Kuwait national football team

Nickname(s) Al-Azraq (The Blue)
Association Kuwait Football Association
Confederation AFC (Asia)
Sub-confederation WAFF (West Asia)
Head coach Nabil Maâloul
Most caps Bader Al-Mutawa (156)[1]
Top scorer Bashar Abdullah (75)
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 172 Decrease 5 (24 November 2016)
Highest 24 (December 1998)
Lowest 172 (November 2016)
Elo ranking
Current 90 (October 2016)
Highest 26 (11 December 1998)
Lowest 102 (February 2008)
First international
 Kuwait 2–2 Libya 
(Morocco; September 3, 1961)
Biggest win
 Kuwait 20–0 Bhutan 
(Kuwait City, Kuwait; February 14, 2000)
Biggest defeat
 United Arab Republic 8–0 Kuwait Kuwait
(Morocco; September 4, 1961)
 Portugal 8–0 Kuwait Kuwait
(Leiria, Portugal; November 19, 2003)
World Cup
Appearances 1 (first in 1982)
Best result Round 1, 1982
Asian Cup
Appearances 10 (first in 1972)
Best result Champions, 1980

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 a draw with Czechoslovakia but losing to England and France. During the match against France, a goal was scored by the French because some of the Kuwaiti players stopped playing, having heard a whistle. The goal was initially awarded by the referee, who had not blown, but Kuwait walked off the pitch in protest. They eventually resumed playing only after the intervention of Sheikh Fahad Al Ahmed when he actually himself walked down the pitch to speak to the fourth official and the referee's subsequent decision to disallow the French goal.

They had better success contending for the Asian Cup, reaching the final in 1976 and taking home the winner's trophy in 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. Kuwait is now currently suspended from FIFA.


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 has joined the fourth group and which came in the fourth place. Kuwait has won the AFC Cup in 1980 which was held in Kuwait. Kuwait won the Final 3–0 on South Korea. Kuwait historical FIFA ranking which was 24th. Bashar Abdullah is the most capped player in Kuwait and the top goal scorer in the history of the Kuwait National Football Team. Kuwait has won the gulf cup of nation 10 times and is the most team to win the competition. Kuwait's most historical manager is Luiz Felipe Scolari, who won the world cup with Brazil national team, was forced to leave the country after the 1990 invasion in Iraq. He led Kuwait to win the 1990 Gulf cup beating Qatar in The Final. Kuwait's biggest win was against Bhutan National Football Team which ended in a thrilling 20–0 win which was the biggest win until Australia National Football Team won 31–0 against the American Samoan national football team in 2001. Kuwait's most successful years were between 1970–1990 which had players like Jassem Yacoub, Faisal Dakhil, Sa'ad Al-Hoty et al.


On October 30, 2007, Kuwait was suspended by FIFA from all participation in international football, on the grounds of governmental interference in the national football association.[2] The ban lasted less than 2 weeks.[3] On October 24, 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.[4] FIFA provisionally lifted its suspension on the Kuwait Football Association (KFA) on December 22, 2008.[5]

Once again, on 16 October 2015, Kuwait were suspended for the 3rd time as FIFA did not recognize the new sport law in the country.[6]

Kuwait tried to get the suspension lifted at the 66th FIFA Congress but this was rejected and therefore from the earlier announcement on 27th April, the hosting of the Gulf Cup of Nations tournament would also be moved to Qatar.[7]

Team image

Home Stadium

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 Gulf Cup 20 in that stadium. While Al—Sadaqua Walsalam Stadium is for Kuwaiti club Kazma 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 S.C., 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 and was the largest stadium in Kuwait at that time. Kuwait won their first Asian Cup of all time. When Kuwait hosted the 1974 Gulf Cup of Nations it was the first time Kuwait had hosted a Gulf Cup Of Nations competition and all the matches were played in Al Kuwait Sports Club Stadium. Kuwait were champions of that competition for the time in their history and the third time in a row. In 1990 Kuwait hosted the 1990 Gulf Cup of Nations 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 of Nations Kuwait hosted the competition for the third and last time and once again all the matches were played in one stadium, the Al-Sadaqua Walsalam. However, Kuwait lost the competition.

