Yemen national football team

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Yemen
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Al-Yemen A'Sa'eed
(اليمن السعيد)
Association Yemen Football Association
Sub-confederation WAFF (West Asia)
Confederation AFC (Asia)
Head coach Miroslav Soukup
Captain Salem Saeed
Top scorer Ali Al-Nono (29)
Home stadium Althawra Sports City Stadium
FIFA code YEM
FIFA ranking 178 Increase 6 (23 October 2014)
Highest FIFA ranking 90 (August 1993)
Lowest FIFA ranking 186 (February 2014)
Elo ranking 166
Highest Elo ranking 124 (13 October 2010)
Lowest Elo ranking 168 (June 2004)
First colours
Second colours
First international
 Sudan 9–0 North Yemen Yemen Arab Republic
(Egypt, September 5, 1965)
 Malaysia 0–1 Yemen Yemen
(Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; September 8, 1990)
Biggest win
Yemen Yemen 11–2 Bhutan 
(Kuwait City, Kuwait; February 18, 2000)
Biggest defeat
 Libya 16–1 North Yemen Yemen Arab Republic
(Cairo, Egypt; Date Unknown August, 1965)
Asian Cup
Appearances 1 (First in 1976)
Best result First Round

The Yemen National Football Team (Arabic: منتخب اليمني لكرة القدم‎), is the national team of Yemen and is controlled by the Yemen Football Association.

When the nation was split into North Yemen and South Yemen before 1990, two national teams existed. After unification, the Yemen national football team is considered the successor of the North Yemen national football team. See the article South Yemen national football team for details on the South Yemen team.

Yemen (or North Yemen) has never appeared at a FIFA World Cup.

Despite being the 6th most populated country in the Middle East, Yemen has never achieved the same success as those with smaller populations like United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Syria, and Oman.

Early history[edit]

1965-1966[edit]

North Yemen debuted at the 1965 Pan Arab Games in Cairo, Egypt in August 1965. It lost its first game 9-0 to Sudan, then it lost 16-1 to Libya. After losing 4-0 to Syria, North Yemen won for the first time by defeating Oman 2-1 in the last game in the group. North Yemen did not advance.

In April 1966 the team entered the 1966 Arab Nations Cup in Baghdad, Iraq. It was placed in Group 2. North Yemen lost its first match 4-1 to Syria on 1 April, and then 7-0 to Palestine three days later. On 5 April they lost their last match 13-0 to Libya, and were eliminated, finishing bottom of the group.

Also in 1966, North Yemen entered the Games of the Emerging Forces in Cambodia. They lost their opener 5-3 against Palestine. The remaining games in their group were lost 8-0 to the hosts Cambodia, 9-0 to North Vietnam, 14-0 to North Korea and 6-0 to China.

1984-1989[edit]

Following the tournament in Cambodia, North Yemen did not play a match for eighteen years, returning in 1984 to attempt 1984 AFC Asian Cup qualification. This was their first entrance of the competition. They were placed in qualification Group 3 with all matches held in Calcutta, India in October 1984. North Yemen lost the first match on 10 October, 6-0 to South Korea, for whom Park Sung-Hwa scored four goals and Chung Hae-Won two. Two days later they lost 2-0 to hosts India. On 15 October North Yemen lost 4-1 to Pakistan and three days later by the same score to Malaysia. North Yemen finished bottom of the group.

North Yemen entered its first World Cup qualification campaign with the aim of securing a place in the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. They were placed in Group 3 of the West Asia zone in the first round of qualification. North Yemen played their first match at home to Syria in Sana'a on 29 March 1985 and lost 1-0 to a 70th minute goal. On 5 April they lost 5-0 to Kuwait in Kuwait City. On 19 April North Yemen lost 3-0 away to Syria at the Abbasiyin Stadium in Damascus. On 26 April, while hosting Kuwait, North Yemen scored their only goal in the group as they lost 3-1 in front of 10,000 people.

In August 1985, North Yemen compted at the 1985 Pan Arab Games in Rabat, Morocco and was placed in a group with Saudi Arabia, Algeria and the United Arab Emirates. They lost 2-0 to the Saudis on 5 August, 3-1 to Algeria on 7 August and then, on 9 August, beat the UAE 2-1 for their first ever victory.

On 15 October 1985, North Yemen played opposition from outside Asia and Africa for the first time, losing a friendly 2-0 to Mexico at home.

