Open main menu

The Kuwait national football team is the national team of Kuwait and is controlled by the Kuwait Football Association. Kuwait made one World Cup finals appearance, in 1982, managing one point in the group stages. In the Asian Cup, Kuwait reached the final in 1976 and won the tournament in 1980.

Kuwait
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Al-Azraq (The Blue) (The Blue Wave)
AssociationKuwait Football Association
ConfederationAFC (Asia)
Sub-confederationWAFF (West Asia)
Head coachRomeo Jozak[1]
Most capsBader Al-Mutawa (168)[2]
Top scorerBashar Abdullah (75)
Home stadiumJaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium
FIFA codeKUW
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 156 Increase 2 (4 April 2019)[3]
Highest24 (December 1998)
Lowest189 (December 2017)
Elo ranking
Current 97 Increase 5 (27 March 2019)[4]
Highest26 (11 December 1998)
Lowest102 (February 2008)
First international
Flag of Kuwait 1940-1961.png Kuwait 2–2 Libya 
(Morocco; 3 September 1961)
Biggest win
 Kuwait 20–0 Bhutan 
(Kuwait City, Kuwait; 14 February 2000)
Biggest defeat
 United Arab Republic 8–0 Kuwait Flag of Kuwait 1940-1961.png
(Morocco; 4 September 1961)
 Portugal 8–0 Kuwait Kuwait
(Leiria, Portugal; 19 November 2003)
World Cup
Appearances1 (first in 1982)
Best resultGroup Stage, 1982
Asian Cup
Appearances10 (first in 1972)
Best resultChampions, 1980

Kuwait's 20–0 win over Bhutan in 2000 was at the time the biggest ever victory in international football. It was surpassed in 2001, when Australia beat American Samoa 31–0.

Contents

HistoryEdit

Kuwait's first international match was played in the 1961 Pan Arab Games against Libya which ended in a 2–2 draw. Kuwait's biggest loss was against Republic the United Arab Republic when they were destroyed 8–0 by the Pharaohs in the same tournament. Kuwait national football team has joined the World Cup in 1982 which was held in Spain. Kuwait was placed in the fourth group, and got fourth place after defeats to England and France and a respectable draw with Czechoslovakia. Kuwait has won the Asian Cup in 1980 which was held on its soil. Kuwait won the Final 3–0 against South Korea. Kuwait's historical highest FIFA ranking was the 24th place achieved in December 1998. Bader Al-Mutawa is the most capped player of the Kuwaiti team, and Bashar Abdullah is the top goalscorer in the history of the Kuwait national football team. Kuwait has won the Arabian Gulf Cup ten times, and is the most successful team in winning that competition. Kuwait's most historical manager was Luiz Felipe Scolari, who won the World Cup with Brazil, and was forced to leave the country after the 1990 invasion by Iraq. He led Kuwait to win the 1990 Gulf Cup beating Qatar in The Final. Kuwait's biggest win was against Bhutan which ended in a thrilling 20–0 win, which was the biggest win until Australia won 31–0 against the American Samoa in 2001. Kuwait's most successful years were between 1970–1990 which had players like Jassem Yacoub, Faisal Dakhil, and Sa'ad Al-Hoty.

SuspensionsEdit

On 30 October 2007, Kuwait was suspended by FIFA from all participation in international football, on the grounds of governmental interference in the national football association.[5] The ban lasted less than 2 weeks.[6] On 24 October 2008, Kuwait was again suspended by FIFA from all participation in international football, because of its failure to hold the General Assembly elections by mid-October.[7] FIFA provisionally lifted its suspension on the Kuwait Football Association (KFA) on 22 December 2008.[8]

Once again, on 16 October 2015, Kuwait was suspended for the third time as FIFA did not recognize the new sport law in the country.[9] Kuwait tried to get the suspension lifted at the 66th FIFA Congress but this was rejected and therefore from the earlier announcement on 27 April 2016, the hosting of the Gulf Cup tournament would also be moved to Qatar.[10] The suspension was eventually lifted on 6 December 2017, after Kuwait's adoption of a new sports law. By this time, the team had fallen to the 188th place in the FIFA World Rankings due to its inactivity.[11][12]

On 7 December 2017, it was announced that Kuwait would host the 2017 Gulf Cup tournament after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain, all withdrew when the tournament was previously set to be hosted by Qatar because of the Qatari diplomatic crisis, so it was moved to Kuwait to please all withdrawn parties to participate.