Media coverage

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 of Nations, Asian Cup and others.


Kit providers

Kuwait traditional colors are blue and white: The blue represents the home kit and white represents the away colors. The Kuwait's official kit provider is currently produced by Deutsch company Uhlsport starting from 2014, Kuwait wore the blue T-shirt in the 1980 AFC Asian Cup and the 1982 FIFA World Cup.


Kuwait vs. Iraq
Statistics vs.  Iraq
Played1 Wins2 Draws3 Losses GF GA

1. Only matches recognized by FIFA.
2. Wins for Kuwait.
3. Includes matches won or lost on P.K.

Iraqi rivalry with Kuwait is considered the Arab world's greatest football rivalry of all time.[8] 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).[8]

Iraq and Kuwait took their increasingly bitter rivalry to a new level. On June 11, 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.[8]

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.[8]

World Cup record

FIFA World Cup record
Year Result Position Pld W D* L GF GA
Uruguay 1930 to Mexico 1970Did not enter-------
Germany 1974 to Argentina 1978Did not qualify-------
Spain 1982Round 121st301226
Mexico 1986 to Brazil 2014Did not qualify-------
Russia 2018 Disqualified [9][10]-------
Qatar 2022 TBD-------
TotalBest: Round 11/213 0 1 2 2 6

Asian Cup record

AFC Asian Cup Finals record
Year Result Position GP W D* L GS GA
Hong Kong 1956Did not enter
South Korea 1960
Israel 1964
Iran 1968Withdrew
Thailand 1972Group stage5th210125
Iran 1976Runners-up4th430163
Kuwait 1980Champions1st6411136
Singapore 1984Third Place3rd631254
Qatar 1988Group stage7th403123
Japan 1992Did not qualify
United Arab Emirates 1996Fourth place4th6 2 1 3 9 6
Lebanon 2000Quarterfinals6th4 1 2 1 3 3
China 2004Group stage10th3 1 0 2 3 7
IndonesiaMalaysiaThailandVietnam 2007Did not qualify
Qatar 2011Group stage14th300317
Australia 2015Group stage15th3 0 0 3 1 6
United Arab Emirates 2019Disqualified or Suspended (Maybe)
TotalBest: Champions10/1742 15 10 18 45 51
*Denotes draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
**Gold background color indicates that the tournament was won. Red border color indicates tournament was held on home soil.

Olympic Games record

Olympic Games record
Year Round GP W D L GF GA
France 1900 to Australia 1956Did not enter------
Italy 1960 to Canada 1976Did not qualify------
Soviet Union 1980Quarterfinals412154
United States 1984 to South Korea 1988Did not qualify------
TotalQuarterfinals4121 44
Football at the Summer Olympics has been an under-23 tournament since 1992.

Gulf Cup of Nations record

YearHost CountryPlace
1970  Bahrain Champions
1972  Saudi Arabia Champions
1974  Kuwait Champions
1976  Qatar Champions
1979  Iraq Runners-Up
1982  UAE Champions
1984  Oman6th place
1986  Bahrain Champions
1988  Saudi Arabia5th place
1990  Kuwait Champions
1992  Qatar5th place
1994  UAE5th place
1996  Oman Champions
1998  Bahrain Champions
2002  Saudi Arabia4th place
2003  Kuwait6th place
2004  Qatar 4th place
2007  UAEGroup Stage
2009  Oman Semifinals
2010  Yemen Champions
2013  Bahrain Third Place
2014  Saudi ArabiaGroup Stage
2017  QatarTBD