Reunification of the North and South[edit]

1990s[edit]

In the 1990, the North and South of Yemen re-united which prompted what is now the national team of Yemen to be merged from North Yemen.[1] Their first international game, as a unified country, was a 1-0 win against Malaysia on 8 September 1990 in Kuala Lumpur.

Upon being a new country, they entered the footballing world with a different viewpoint. Their captains alternated between matches to promote a "unified" Yemen.[2] Due to the on-going political conflict in Yemen, many sought football as an escape.

Starting in 1993, their first big task would be the qualification to the 1994 FIFA World Cup because they did not enter the AFC Asian Cup in 1992 nor the Arab Nations Cup. Yemen lost three games, against to China once and Iraq twice. Drew with Jordan twice, and won against China and Pakistan. This placed them third, five points from Iraq who were first, and ultimately ended their first ever World Cup qualification campaign.

The qualification campaign for the 1996 AFC Asian Cup saw them get thrashed by Saudi Arabia as they lost 4-0 in the first leg, but put a fight in the second leg as they lost 1-0. Despite finishing last, on points with Kyrgyzstan, Yemen's only redeeming event was the narrow 1-0 win against Kyrgyzstan, despite getting beat 3-1 in the return leg.

More years went by as Yemen continued to struggle as a footballing power not only in Asia but in the Middle East. The qualification campaign for the 1998 FIFA World Cup raised some spirits as they came in second above Indonesia and Cambodia. For the Yemenis, this was ample progress as Uzbekistan, of 16 points, had stomped the first stage with having twice as many points as second-place Yemen of 8 points. While adding on to the fact that Yemen lost 1-0 to Uzbekistan despite losing 5-1 in the return leg, this gave the Yemenis a hopeful future for the upcoming tournaments.

2000s[edit]

Yemen started the millennium by attempting to qualify for the 2000 AFC Asian Cup. The Al-Yemen A'Sa'eed started off the year with a resounding 3-0 win against Nepal following with a narrow 0-1 loss to Turkmenistan. After this, it came to light that Kuwait had thrashed Bhutan 20-0 in the qualifiers which prompted doubt in the national team. Needless to say, Yemen only lost 2-0 to Kuwait (with an own-goal added) and ended the qualification campaign with their highest win as they stomped Bhutan 11-2 with Ali Al Nono bagging a hat-trick and three others netting braces. These matches put Yemen at 6 points finishing above Nepal and Bhutan at third place of fifth.


2002 FIFA World Cup (AFC) qualifying (Group 8)
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
United Arab Emirates UAE 6 4 0 2 21 5 +16 12
Yemen Yemen 6 3 2 1 14 8 +6 11
India India 6 3 2 1 11 5 +6 11
Brunei Brunei 6 0 0 6 0 28 −28 0

The following year, in 2001, would be a high-point for the Yemeni fans as they watched their national team barely lose out on the advancement of the second round of the qualification campaign of the 2002 FIFA World Cup. They lost to United Arab Emirates who finished at top with 12 points while Yemen, along with India, sat at 11 points with Yemen scoring three more goals than India, despite the same goal-difference of six. Losing narrowly, in both legs, to the Arab powerhouse that was United Arab Emirates, the Yemeni fans held their heads high knowing that the football in Yemen was slowly developing.

However, for the Yemenis, disappointment would strike as they bombed their next big competition, the 2002 Arab Nations Cup. This would be their first appearance since 1966 when they played as North Yemen, in which they also failed losing all three games and having a goal difference of -23. In 2012, it would be a different story as they drew 2-2 with Asian powerhouse Saudi Arabia but losing to Lebanon 4-2, Bahrain 3-1 and Syria 0-4.

The qualification for the 2004 AFC Asian Cup would arrive as the next test for Yemen. The Yemenis would soon discover that this qualification was going better than expected. However, as fate would have it, the Yemenis were left stranded on the cusp of qualification as they were beat to the last spot by Indonesia by 3 points, despite them having a worse goal difference.

Days later, they would face yet another big tournament in quick succession which was the 2003 Gulf Cup of Nations hosted by Kuwait. This tournament did not do them any favors as they came in dead last out of seventh. They finished with 1 point, drawing with Oman and a goal difference of -16. But within a few months, the 2004 Gulf Cup of Nations arrived with the Yemenis waiting for their revenge for a poor showing in the previous tournament. However, the Yemenis once again, to everyone's expectations, failed to register a win with the only point coming from a 1-1 draw to Bahrain while losing 0-3 to Saudi Arabia and 3-1 to Kuwait.