Team imageEdit

Home StadiumEdit

The Kuwait National Team has two home stadiums, and they are Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium and Al-Sadaqua Walsalam Stadium. Jaber Al-Ahmed International Stadium was built in 2009, and Kuwait celebrated winning the 20th Gulf Cup in that stadium; while Al-Sadaqua Walsalam Stadium is for the Kuwaiti club Kazma SC and was the Kuwait national team home. Following the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification-AFC Second Round, playing against the Philippines on 23 July 2011, this was the last time Mohammed Al-Hamed Stadium was the Kuwait Home stadium. On 16 May 2012, Kuwait played against the 2011–12 La Liga Champions Real Madrid in Al Kuwait Sports Club Stadium, the home ground of Kuwaiti club Kuwait SC, which Real Madrid won 2–0. Kuwait played their entire 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification-AFC Third Round in Al-Sadaqua Walsalam Stadium, beating the United Arab Emirates 2–1, drawing with South Korea 1–1 and losing to Lebanon 1–0. Before Jaber Al-Ahmed international stadium was finally built in 2009, Kuwait played in Mohammed Al-Hamed Stadium. When Kuwait hosted the 1980 Asian Cup, the tournament was hosted in Sabah Al-Salem Stadium, which has a capacity of 22,000 spectators and was the largest stadium in Kuwait at that time, and Kuwait won their first and only Asian Cup of all time in that stadium. When Kuwait hosted the 1974 Gulf Cup, it was the first time Kuwait had hosted a Gulf Cup competition, and all the matches were played in Al Kuwait Sports Club Stadium. Kuwait were champions of that competition for the first time in their history on home soil, and the third time in a row overall. In 1990, Kuwait hosted the 1990 Gulf Cup for the second time in their history and were crowned Champions of that competition. All of the games were played on Al-Sadaqua Walsalam Stadium. In the 2003 Gulf Cup, Kuwait hosted the competition for the third time, and once again all the matches were played in one stadium, the Al-Sadaqua Walsalam Stadium. However, Kuwait lost the competition. In the 2017 Gulf Cup, Kuwait hosted the tournament for the fourth time. All the matches were played in two stadiums, the Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium and Al Kuwait Sports Club Stadium. However, Kuwait were eliminated from the group stage after losing to Saudi Arabia and Oman and drawing with the United Arab Emirates.

Media coverageEdit

All Kuwait matches are broadcast with full commentary on Kuwait TV 3. These matches are live and exclusive. Al Jazeera Sports broadcast Kuwait matches live and exclusive. So broadcast exclusively on 3 different channels, which is not exclusive. Dubai Sports broadcast Kuwait matches only in special events like the Gulf Cup, Asian Cup and others.

KitEdit

Kit providers

Kuwaits traditional colors are blue and white: The blue kits are their home ones and the whites for matches away. Kuwait's official kit provider is currently the German company Uhlsport, starting from 2014. Kuwait wore the blue shirts in the 1980 AFC Asian Cup and the 1982 FIFA World Cup.