Other tournaments

Year Round
Kuwait 1964 Arab Nations CupThird Place
Malaysia Merdeka Cup 1973 Runners-Up
Kuwait 1989 Peace and Friendship CupThird Place
Syria Pan Arab GamesThird Place
Qatar Pan Arab GamesThird Place
Syria 1992 Arab Nations Cup Third Place
Iran West Asian Games 1997 Third Place
Qatar 1998 Arab Nations Cup Third Place
Kuwait West Asian Games 2002Champions
Jordan 2010 West Asian F.F. ChampionshipChampions

Recent results

Current squad

Caps and goals updated as of 3 September 2015 after the game against Laos.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
22 1GK Sulaiman Abdulghafour (1991-02-21) 21 February 1991 6 0 Kuwait Al-Arabi
23 1GK Hameed Youssef (1987-08-10) 10 August 1987 12 0 Kuwait Al-Arabi

2 2DF Amer Al Fadhel (1988-04-21) 21 April 1988 18 0 Kuwait Qadsia
3 2DF Fahad Awadh (1985-02-26) 26 February 1985 35 2 Kuwait Al-Kuwait
4 2DF Hussain Fadhel (1984-10-09) 9 October 1984 48 4 United Arab Emirates Al-Wahda
5 2DF Fahed Al Hajri (1991-11-10) 10 November 1991 24 3 Kuwait Qadsia
6 2DF Khaled Al Qahtani (1985-02-16) 16 February 1985 16 0 Kuwait Qadsia
13 2DF Musaed Neda (1983-07-08) 8 July 1983 108 17 Kuwait Al-Salmiya SC
18 2DF Khalid El Ebrahim (1992-08-28) 28 August 1992 9 0 Kuwait Qadsia
21 2DF Ali Maqseed (1986-12-11) 11 December 1986 63 8 Kuwait Al-Arabi

7 3MF Talal Al Fadhel (1990-08-11) 11 August 1990 0 0 Kuwait Kazma
8 3MF Saleh Al Sheikh (1982-05-29) 29 May 1982 44 1 Kuwait Qadsia
9 3MF Abdullah Al Buraiki (1987-08-12) 12 August 1987 13 1 Kuwait Al-Kuwait
10 3MF Abdulaziz Al Misha'an (1988-10-19) 19 October 1988 18 1 Kuwait Qadsia
11 3MF Fahad Al Ansari (1987-02-25) 25 February 1987 31 1 Kuwait Qadsia
12 3MF Abdulrahman Alnaseem (1998-08-18) 18 August 1998 19 92 Kuwait Qadsia
14 3MF Talal Al Amer (1987-02-22) 22 February 1987 27 0 Kuwait Qadsia
15 3MF Hassan Albeloushi (1997-11-21) 21 November 1997 5 18 Kuwait Al-Salmiya
16 3MF Faisal Zaid (1991-10-09) 9 October 1991 9 1 Kuwait Jahra
24 3MF Ali Al Faraj (1996-04-17) 17 April 1996 20 7 Kuwait Qadsia

17 4FW Bader Al Mutawa (1985-01-10) 10 January 1985 156 51 Kuwait Qadsia
20 4FW Yousef Nasser (1990-10-09) 9 October 1990 61 31 Kuwait Kazma
25 4FW Khalid Al Braikan (1996-01-13) 13 January 1996 15 9 Kuwait Al-Kuwait

Previous squads

World Cup squads
Asian Cup squads


Continental honours

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

Regional honours

Winners (10): 1970, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1996, 1998, 2010
Runners-up (1): 1979
Third-Place (1): 2013, 2002
Winners (1): 2002
Winners (1): 2010
Winners (2): 2013, 2015


  • Focus Cup
Winners (1): 2011


  1. Kuwait will play their home matches in Qatar due to unspecified reasons.[11]



Preceded by
1976 Iran 
Asian Champions
1980 (First title)
Succeeded by
1984 Saudi Arabia 
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