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 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 Tonga 22–0. In 2000, Kuwait took part in the Sydney Olympic Games.
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 first international match was a friendly match against Libya national football team which ended in a 2-2 draw in 1960. Kuwait's biggest loss was against Egypt national Football team when they were destroyed 8-0 by the Pharaohs in 1961. 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 etc.
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. The ban lasted less than 2 weeks. 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. FIFA provisionally lifted its suspension on the Kuwait Football Association (KFA) on December 22, 2008.
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.
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. 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 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.
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 the torturer-in-chief Uday Hussein's reign of terror 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.