Yemen would next look towards the qualification campaign of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. But the Yemenis would soon end it on a short note, as they finished bottom of the group with 5 points under Thailand, United Arab Emirates and North Korea (who won the group with 11 points) and one win, two draws and three losses.

A short time later would find the Yemenis preparing for the 2007 Gulf Cup of Nations. Despite, as expected, finishing the group last, they finished with two losses against United Arab Emirates and Oman and the lone draw to Kuwait. However, the Yemenis would exit proudly because they did not receive the thrashing many were expecting and lost due to a 1 goal margin with the winning goals coming the second half.

Months later would see Yemen enter the qualification campaign of the 2007 AFC Asian Cup and were knocked out, once again, with mixed results. While Japan and Saudi Arabia qualified comfortably, Yemen achieved their only two wins against India. However, their losses to Japan were minimal as both goals (consolation and winning) came in stoppage time.

2010s[edit]

The next task for the Yeminis was the qualification campaign for the 2010 FIFA World Cup which was cut shorter than usual. In the first round, Yemen scored three goals without reply against Maldives, of the first leg. In the return leg, Maldives replied with two goals but in the end, it was not enough and Yemen passed to the next stage. The second stage saw Yemen draw 1-1 with Thailand with the second leg finishing 1-0 in favor to Thailand thus knocking them out 3-2 on aggregate. This was the first time Yemen did not reach the group stages of a World Cup qualification stage.

Yemen started off the new year by hosting, for the first, the 2010 Gulf Cup of Nations. As hosts, they played in the May 22 Stadium in Aden against Saudi Arabia and lost 0-4. Yemen would go on and lose 2-1 and 0-3 to Qatar and Kuwait respectively thus crashing out of the group stages only scoring one goal while conceding nine.

The qualification campaign for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup was okay towards Yemeni's standards. Despite being grouped with Japan and Bahrain, and Hong Kong, they registered two wins, one draw and three losses. They opened with a surprise narrow-defeat of 2-1 to Japan and finished with the surprise of, once again, holding Japan to the last minute for a 3-2 defeat.

Ten years later of their last participation, they entered the 2012 Arab Nations Cup where they were grouped with Morocco, Bahrain and Libya. To the bewilderment of many football experts, Bahrain finished last with Yemen finishing third with 3 points.

However, in 2013, Yemen would participate in the 2013 Gulf Cup of Nations and they would record their worst run in the tournament where they were grouped with Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. They recorded zero goals and conceded six goals losing all three games.

As recent record displayed, the Yemenis recently finished with their worst World Cup qualification campaign in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. They faced Iraq which they lost 2-0. The return leg was played in United Arab Emirates due to the civil unrest in Yemen. This match saw Yemen and Iraq play out to a draw which ended Iraq going through 2-0 on aggregate and thus knocking Yemen out in the knock-out stages.

On December 2013, they sunk to their lowest rank ever on the FIFA rankings at 179. From the start of January 2013 to December 2013, they lost half of what they made going down nearly 50 points.[3] This calling came for the Yemen Football Association to make a serious signing, when they signed Vladimir Petrović as the coach who had experience in Europe as a player and of Red Star Belgrade fame.[4] Unfortunately, due to its contract extended for just a year, later Vladmir Petrović had quitted as Yemen's manager in May 2014. Because of this, later Yemen dropped to their lowest and worst in Yemen's football: 186. The 2014 Gulf Cup of Nations will be their chance to gain back a higher place than current. To prepare, they hired Czech youth teams' manager Miroslav Soukup to revival the national team. Once again, Yemen was eliminated without winning a match, but for the first time in the history of Gulf Cup's appearance, Yemen didn't finish bottom.

Competition records[edit]

World Cup record[edit]

World Cup Finals World Cup Qualifications
Year Result Position GP W D* L GS GA GP W D* L GS GA
United States 1994 Did not qualify - - - - - - - 8 3 2 3 12 13
France 1998 Did not qualify - - - - - - - 6 2 2 2 10 7
South KoreaJapan 2002 Did not qualify - - - - - - - 6 3 2 1 8 6
Germany 2006 Did not qualify - - - - - - - 6 1 2 3 6 11
South Africa 2010 Did not qualify - - - - - - - 4 1 1 2 4 4
Brazil 2014 Did not qualify - - - - - - - 2 0 1 1 0 2
Total - 0/20 - - - - - - 32 10 10 12 40 43

AFC Asian Cup record[edit]