RivalriesEdit

Kuwait vs. Iraq
Statistics vs.   Iraq
Played1 Wins2 Draws Losses GF GA
28 10 8 10 33 31

1. Only matches recognized by FIFA.
2. Wins for Kuwait.

Iraqi rivalry with Kuwait is considered the Arab world's greatest football rivalry of all time.[13] The rivalry began in the mid 1970s and it was the decade from 1976 until 1986 that saw the golden age of football for arguably the finest teams the region has produced. Both nations imposed their complete domination on the Gulf region, and from the Gulf Cup's inception in 1970 until 1990, the tournament was won by only two teams; Kuwait seven times (1970, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1982, 1986, 1990), and despite Iraq's absence in the first three editions and withdrawal in two others, Iraq won it three times (1979, 1984, 1988).[13]

Iraq and Kuwait took their increasingly bitter rivalry to a new level. On 11 June 1976, the two met in the semi-final of the Asian Cup in Tehran; Kuwait took the lead twice, Iraq came roaring back twice, And then, in the 10th minute of extra time, Kamel scored the winner for Kuwait. In 1979, the year Iraq clinched their first Gulf Cup and won over Kuwait 3–1, the two met in a qualifier for the Moscow 1980 Olympic Games, both managed to qualify to the Olympic Games, and both made it to the quarter-finals in Moscow. Iraq also qualified for the 1984 Games in Los Angeles and 1988 Games in Seoul. The 1982 Asian Games was won as well. Kuwait won the 1980 AFC Asian Cup, which they hosted. The nations also left their mark on the world stage. Kuwait qualified for the 1982 World Cup finals in Spain. Iraq matched that in Mexico 1986.[13]

As Iraq and Kuwait traded Gulf titles in 1988 and 1990, few could have imagined that their rivalry on the football field would be replaced by an altogether more catastrophic one on the battlefield. Because of the Gulf war, football would never be the same again. Iraq and Kuwait were in complete avoidance and never met for more than a decade. Kuwait's Blues had a relative recovery of sorts, winning the Gulf Cup in 1996 and 1998, before securing their record 10th title in 2010. Iraqi football, because of Uday Hussein's reign as head of the football association, would take far longer to recover. When it did, it was in glorious fashion, the Lions of Mesopotamia winning the 2007 Asian Cup.[13]

Kuwait vs. Saudi Arabia
Statistics vs.   Saudi Arabia
Played1 Wins2 Draws Losses GF GA
42 13 13 16 44 48

1. Only matches recognized by FIFA.
2. Wins for Kuwait.

Competitive recordEdit

World Cup recordEdit

Previous resultsEdit

2017Edit

2018Edit

2019Edit

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

The following players were called up for the friendly matches against Lebanon & Australia on October 11 & 15, 2018. Caps and goals updated after the game against Australia on 15 October 2018.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Khaled Al Rashidi (1989-04-20) 20 April 1989 (age 30) 21 0   Qadsia SC
1GK Hameed Al-Qallaf (1987-08-10) 10 August 1987 (age 31) 35 0   Kuwait SC
1GK Sulaiman Abdulghafour (1991-02-21) 21 February 1991 (age 28) 11 0   Al-Arabi

2DF Amer Al-Fadhel (1988-04-21) 21 April 1988 (age 31) 20 0   Qadsia SC
2DF Dhari Said (1984-06-26) 26 June 1984 (age 34) 9 0   Qadsia SC
2DF Khalid El Ebrahim (1992-08-28) 28 August 1992 (age 26) 12 0   Qadsia SC
2DF Fahad Hamoud (1990-10-03) 3 October 1990 (age 28) 5 0   Kuwait SC
2DF Fahed Al Hajri (1991-11-10) 10 November 1991 (age 27) 32 3   Kuwait SC
2DF Ghazi Al Qahadi (1989-05-04) 4 May 1989 (age 30) 0 0   Al-Salmiya SC
2DF Mohammad Frieh (1988-01-01) 1 January 1988 (age 31) 13 0   Al-Arabi
2DF Ali Ateej (1996-05-22) 22 May 1996 (age 22) 2 0   Al-Nasr SC

