Gulf Cup of Nations
|Founded||1968, officially in 1970|
|Number of teams||8 (Qualifiers)
|Current champions|| United Arab Emirates
|Most successful team(s)|| Kuwait
(10 titles out of 20 in total)
The Gulf Cup of Nations or Arabian Gulf Cup (Arabic: كأس الخليج العربي), also known as Khaleeji (Arabic: خليجي), followed by the edition of the games (e.g. Khaleeji 17, Khaleeji 18, Khaleeji 19, etc), is a football (soccer) tournament currently held every two years rotating the host city every edition. Previously the competition was usually held by countries members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on a biannual basis, but the history of the competition has also seen it held every 3, or even 4 years, due to political, or organizational problems.
The Gulf Cup of Nations was founded at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico by the Arab states of Persian Gulf, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The First Gulf Cup tournament took place in Bahrain in 1970, and was won by the Kuwaiti team.
For the first time, the 17th edition of the tournament, held in Doha, Qatar in 2004, featured sports such as handball, basketball, and volleyball. The 2007 and 2009 tournaments included these sports as well.
The 2009 Gulf Cup, the 19th edition, took place in Muscat, Oman, from 4 January to 17 January 2009 and was won by Oman, for the first time in their history by beating regional leaders, Saudi Arabia in a penalty shootout.
An increasing popularity 
The Gulf Cup has dramatically featured increased attendance in the stadia, as well as increased public, and worldwide attention. This has been in particular due to Qatar's role in expanding and improving the competition. Due to Qatar spending big on sports, and hosting competitions such as the 2006 Asian Games, as well as various international tennis events, the Qatari Ministry of Sports, and the State of Qatar was more than happy to improve the local competition.
During the 2004 Gulf Cup of Nations, which was held in Qatar, the stadiums were generally full, due to Qatar's advertising and impressive planning and handling of the competition. Also during the 2004 competition, a new trophy was constructed in Italy to further push the Gulf Cup of Nations to become a competition on the worldwide level. Another impressive difference between this competition, and previous ones was the fact that more than football was competed for, but this time volleyball, handball, and basketball were also included in the competition.
Another major point that helped Qatar improve the competition was the fact that Al Jazeera Sports, the leading sports channel in West Asia, and North Africa is based in Doha. Al Jazeera Sports won broadcasting rights to the 2004, and exclusively in the 2009 Gulf Cup after a deal ending in $23.5 million, and dramatically reformed the Gulf Cup of Arabian Nations by hosting numerous talk shows and documentaries, on top of filming in HD and perfecting camerawork of matches.
The Gulf Cup of Nations tournament is a tournament not officially recognized by FIFA, but recent steps have been taken to make the competition official, such as the attending of matching from powerful people in football, such as FIFA president, Sepp Blatter, and UEFA president, Michel Platini.
- ^n/a A round-robin tournament determined the final standings.
Successful national teams 
|Kuwait||10 (1970, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1996, 1998, 2010)||1 (1979)||2 (2002, 2013)||1 (2004)||1 (2009)|
|Saudi Arabia||3 (1994, 2002, 2003)||6 (1972, 1974, 1992, 1998, 2009, 2010)||6 (1970, 1979, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1996)||1 (1982)||1 (2007)|
|Iraq||3 (1979, 1984, 1988)||2 (1976, 2013)||1 (2010)|
|Qatar||2 (1992, 2004)||4 (1984, 1990, 1996, 2002)||2 (1974, 2003)||4 (1970, 1972, 1986, 1994)||1 (2009)|
|United Arab Emirates||2 (2007, 2013)||3 (1986, 1988, 1994)||4 (1972, 1976, 1982, 1998)||4 (1974, 1984, 1992, 1996)||1 (2010)|
|Oman||1 (2009)||2 (2004, 2007)||3 (1990, 1998, 2003)|
|Bahrain||4 (1970, 1982, 1992, 2003)||3 (1990, 1994, 2004)||5 (1976, 1979, 1988, 2002, 2013)||1 (2007)|
- Iraq was banned from the competition from 1991 to 2003.
- Yemen and Bahrain have not yet won the championship.
- Bahrain and Saudi Arabia had a joint second place in 1992.
- There was no third place for the Gulf Cup in 2007, 2009 and 2010.
All-time goal records 
Below the table of all-time goal records by nations.
|Nation||Goals Scored||Tournaments||Games Played||Goals per Game|
|United Arab Emirates||94||19||93||1.02|
All-time goal records by Tournaments:
|Tournaments||Games||Goals Scored||Goals per Game|
Includes 1974 Preliminary Round games
Does not include penalty shoot-out goals
Golden boot history 
|2004||Amad Al Hosni||4|
|1998||Jasem Al Huwaidi||9|
|1996||Mohammed Salem Al-Enazi||4|
|1972||Hamad Bu Hamood||6|
Other records 
- Biggest Win - 8 Goals
- Most Goals in a game - 8 Goals
- Most Individual Goals in a Single Game - 5 Goals
- Most Individual Goals in a Single Tournament - 10 Goals
See also 
- Under 23 Gulf Cup of Nations
- Under 17 Gulf Cup of Nations
- AFC Asian Cup
- Arab Nations Cup
- East Asian Cup
- South Asian Football Federation Cup
- ASEAN Football Championship
- West Asian Football Federation Championship
- http://gulfnews.com/sport/football/uae-fans-could-be-deprived-of-gulf-cup-action-1.43346 - Al Jazeera win rights from Abu Dhabi & Dubai Sports, in a competition that was broadcast freely just a decade ago
- http://m.sportbusiness.com/news/168199/al-jazeera-acquires-gulf-cup-rights - Al Jazeera Sports receive full broadcasting rights for 23.5 million dollars
- http://www.wtvision.com/290/wtvision-broadcasts-real-time-statistics-at-2009-gulf-cup-in-oman.htm - Al Jazeera Sports offer the Gulf Cup in HD for the first time, and offer further enhanced visual graphics
- http://www.gulf-cup.net/index.asp?IDNews=125&id=100001 - Sepp Blatter on the 19th Gulf Cup
- http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/84173262/AFP - Michel Platini attending the 19th Gulf Cup
- http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/84167684/AFP - Michel Platini attending the 19th Gulf Cup
- http://goalzz.com/main.aspx?g=51&winners=true - Winners list from Goalzz (Kooora)
- http://gulfcup19.com/english/Gulfcup-History.aspx#statistics - Gulf Cup statistics by team
- Statistics made by contributor based on information found on gulfcup.com
- Kooora (Goalzz)
- Official Gulf Cup website
- Qatari-run Gulf Cup website
- Official site of the 19th Gulf Cup