Kuwait national football team
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.
|Nickname(s)||Al-Azraq (The Blue) (The Blue Wave)|
|Association||Kuwait Football Association|
|Sub-confederation||WAFF (West Asia)|
|Head coach||Romeo Jozak|
|Most caps||Bader Al-Mutawa (168)|
|Top scorer||Bashar Abdullah (75)|
|Home stadium||Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium|
|Current||156 (14 June 2019)|
|Highest||24 (December 1998)|
|Lowest||189 (December 2017)|
|Current||97 3 (20 July 2019)|
|Highest||26 (11 December 1998)|
|Lowest||102 (February 2008)|
| Kuwait 2–2 Libya |
(Morocco; 3 September 1961)
| Kuwait 20–0 Bhutan |
(Kuwait City, Kuwait; 14 February 2000)
| United Arab Republic 8–0 Kuwait |
(Morocco; 4 September 1961)
Portugal 8–0 Kuwait
(Leiria, Portugal; 19 November 2003)
|Appearances||1 (first in 1982)|
|Best result||Group Stage, 1982|
|Appearances||10 (first in 1972)|
|Best result||Champions, 1980|
While Kuwait is one of Asia's major football force during 1970s to 2000s, the strength of the national team has started to fade slowly from 2010s, with Kuwait failed in two consecutive Asian Cup in 2011 and 2015, before disqualified for 2019 edition. The team also failed to reach any World Cup since 1982.
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.
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. The ban lasted less than 2 weeks. 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. FIFA provisionally lifted its suspension on the Kuwait Football Association (KFA) on 22 December 2008.
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. 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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- Kuwait vs. Iraq
1. Only matches recognized by FIFA.
Iraqi rivalry with Kuwait is considered the Arab world's greatest football rivalry of all time. 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).
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.
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.
- Kuwait vs. Saudi Arabia
1. Only matches recognized by FIFA.
World Cup recordEdit
Asian Cup recordEdit
|22 December 2017 23rd AGC Group A||Kuwait||1–2||Saudi Arabia||Kuwait City, Kuwait|
||Report||Stadium: Jaber International Stadium|
Referee: Ali Abdulnabi (Bahrain)
|25 December 2017 23rd AGC Group A||Kuwait||0–1||Oman||Kuwait City, Kuwait|
|20:00 (AST)||Report||Stadium: Jaber International Stadium|
Referee: Saoud Al-Athbah (Qatar)
|28 December 2017 23rd AGC Group A||Kuwait||0–0||United Arab Emirates||Kuwait City, Kuwait|
|18:30 (AST)||Report||Stadium: Jaber International Stadium|
Referee: Ali Sabah (Iraq)
|21 March 2018 Friendly||Jordan||1–0||Kuwait||Amman, Jordan|
|17:00 (EET)||Bani Yaseen 28'||Report||Stadium: King Abdullah II Stadium|
Referee: Mohammed Abdulla Hassan Mohamed (United Arab Emirates)
|25 March 2018 Friendly||Kuwait||1–3||Cameroon||Kuwait City, Kuwait|
||Report||Stadium: Jaber International Stadium|
Referee: Adel Al Naqbi (United Arab Emirates)
|11 May 2018 Friendly||Kuwait||2–0||Palestine||Kuwait City, Kuwait|
|19:00 (AST)||Report||Stadium: Al Kuwait Sports Club Stadium|
Referee: Mahmood Al Majarafi (Oman)
|25 May 2018 Friendly||Kuwait||1–1||Egypt||Kuwait City, Kuwait|
||Stadium: Jaber International Stadium|
Referee: Ovidiu Hațegan (Romania)
|10 September 2018 Friendly||Kuwait||2–2||Iraq||Al Farwaniyah, Kuwait|
|18:30 (AST)||Report||Stadium: Ali Sabah Al-Salem Stadium|
Referee: Tihomir Pejin (Croatia)
|11 October 2018 Friendly||Kuwait||1–0||Lebanon||Kuwait City, Kuwait|
||Report||Stadium: Al Kuwait Sports Club Stadium|
Referee: Salman Ahmad Flahi (Qatar)
|15 October 2018 Friendly||Kuwait||0–4||Australia||Kuwait City, Kuwait|
|19:30 (AST)||Report||Stadium: Al Kuwait Sports Club Stadium|
Referee: Yaqoob Said Abdullah Abdul Baki (Oman)
|20 November 2018 Friendly||Kuwait||1–2||Syria||Al Farwaniyah, Kuwait|
||Report||Stadium: Ali Sabah Al-Salem Stadium|
Referee: Sherzod Kasimov (Uzbekistan)
|21 March 2019 Friendly||Kuwait||0–0||Nepal||Al Ahmadi, Kuwait|
|18:30 (UTC+3)||Report||Stadium: Al-Ahmadi Stadium|
|25 March 2019 Friendly||Kuwait||1–0||Nepal||Al Ahmadi, Kuwait|
|18:30 (UTC+3)||Nasser 28'||Report||Stadium: Al-Ahmadi Stadium|
|13 July 2019 Friendly||Hungerford Town||0–1||Kuwait||Marlow, England|
|17:00 BST (UTC+1)||Stadium: Bisham Abbey|
|16 July 2019 Friendly||Maidenhead United||1–0||Kuwait||Maidenhead, England|
|19:30 BST (UTC+1)||Whitehall 28' (pen)||Stadium: York Road|
|5 September 2019 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC Second Round||Nepal||v||Kuwait||Kathmandu, Nepal|