3MF Mohammed Khalil (1996-08-25) 25 August 1996 (age 22) 2 0   Qadsia
3MF Sultan Al Enezi (1994-09-13) 13 September 1994 (age 24) 26 0   Al-Wakrah
3MF Omar Al Hubaiter 1 0   Kazma
3MF Hamad Harbi 0 0   Kazma
3MF Fahad Al Ansari (1987-02-25) 25 February 1987 (age 32) 53 2   Al-Faisaly FC
3MF Ahmed Al-Dhefiri (1992-02-08) 8 February 1992 (age 27) 9 0   Qadsia SC
3MF Talal Al Fadhel (1990-08-11) 11 August 1990 (age 28) 6 0   Kuwait SC
3MF Abdullah Mawi (1995-11-28) 28 November 1995 (age 23) 2 0   Qadsia
3MF Faisal Zaid (1991-10-09) 9 October 1991 (age 27) 25 2   Jahra
3MF Fahad Al Enezi (1988-09-01) 1 September 1988 (age 30) 47 6   Al-Markhiya SC
3MF Mashari Al Azmi (1987-11-19) 19 November 1987 (age 31) 9 0   Kazma SC

4FW Yaqoub Al-Tararwa (1994-03-07) 7 March 1994 (age 25) 4 2   Kuwait SC
4FW Bader Al Mutawa (1985-01-10) 10 January 1985 (age 34) 167 55   Qadsia SC
4FW Hussain Al-Musawi (1988-07-11) 11 July 1988 (age 30) 15 3   Al-Arabi

Recent call-upsEdit

The following players have also been called up to the Kuwait squad within the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Mos'aab Al Kandari (1987-02-20) 20 February 1987 (age 32) 1 0   Kuwait SC 25 March vs Cameroon
GK Hussein Kankoune (1987-04-20) 20 April 1987 (age 32) 1 0   Kazma SC 25 March vs Cameroon

DF Sami Al Sanea (1993-01-23) 23 January 1993 (age 26) 7 0   Kuwait SC 10 September vs Iraq
DF Hussain Hakem (1984-06-26) 26 June 1984 (age 34) 24 0   Kuwait SC 10 September vs Iraq
DF Khaled Al Qahtani (1985-02-16) 16 February 1985 (age 34) 21 0   Qadsia 10 September vs Iraq
DF Ahmad Raheel (1996-05-22) 22 May 1996 (age 22) 2 0   Al-Arabi 11 May vs Egypt
DF Hummoud Melfi (1988-01-01) 1 January 1988 (age 31) 0 0   Al-Jahra SC 25 March vs Cameroon

MF Reda Hani (1996-04-22) 22 April 1996 (age 23) 7 1   Qadsia 10 September vs Iraq
MF Ali Maqseed (1986-12-11) 11 December 1986 (age 32) 66 8   Al-Arabi 10 September vs Iraq
MF Shaheen Al-Khamies (1996-10-03) 3 October 1996 (age 22) 0 0   Kuwait SC 25 March vs Cameroon
MF Bader Al-Fadhel (1997-04-21) 21 April 1997 (age 22) 2 0   Al-Arabi 25 March vs Cameroon
MF Mohammed Ayith (1994-09-13) 13 September 1994 (age 24) 0 0   Al-Nasr SC 25 March vs Cameroon
MF Abdullah Al Buraiki (1987-08-12) 12 August 1987 (age 31) 15 2   Kuwait SC 23rd Arabian Gulf Cup

FW Faisal Ajab (1993-01-23) 23 January 1993 (age 26) 7 0   Al-Markhiya SC 10 September vs Iraq
FW Yousef Nasser (1990-03-27) 27 March 1990 (age 29) 79 35   Al-Nahda 10 September vs Iraq
FW Mohamed Saad Al Ajmi (1986-01-01) 1 January 1986 (age 33) 2 0   Al-Jahra SC 23rd Arabian Gulf Cup
FW Nasser Al-Faraj (1993-03-13) 13 March 1993 (age 26) 3 0   Kazma SC 25 March vs Cameroon
FW Mesha'al Fawaz (1995-07-13) 13 July 1995 (age 23) 3 0   Al-Nasr SC 11 May vs Palestine
FW Yousef Al-Enezan (1995-09-30) 30 September 1995 (age 23) 3 0   Al Tadhmon SC 11 May vs Palestine

