Israel (competing as "Palestine/Eretz Israel") took part in the 1934 & 1938 World Cup Qualification competitions and also played a friendly against Lebanon in 1940.
Just four months after Israel gained independence in 1948, the Israel national football team traveled to New York City to play their American counterparts in a friendly at the Polo Grounds. Over 40,000 spectators witnessed the newly formed Israeli side lose to the Americans 3-1. Shmuel Ben Dror went down in history as the first goal scorer in the history of the Israel national football team
In 1954, Israel were founding members of the Asian Football Confederation but were evicted in the early 1970's and now play their football as part of UEFA and are currently ranked as one of the top 20 teams in the world by FIFA. In fact the latest rankings put Israel as 16th in the World and 13th in Europe - the highest Israel have achieved since playing in Asia.
During the British Mandate of Palestine, organized football consisted of British and Jewish clubs. As early as 1906, Maccabi Tel Aviv was formed as a social group. On April 24 1924 Hapoel Haifa was formed.
In February 1928, the first ever derby took place in the British Mandate between Maccabi Tel Aviv and Hapoel Allenby Tel Aviv. Maccabi won 3-0 and was the start of the oldest rivalry which takes place in Israel.
When a cup competition was formed, British teams dominated until May 26, 1928 when two Jewish clubs made it to the final in Jerusalem. Hapoel Alenby Tel Aviv beat Maccabi HaShmonai Jerusalem 2-0, but the cup was shared since Hapoel had fielded an ineligible player.