|Stadium: Dasarath Rangasala Stadium|
|10 September 2019 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC Second Round||Kuwait||v||Australia||TBD, Kuwait|
|10 October 2019 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC Second Round||Jordan||v||Kuwait||Amman, Jordan|
|Stadium: Amman International Stadium|
|14 November 2019 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC Second Round||Kuwait||v||Chinese Taipei||TBD, Kuwait|
|19 November 2019 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC Second Round||Kuwait||v||Nepal||TBD, Kuwait|
|26 March 2020 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC Second Round||Australia||v||Kuwait||TBD, Australia|
|31 March 2020 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC Second Round||Kuwait||v||Jordan||TBD, Kuwait|
|9 June 2020 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC Second Round||Chinese Taipei||v||Kuwait||TBD. Taiwan|
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||11 January 1985||0||0||Kuwait SC||25 March vs Cameroon|
|GK||Hussein Kankoune||16 April 1989||1||0||Kazma SC||25 March vs Cameroon|
|DF||Sami Al Sanea||23 January 1993||7||0||Kuwait SC||10 September vs Iraq|
|DF||Hussain Hakem||26 June 1984||24||0||Kuwait SC||10 September vs Iraq|
|DF||Khaled Al Qahtani||16 February 1985||21||0||Qadsia||10 September vs Iraq|
|DF||Ahmad Raheel||22 May 1996||2||0||Al-Arabi||11 May vs Egypt|
|DF||Hummoud Melfi||1 January 1988||0||0||Al-Jahra SC||25 March vs Cameroon|
|MF||Reda Hani||22 April 1996||7||1||Qadsia||10 September vs Iraq|
|MF||Ali Maqseed||11 December 1986||66||8||Al-Arabi||10 September vs Iraq|
|MF||Shaheen Al-Khamies||3 October 1996||0||0||Kuwait SC||25 March vs Cameroon|
|MF||Bader Al-Fadhel||21 April 1997||2||0||Al-Arabi||25 March vs Cameroon|
|MF||Mohammed Ayith||13 September 1994||0||0||Al-Nasr SC||25 March vs Cameroon|
|MF||Abdullah Al Buraiki||12 August 1987||15||2||Kuwait SC||23rd Arabian Gulf Cup|
|FW||Faisal Ajab||23 January 1993||7||0||Al-Markhiya SC||10 September vs Iraq|
|FW||Yousef Nasser||27 March 1990||79||35||Al-Nahda||10 September vs Iraq|
|FW||Mohamed Saad Al Ajmi||1 January 1986||2||0||Al-Jahra SC||23rd Arabian Gulf Cup|
|FW||Nasser Al-Faraj||13 March 1993||3||0||Kazma SC||25 March vs Cameroon|
|FW||Mesha'al Fawaz||13 July 1995||3||0||Al-Nasr SC||11 May vs Palestine|
|FW||Yousef Al-Enezan||30 September 1995||3||0||Al Tadhmon SC||11 May vs Palestine|
- World Cup squads
- Asian Cup squads
Most capped playersEdit
- As of March 25, 2019
- Players in bold are still active.
|6.||Jarah Al Ateeqi||2003–2015||111||3|
- As of October 11, 2018
- Players in bold are still active.
|2.||Jassem Al Houwaidi||1992–2003||99||63|
Head to head against other countriesEdit
As of 21 March 2019
Positive Record Neutral Record Negative Record
|Trinidad and Tobago||1||1||0||0||1||1||+1|
|United Arab Emirates||41||18||7||16||77||50||+27|
- 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
* The 1992 edition organised as part of the Pan Arab Games, and also counted as Arab Nations Cup.
- Winners (1): 2011
- Runners-up (1): 1973
- "ROMEO JOZAK ZNALAZŁ PRACĘ. ZOSTAŁ DYREKTOREM SPORTOWYM W KUWEJCIE". Retrieved 29 July 2018.
- "FIFA Century Club des Cent del la FIFA Club de los Cien de la FIFA" (PDF).
- "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 14 June 2019. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
- Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 20 July 2019. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
- "FIFA suspends Kuwait Football Federation". London: Guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 30 October 2007.[dead link]
- "FIFA lifts suspension on Kuwait". FIFA. Retrieved 9 November 2007.
- "FIFA suspends Kuwait Football Federation". The-AFC.com. Archived from the original on 26 October 2008. Retrieved 25 October 2008.
- "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.
- "Suspension of the Kuwait Football Association". FIFA. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
- "FIFA Congress drives football forward, first female secretary general appointed". FIFA. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
- "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.
- Storied Gulf Cup rivalry between Iraq and Kuwait survives war
- "Kuwait sanctioned after unplayed FIFA World Cup™ qualifier". FIFA. 13 January 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
- "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.
- "World Football Elo Ratings: Kuwait". Eloratings.net. 5 January 2018. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
- 1 match forfeited