Previous squadsEdit

World Cup squads
Asian Cup squads

Most capped playersEdit

As of October 11, 2018
Players in bold are still active.
# Name International Career Caps Goals
1. Bader Al-Mutawa 2003– 168 55
2. Waleed Ali 2002–2014 135 8
3. Bashar Abdullah 1996–2018 134 75
4. Musaed Neda 2002–2018 125 17
5. Nawaf Al-Khaldi 2000–2015 114 0
6. Jarah Al Ateeqi 2003–2015 111 3
7. Jamal Mubarak 1994–2004 108 9
Nohair Al-Shammari 1996–2009 108 2
9. Mahboub Mubarak 1976–1990 103 ?
10. Fahad Awadh 2005–2015 100 3

Top GoalscorersEdit

As of October 11, 2018
Players in bold are still active.
# Name International Career Caps Goals
1. Bashar Abdullah 1996–2007 134 75
2. Jassem Al Houwaidi 1992–2003 99 63
3. Bader Al-Mutawa 2003– 168 55

Head to head against other countriesEdit

As of 21 March 2019[16]

  Positive Record   Neutral Record   Negative Record

Opponent
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
  Afghanistan 1 1 0 0 3 2 +1
  Algeria 2 1 0 1 2 1 +1
  Armenia 1 1 0 0 3 1 +2
  Australia 12 5 2 5 12 16 -4
  Azerbaijan 2 0 2 0 2 2 0
  Bahrain 29 18 10 11 53 32 +19
  Bangladesh 2 2 0 0 6 1 +5
  Bhutan 1 1 0 0 20 0 +20
  Bulgaria 5 0 3 2 6 9 -3
  Cameroon 1 0 0 1 1 3 -2
  China PR 17 5 3 9 12 23 -11
  Colombia 1 0 0 1 1 3 -2
  Cyprus 4 1 1 1 3 5 -2
  Czech Republic 4 1 1 2 6 5 +1
  Ecuador 1 0 0 1 0 3 -3
  Egypt 13 2 6 5 9 20 -11
  England 1 0 0 1 0 1 -1
  Finland 7 2 2 3 5 6 -1
  France 2 0 0 2 1 5 -4
  Germany 1 0 0 1 0 8 -8
  Hong Kong 6 6 0 0 16 2 +14
  Hungary 2 0 0 2 0 2 -2
  Iceland 7 1 4 2 3 4 -1
  India 3 2 0 1 17 5 +12
  Indonesia 6 2 3 1 11 6 +5
  Iran 31 8 9 15 28 39 -11
  Iraq 29 10 9 10 35 32 +2
  Ivory Coast 1 0 0 1 0 2 -2
  Japan 5 4 0 1 8 2 +6
  Jordan 22 10 7 5 37 22 +12
  Kazakhstan 1 0 1 0 0 0 0
  Kenya 1 1 0 0 5 0 +5
  North Korea 15 8 6 1 22 12 +10
  South Korea 25 10 2 13[17] 24 32 -8
  Kyrgyzstan 4 3 1 0 10 2 +8
  Laos 2 1 0 1[17] 2 3 -1
  Latvia 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2
  Lebanon 33 16 10 7 55 34 +21
  Libya 5 1 3 1 6 8 -2
  Lithuania 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1
  Macau 2 2 0 0 18 1 +17
  Malaysia 13 9 2 2 32 9 +21
  Mali 2 2 0 0 12 3 +9
  Mauritania 1 1 0 0 3 1 +9
  Mexico 1 0 1 0 0 0 0
  Mongolia 1 1 0 0 11 0 +11
  Morocco 7 1 3 3 10 15 -5
  Myanmar 2 1 0 1[17] 9 3 +6
    Nepal 5 4 1 0 21 1 +20
  New Zealand 3 1 1 1 5 8 -3
  Norway 5 1 2 2 5 6 -1
  Oman 29 10 11 8 46 24 +20
  Pakistan 4 4 0 0 12 0 +12
  Palestine 9 7 2 0 24 6 +18
  Philippines 3 3 0 0 7 2 +5
  Poland 2 0 1 1 1 3 -2
  Portugal 2 0 1 1 1 9 -8
  Qatar 35 20 4 11 57 38 +19
  Romania 2 0 1 1 1 2 -1
  Russia 2 0 0 2 0 3 -3
  Saudi Arabia 40 11 13 16 40 43 -3
  Singapore 9 6 2 1 18 6 +12
  Sudan 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1
  Syria 31 12 7 12 45 36 +9
  Chinese Taipei 1 1 0 0 10 0 +10
  Tajikistan 1 1 0 0 3 0 +3
  Thailand 10 5 1 4 25 16 +9
  Trinidad and Tobago 1 1 0 0 1 1 +1
  Tunisia 4 0 0 4 2 9 -7
  Turkmenistan 4 3 1 0 12 3 +9
  Uganda 1 0 1 0 1 1 0
  United Arab Emirates 41 18 7 16 77 50 +27
  United States 1 0 0 1 0 2 -2
  Uzbekistan 6 2 1 3 9 12 -3
  Vietnam 3 2 0 1 5 3 +2
  Wales 2 0 2 0 0 0 0
  Yemen 8 5 3 0 14 3 +11
  Zambia 2 2 0 0 6 1 +5
  Zimbabwe 1 1 0 0 3 0 +3
Total 594 261 153 178 972 675 +297

