Armenia's football history began officially in the 1990s but its traditions stretch back further.
The collapse of the USSR and Armenia's declaration of independence in 1991 were significant moments in the country's sporting life as well as in its political history. From a footballing perspective those events prompted the founding, on 17 January 1992, of the Football Federation of Armenia.
The FFA duly became a member of the game's world and European governing bodies, FIFA and UEFA, in the same year. The national team made their competitive debut in qualification for the 1996 UEFA European Championship. Armenia kicked off with a 2-0 defeat in Belgium on 7 September 1994 yet also made history in that EURO '96 campaign. The team recorded their first competitive victory when they won 2-1 in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on 6 September 1995. Since then Armenia have been a permanent fixture in EURO and World Cup qualifying tournaments, earning the notable achievement of finishing third in their UEFA EURO 2012 group, during which talismanic FC Shakhtar Donetsk forward Henrikh Mkhitaryan emerged as a player of top international calibre.
On an infrastructure level, work began in 2007 on a national-team training centre and academy with residential facilities. The centre's opening is scheduled for September 2010. The Yerevan Republican Stadium has also been partly redeveloped, with one particular benefit of this initiative being its impressive new playing surface. While Armenia has always considered itself a football country, the aim of the FFA is to earn greater international recognition for the local game on both club and national-team fronts. For this reason it is constantly striving for higher standards.