ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - JUNE 15, 2018: Morocco's Younes Belhanda (L) and Iran's Masoud Shojaei in a First Stage Group B football match between Morocco and Iran at Saint-Petersburg Stadium (also known as Krestovsky Stadium) at FIFA World Cup Russia 2018
Alexander Demianchuk—Alexander Demianchuk/TASS
By Alejandro de la Garza
June 15, 2018

With the FIFA 2018 World Cup underway, fans less familiar with international soccer may take a look at the score and wonder: Wait, who’s playing in this game?

In most cases, World Cup team names take their scoreboard acronyms, also known as FIFA codes, from the first three letters of their name in English. But there are a handful of exceptions. Here’s a complete list of the FIFA codes for all 32 teams competing in the 2018 World Cup, along with explanations when their origin isn’t immediately clear.

  1. ARG: Argentina
  2. AUS: Australia
  3. BEL: Belgium
  4. BRA: Brazil
  5. COL: Colombia
  6. CRC: Costa Rica. Because Costa Rica’s name is two words long, the FIFA code takes the first letter from each word instead of the first three letters. The second “C” is from the “C” in “Rica.”
  7. CRO: Croatia
  8. DEN: Denmark
  9. EGY: Egypt
  10. ENG: England
  11. FRA: France
  12. GER: Germany
  13. ISL: Iceland. In French, “Iceland” is spelled “Islande.” The FIFA Code refers to the French spelling.
  14. IRN: Iran. The International Olympic Committee country code for Iran is “IRI,” which stands for “Islamic Republic of Iran.” The FIFA code removes the “a” from “Iran,” abbreviating the name to IRN, in line with the country codes set out by the International Organization for Standardization.
  15. JPN: Japan.
  16. KOR: South Korea. FIFA refers to South Korea’s soccer team as the “Korea Republic national football team.” The team code is the first three letters of that name. North Korea’s FIFA code is “PRK” for “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” though only South Korea is playing in this year’s World Cup.
  17. MEX: Mexico
  18. MAR: Morocco. The name refers to the French spelling of Morocco, Maroc.
  19. NGA: Nigeria. The country code “NIG” belongs to Niger, so “NGA” is used to distinguish Nigeria.
  20. PAN: Panama
  21. PER: Peru
  22. POL: Poland
  23. POR: Portugal
  24. RUS: Russia
  25. KSA: Saudi Arabia. KSA stands for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  26. SEN: Senegal
  27. SRB: Serbia
  28. ESP: Spain. ESP comes from the French spelling for Spain, Espagne.
  29. SWE: Sweden.
  30. SUI: Switzerland. The FIFA abbreviation refers to the French spelling of Switzerland, Suisse.
  31. TUN: Tunisia
  32. URU: Uruguay

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