23rd Arabian Gulf Cup
The 23rd Arabian Gulf Cup (Arabic: كأس الخليج العربي) was the 23rd edition of the biennial football competition for the eight members of the Arab Gulf Cup Football Federation. It took place in Kuwait from 22 December 2017 until 5 January 2018. Oman won their second title, defeating the United Arab Emirates in the final on penalties following a goalless draw.
|Dates||22 December 2017 – 5 January 2018|
|Teams||8 (from 1 confederation)|
|Venue(s)||2 (in 1 host city)|
|Champions||Oman (2nd title)|
|Runners-up||United Arab Emirates|
|Goals scored||23 (1.53 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)|| Jamal Rashid|
(2 goals each)
|Best player(s)||Ahmed Kano|
|Best goalkeeper||Khalid Eisa|
|Fair play award||Kuwait|
This tournament has the least goals-per-game average (1.53) in the history of Arabian Gulf Cup tournaments.
The tournament was originally scheduled to be held in Basra, Iraq, with an official decision set to be made in February 2015. On 2 February 2015, the Iraqi Ministry of Youth announced that Iraq would not host the competition due to a financial crisis in Iraq, but hoped to host the next edition in 2018. It would have been the second time that Iraq had hosted this competition after 1979 which was held in the capital Baghdad. Iraq was set to organize the two previous editions in 2013 and 2014, but the tournament shifted each time, after concerns over preparations and security. Instead, it was moved to Kuwait to be the hosts for the fourth time, after the editions of 1974, 1990 and 2003.
On 3 July 2015, it was announced that the awarding of hosting rights to Kuwait was postponed after reviewing the technical reports, and that a further announcement would be made later that month. The dates of the competition were also slightly changed to take place from 22 December 2015 to 4 January 2016. Again, on 3 August 2015, the dates of the championship were pushed back to December 2016 or January 2017 due to infrastructure problems in Kuwait, but Kuwait would remain the hosts of the competition. This again was changed in late August, when Kuwait announced that they would host as initially agreed in December 2015, that was after most domestic leagues in the region had re-arranged their calendars due to the earlier postponement.
On 19 October 2015, Kuwait withdrew from hosting following Kuwait Football Association's suspension from FIFA. Kuwait were to be once again re-instated as hosts on 27 April 2016, if their suspension by FIFA was lifted by May 2016, failing this, the tournament would be hosted by Qatar in December 2017. The suspension was not lifted at the 66th FIFA Congress and therefore, as decided from the earlier announcement on 27 April, the tournament would be moved to Qatar to be played in December 2017.
Concerns were later raised on Qatar's hosting of the event due to the Qatar diplomatic crisis, although no official announcement has been made by 11 September 2017. In November 2017, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain pulled out of the Gulf Cup. On 6 December 2017, after Kuwait's adoption of a new sports law, Kuwait FA's FIFA suspension was lifted. On 7 December 2017, it was announced that Kuwait will again host the tournament after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain threatened to withdraw because of the said diplomatic crisis.
|Qatar||23rd||Winners (1992, 2004, 2014)||102|
|Saudi Arabia||22nd||Winners (1994, 2002, 2003–04)||63|
|Bahrain||23rd||Runners-up (1970, 1982, 1992, 2003–04)||115|
|Iraq||14th||Winners (1979, 1984, 1988)||79|
|United Arab Emirates||22nd||Winners (2007, 2013)||73|
|Yemen||8th||Group stage (2003–04, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2013)||121|
|Kuwait||23rd||Winners (1970, 1972, 1974*, 1976, 1982,
1986, 1990*, 1996, 1998, 2010)
All times are local (UTC+03:00).
|United Arab Emirates||3||1||2||0||1||0||+1||5|
|Oman||0–1||United Arab Emirates|
|United Arab Emirates||0–0||Saudi Arabia|
|Report||Al-Mahaijri 58' (pen.)|
|Report||Al-Ruzaiqi 58', 77'|
|Kuwait||0–0||United Arab Emirates|
|Report||Rashid 39' (pen.)|
|Report||Almoez Ali 17'|
|Al-Haydos 45+5' (pen.)||Report||Madan 57'|
All times are local (UTC+03:00).
|2 January – Kuwait City|
|5 January – Kuwait City|
|United Arab Emirates||0 (4)|
|2 January – Kuwait City|
|Oman (p)||0 (5)|
|United Arab Emirates (p)||0 (4)|
|Abduljabbar 29' (o.g.)||Report|
|Iraq||0–0 (a.e.t.)||United Arab Emirates|
|23rd Arabian Gulf Cup Winner|
- 2 goals
- 1 goal
- Own goal
- Mahdi Abduljabbar (playing against Oman)
The following awards were given:
|Fair Play Award||Kuwait|
|Most Valuable Player||Ahmed Kano|
|Best Goalkeeper||Khalid Eisa|
This table shows all team performance.
|2||United Arab Emirates||5||1||4||0||1||0||+1||7|
|Oman||Oman TV Sport|
|Qatar||Al Kass Sports Channels|
|Saudi Arabia||Al Riyadiah|
|MBC Pro Sports|
|United Arab Emirates||ADTV Sport|
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- "KUNA : Kuwait won't host 23rd Gulf Cup – Cabinet – Government". kuna.net.kw. 19 October 2015.
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- "Arabian Gulf League to be affected as UAE domestic kick-off is postponed". Sport 360. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
- "23rd Gulf Cup to be held Dec 22: KFA". Kuwait Times. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
- "2016 Gulf Cup in Kuwait in December 'if FIFA sanctions lifted'KFA". Qatar Football Association. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
- "FIFA Congress drives football forward, first female secretary general appointed". FIFA. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
- "Gulf Cup of Nations to be cancelled as concerns emerge over Qatar's ability to host 2022 FIFA World Cup – Independent.ie". Independent.ie. 11 September 2017. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
- Editorial, Reuters. "Saudi, UAE, Bahrain to miss Qatar's Gulf Cup amid rift". U.K.
- "Suspension of the Kuwait Football Association lifted". FIFA.com. 6 December 2017. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
- "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking – November 2017". FIFA.com. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
- "2017 Arabian Gulf Cup - Final". refereesfifa.blogspot.fr. 5 January 2018. Retrieved 5 January 2018.