The more known and less atypical example of this would be the United Kingdom and Ireland, who divide - or merge in the case of the Irish rugby team - countries in different ways.

There is a much more unorthodox example in Lacrosse, where the Iroquois nationals take part in the World championship and consistently ranks among the top 5 teams in the world.

Does any other sport feature unrecognized nations, autonomous regions, single states/regions/lands out of a "composite" country, unions of multiple countries and/or regions, ...?

Please focus mainly on major tournaments hosted by international federations, as I am aware of teams such as the Catalonian or Basque national teams, to draw an example from football, or the British and Irish lions in rugby, playing in friendly competitions and organizations other than the primary federation allowing such teams to participate. Although if you are aware of these and want to include them in your answer, I would find it just as interesting.


2 Answers 2


Perhaps the most famous example of all is the West Indies cricket team who have won many international series and tournaments. Other than that, the Māori people of New Zealand have had various "international" representation:

and the indigenous people of Australia (Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders) form an All Stars rugby league team which plays an annual match against the NRL All Stars.


China is an obvious example. Hong Kong and Macau, despite being officially returned to China, are still highly autonomous and have their respective sports teams. Also Taiwan is not normally internationally recognized as a country but they reached an agreement with China to enter sports competitions with the name "Chinese Taipei" (Taipei is the capital city of Taiwan island).


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.