won the Asian Games title twice in 1966 and 1970. This truly made them a powerhouse in the game, but like many countries in the region, suffered a decline in the game.

Myanmar has not competed in a World Cup qualifying tournament while it was only in 1994 when they competed in the qualifiers for the Asian Games. They failed to make it past the first round.

Club football is growing with over 20,000 players playing for some 600 clubs. Myanmar has had some of their players travelling to neighbouring countries to play in the professional leagues there.


Fast Facts
Climate: The geography of the country provides for the varying weather conditions from the north down to the coastal areas along the Andaman Sea. The overall temperature averages between 18 degrees up to over 30 degrees depending on the time of the year. Myanmar receives heavy rainfall during the middle of the year from June to August.

Geography: Myanmar is situated between Thailand to the east and Bangladesh to the west. On its northern frontiers, this nation has China and India looking down at them from the edges of the Himalayas. While it is mountainous on the northern and eastern sides, the central part of the country is made up of wide plains that stretch for miles and miles. One of Asia’s most well known rivers, the Ayeyarwady runs through these plains, providing the nourishment needed for agriculture.

Population: The population stands at around 48 million.

Economy: The nation’s main economic activities are in timber, gems, fishing, agriculture and oil. These industries are the mainstay of the growing Myanmar economy. This nation is currently one of the leading rice exporters in the world.

Religion: Buddhism is practised by the majority of the people of this country, just like neighbouring Thailand. There are also small enclaves of Hindu and Muslim communities in the country. Christianity is practised by some of the hill tribes.

Language: As there are many indigenous groups in Myanmar, different languages and dialects are spoken. English is also popular in this country and is spoken by many.

Currency: The currency used here is the Kyat. (US$1 equals 385K)