All qualifications[edit]

Asian Cup Finals Asian Cup Qualifications
Year Result Position GP W D L GS GA GP W D* L GS GA
Japan 1992 Did not enter - - - - - - -
United Arab Emirates 1996 Did not qualify - - - - - - - 4 1 0 3 2 8
Lebanon 2000 Did not qualify - - - - - - - 4 2 0 2 14 5
China 2004 Did not qualify - - - - - - - 6 2 1 3 15 15
IndonesiaMalaysiaThailandVietnam 2007 Did not qualify - - - - - - - 6 2 0 4 5 13
Qatar 2011 Did not qualify - - - - - - - 6 2 1 3 7 9
Australia 2015 Did not qualify - - - - - - - 6 0 0 5 2 16
Total Best: - '' '' '' '' '' '' 32 9 2 20 45 66

Gulf Cup of Nations record[edit]

Gulf Cup
Year Result GP W D* L GS GA
Kuwait 2003 7/7 6 0 1 5 2 18
Qatar 2004 Group Stage 3 0 1 2 2 7
United Arab Emirates 2007 Group Stage 3 0 1 2 3 5
Oman 2009 Group Stage 3 0 0 3 2 11
Yemen 2010 Group Stage 3 0 0 3 1 9
Bahrain 2013 Group Stage 3 0 0 3 0 6
Saudi Arabia 2014 Group Stage 3 0 2 1 0 1
Total Best: Group Stage 24 0 5 19 10 57

Arab Nations Cup[edit]

Arab Nations Cup
Year Result GP W D* L GS GA
Lebanon 1963 Did not enter - - - - - -
Kuwait 1964 Did not enter - - - - - -
Iraq 1966 Group Stage 3 0 0 3 1 24
Saudi Arabia 1985 Did not enter - - - - - -
Jordan 1988 Did not enter - - - - - -
Syria 1992 Did not enter - - - - - -
Qatar 1998 Withdrew - - - - - -
Kuwait 2002 Group Stage 4 0 1 3 5 13
Saudi Arabia 2012 Group Stage 3 1 0 2 3 7
Total Best: Group Stage 9 1 1 7 9 43

Recent results and forthcoming fixtures[edit]

      Win       Draw       Loss

Date Location Opponent Score* Competition
2012
18 June Yemen Althawra Sports City Stadium, Sana'a  Palestine 1–2 Friendly
23 June Saudi Arabia Abdullah al-Faisal Stadium, Jeddah  Libya 1–3 2012 Arab Nations Cup Group stage
26 June Saudi Arabia Abdullah al-Faisal Stadium, Jeddah  Bahrain 2–0 2012 Arab Nations Cup Group stage
29 June Saudi Arabia Abdullah al-Faisal Stadium, Jeddah  Morocco 0–4 2012 Arab Nations Cup Group stage
28 September Oman Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex, Muscat  Oman 1–2 Friendly
16 October Lebanon Saida International Stadium, Sidon  Lebanon 1–2 Friendly
9 December Kuwait Ali Al-Salem Al-Sabah Stadium, Al Farwaniyah  Bahrain 0–1 2012 WAFF
12 December Kuwait Ali Al-Salem Al-Sabah Stadium, Al Farwaniyah  Saudi Arabia 0–1 2012 WAFF
15 December Kuwait Al-Sadaqua Walsalam Stadium, Kuwait City  Iran 1–2 2012 WAFF
2013
6 January Bahrain Khalifa Sports City Stadium, Isa Town  Kuwait 0–2 2013 Gulf Cup of Nations
9 January Bahrain Khalifa Sports City Stadium, Isa Town  Saudi Arabia 0–2 2013 Gulf Cup of Nations
12 January Bahrain Khalifa Sports City Stadium, Isa Town  Iraq 0–2 2013 Gulf Cup of Nations
6 February United Arab Emirates Sharjah Stadium, Sharjah  Bahrain 0–2 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification
22 March Malaysia Shah Alam Stadium, Shah Alam  Malaysia 1–2 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification
6 October Lebanon Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium, Beirut  Iraq 2–3 Friendly
13 October Qatar Thani bin Jassim Stadium, Doha  Qatar 0–6 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification
15 November United Arab Emirates Sheikh Khalifa International Stadium, Al Ain City  Qatar 1–4 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification
19 November Bahrain Bahrain National Stadium, Riffa  Bahrain 0–2 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification
2014
5 March United Arab Emirates Tahnoun bin Mohammed Stadium, Al Ain  Malaysia 1–2 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification
25 March Qatar Grand Hamad Stadium, Doha    Nepal 2–0 Friendly
15 April Qatar Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium, Doha  Chad 0–0 Friendly
9 September Indonesia Maguwoharjo Stadium, Sleman  Indonesia 0–0 Friendly
10 October Bahrain Al Ahli Stadium, Manama  Iraq 1–1 Friendly
4 November United Arab Emirates Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi  Kuwait 1–1 Friendly
7 November Oman Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex, Muscat  Oman 0–2 Friendly
13 November Saudi Arabia King Fahd International Stadium, Riyadh  Bahrain 0–0 2014 Gulf Cup of Nations
16 November Saudi Arabia King Fahd International Stadium, Riyadh  Qatar 0–0 2014 Gulf Cup of Nations
19 November Saudi Arabia King Fahd International Stadium, Riyadh  Saudi Arabia 1-0 2014 Gulf Cup of Nations

