Saudi Arabian Football Federation

The Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF, Arabic: الاتحاد العربي السعودي لكرة القدم) is the football governing body of Saudi Arabia. Founded in 1956,[3] its responsibilities include administration of club competitions and national teams. The founder of the Saudi Arabian Football Federation is Prince Abdullah bin Faisal Al-Saud

Saudi Arabian Football Federation
Saudi Arabia Football Federation logo (2017).png
HeadquartersRiyadh, Saudi Arabia[1]
FIFA affiliation1956
AFC affiliation1972[2]
WAFF affiliation2010
PresidentYasser Al Misehal


The Saudi Federation was formally established in 1956 and in the same year it joined the International Football Association and the Asian Football Confederation in 1974, to begin the process of organizing his local championships in addition to his external contributions during which he achieved many great achievements.

The Saudi Football Federation organizes local football competitions, in addition to organizing the participation of Saudi national teams and clubs internationally, as it effectively supervises 153 clubs participating in football competitions. Premier, First, Second, and Third) - The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Champions - U-23 Championship (for the First and First Class) - Youth League Championship (Premier and First Class Clubs) - and the Junior League for Premier and Clubs First Class.

The Saudi Football Association is considered one of the most famous federations in the Asian continent in the field of football. On the regional level, the Saudi national team has won the Gulf Cup title 3 times in its history. Continental, the first Saudi national football team has not been absent from the final of the Asian Cup since 1984 until In 2004, when its absence from the final of the championship that was held in China, which the Japanese team won, was the first since 1984.

During the Saudi national team's qualifying in the Asian Cup final five times in a row, they won the title three times, its beginning in 1984 and then in 1988 and 1996 after it had lost the 1992 and 2000 finals to the Japanese team with the same result 1 - 0.

At the international level, the Saudi team qualified to the World Cup Finals four times in a row since its debut in 1994, where they ended up in round 16 after they were defeated by Sweden 3–1, as their best result in its history, until the 2006 World Cup in Germany. before they qualified again to the 2018 World Cup in Russia. And the Saudi Arabia U-16 team achieved the 1989 FIFA U-16 World Championship held in Scotland in 1989 after defeating in the final match against the host nation, becoming the first Asian team to win a FIFA tournament.

As of August 2021, they remain the only Asian men's team to win any FIFA tournament. Clubs also a number of continental championships at the level of football competitions in the Asian continent, also the first Asian team to participate in Club World Cup was the Saudi Al-Nassr in 2000, followed by Al-Ittihad in 2005.

SAFF appointed Croatian Romeo Jozak as technical director on 22 July 2021.[4]


During 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification, the fixtures between Saudi Arabia and Palestine were switched after Saudi Arabia cited “exceptional conditions” for their inability to travel to the West Bank.[5] The return fixture, originally to be played on 13 October 2015 at the Faisal Al-Husseini International Stadium, Al-Ram, was later postponed due to Saudi Arabia's refusal to pass through Israeli-controlled borders,[6] until the process of agreeing on the venue was concluded.[7] The match was rescheduled to be played on 5 November 2015 in Palestine, after the Palestinian Football Association gave full security guarantees for the match.[8] The match was later further delayed until 9 November, and to be changed to a neutral venue in Asia, as the Palestinian government confirmed that it could no longer guarantee the safety and security for the match.[9] The neutral venue was announced to be Amman International Stadium in Amman, Jordan.[10]

In 2016, the Saudi FA refused to travel to Iran during the 2016 AFC Champions League.[11]

On 8 June 2017, the Saudi Arabian national team failed to observe a moment of silence before a World Cup qualifying match against Australia in honor of the 2017 London Bridge attack victims.[12]

In November 2017, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain pulled out of the 23rd Arabian Gulf Cup due to the 2017 Qatar diplomatic crisis. However, they eventually participated in the competition after the host country was moved to Kuwait.

List of presidents of SAFFEdit

The following is a list of presidents of Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) since its establishment.

Association staffEdit

Name Position Source
  Yasser Al Misehal President [13][14]
  Khalid Al Thebity Vice President [13][14]
  Ibrahim Al Kassim General Secretary [13][14]
n/a Treasurer
  Ioan Lupescu Technical Director [13][14]
  Hervé Renard Team Coach (Men's) [13][14]
  Monika Staab Team Coach (Women's) [13][14]
n/a Media/Communications Manager
n/a Futsal Coordinator
  Manuel Navarro Referee Coordinator [13]

Domestic competitionsEdit


National teamsEdit



  1. ^ "Member Association - Saudi Arabia -". Archived from the original on October 31, 2019. Retrieved 2020-11-03.
  2. ^ "Arabia and Yemen are new members". The Straits Times. 28 July 1972.
  3. ^ " - Saudi Arabia on". Archived from the original on June 13, 2007. Retrieved 24 July 2011.
  4. ^ "—New Challenge, New Opportunity – Blast Fc Soccer Academy".
  5. ^ "Palestine and Saudi Arabia agree to swap venues for World Cup qualifier". The National (UAE). 8 June 2015.
  6. ^ "World Cup 2018: Palestinians and Saudi Arabia at loggerheads over key game". CNN. 29 September 2015.
  7. ^ "FIFA statement on the Palestine-Saudi Arabia 2018 FIFA World Cup™ qualifier". 7 October 2015. Archived from the original on October 9, 2015.
  8. ^ "Palestine vs Saudi Arabia 2018 FIFA World Cup™ qualifier to be played on 5 November". 21 October 2015. Archived from the original on October 24, 2015.
  9. ^ "Palestine to play Saudi Arabia and Malaysia on neutral ground". 4 November 2015. Archived from the original on November 5, 2015.
  10. ^ "Amman the venue for Palestine qualifiers". 5 November 2015. Archived from the original on November 7, 2015.
  11. ^ "Saudis refuse to travel to Iran for ACL".
  12. ^ "Saudi Arabia footballers ignore minute's silence for London attack victims". 9 June 2017.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g "Member Association - Saudi Arabia -". Retrieved 2020-08-18.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ a b c d e f "The - The Asian Football Confederation". The AFC. Retrieved 2020-11-03.

External linksEdit