HonoursEdit

Continental honoursEdit

Winners (1): 1980
Runners-up (1): 1976
Third Place (1): 1984
Fourth Place (1): 1996

Regional honoursEdit

Winners (10): 1970, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1996, 1998, 2010
Runners-up (1): 1979
Third-Place (1): 2013, 2002
Winners (1): 2002
Third-Place (1): 1997
Winners (1): 2010
Fourth-Place (1): 2014
Runners-up (1): 1964
Third-Place (2): 1992, 1998
Fourth-Place (1): 1963
Third-Place (2): 1992*, 2011
Fourth-Place (1): 1997

* The 1992 edition organised as part of the Pan Arab Games, and also counted as Arab Nations Cup.

Others/MinorEdit

Winners (1): 2011
Runners-up (1): 1973

NotesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "ROMEO JOZAK ZNALAZŁ PRACĘ. ZOSTAŁ DYREKTOREM SPORTOWYM W KUWEJCIE". Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  2. ^ "FIFA Century Club des Cent del la FIFA Club de los Cien de la FIFA" (PDF).
  3. ^ "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 4 April 2019. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  4. ^ Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 27 March 2019. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  5. ^ "FIFA suspends Kuwait Football Federation". London: Guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 30 October 2007.[dead link]
  6. ^ "FIFA lifts suspension on Kuwait". FIFA. Retrieved 9 November 2007.
  7. ^ "FIFA suspends Kuwait Football Federation". The-AFC.com. Archived from the original on 26 October 2008. Retrieved 25 October 2008.
  8. ^ "FIFA provisionally lifted its suspension on the Kuwait Football Association (KFA)". The-AFC.com. Archived from the original on 25 December 2008. Retrieved 22 December 2008.
  9. ^ "Suspension of the Kuwait Football Association". FIFA. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
  10. ^ "FIFA Congress drives football forward, first female secretary general appointed". FIFA. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  11. ^ "Suspension of the Kuwait Football Association lifted". FIFA.com. 6 December 2017. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  12. ^ "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking - November 2017". FIFA.com. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  13. ^ a b c d Storied Gulf Cup rivalry between Iraq and Kuwait survives war
  14. ^ "Kuwait sanctioned after unplayed FIFA World Cup™ qualifier". FIFA. 13 January 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  15. ^ "FIFA sanctions several football associations after discriminatory chants by fans" (PDF). FIFA. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 January 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  16. ^ "World Football Elo Ratings: Kuwait". Eloratings.net. 5 January 2018. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  17. ^ a b c 1 match forfeited

External linksEdit