Current squad[edit]

The following players have been called up for the friendly against Indonesia in September 2014:

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Saoud Al Sawedi (1988-04-10) 10 April 1988 (age 26) Yemen Al-Wahda (Aden)
22 1GK Salem Saeed (1984-01-01) 1 January 1984 (age 30) Yemen Al-Hilal Al-Sahili
23 1GK Mohammed Ibrahim Ayyash (1986-01-01) 1 January 1986 (age 28) Yemen Al-Hilal Al-Sahili
2 2DF Abdullaziz Al Guma'i (1990-01-01) 1 January 1990 (age 24) 7 [5] 0 Yemen Al-Ahli Sana'a
3 2DF Hamada Al Zubairi (1990-01-01) 1 January 1990 (age 24) Yemen Al-Ahli Sana'a
4 2DF Mohammed Bugshan (1986-01-01) 1 January 1986 (age 28) 4 0 Yemen Al-Tilal
5 2DF Mohammed Fouad (1990-01-01) 1 January 1990 (age 24) 4 1 Yemen
13 2DF Mudeer Abdurboh (1990-01-01) 1 January 1990 (age 24) 3 [6] 0 Yemen Al-Ahli Sana'a
14 2DF Nateq Hezam (1990-01-01) 1 January 1990 (age 24) 3 [7] 0 Yemen Al-Shaab Ibb
15 2DF Khaled Baleid (1986-11-02) 2 November 1986 (age 28) Yemen Al-Tilal
16 2DF Ahmed Al Sadek (1983-01-01) 1 January 1983 (age 31) 4 [8] 0 Yemen Al-Shula
7 3MF Munassar Ba Haj (1990-01-01) 1 January 1990 (age 24) 31 0 Yemen Al-Hilal Al-Sahili
8 3MF Akram Al-Worafi (1986-11-12) 12 November 1986 (age 28) Yemen Al-Shaab Ibb
19 3MF Mohammed Baroies (1986-01-01) 1 January 1986 (age 28) 5 [9] 1 Yemen Al-Wahda (Aden)
24 3MF Issam Al-Worafi (1986-11-12) 12 November 1986 (age 28) 3 [10] 2 Yemen Al-Shaab Ibb
29 3MF Najib Haddad (1986-01-01) 1 January 1986 (age 28) 3 0 Yemen
30 3MF Mohammed Al Abidi (1986-01-01) 1 January 1986 (age 28) 9 1 Yemen Shabab Al Baydaa
9 4FW Wahid Al Khyat (1985-01-01) 1 January 1985 (age 29) 8 0 Yemen Al-Ahli Sana'a
10 4FW Ahmed Al Zahira (1986-09-08) 8 September 1986 (age 28) 0 0 Yemen
11 4FW Ayman Al Hagri (1992-01-01) 1 January 1992 (age 22) 8 [11] 0 Yemen Al-Shaab Ibb
21 4FW Kameel Tareq (1986-01-01) 1 January 1986 (age 28) 6 0 Yemen Al-Shula

Coaches[edit]

Name Period
England Alan Gillett 1977
Yemen Hazem Jassam 1990-1994
Brazil Luciano de Abroue 1994-??
Brazil Fernandez  ??-1999
Yemen Salem Abdel Rahman 1999-??
Egypt Mahmoud Abou-Regaila 2002
Serbia and Montenegro Milan Živadinović 2003 – March 2004
Algeria Rabah Saâdane 2004–2005
Egypt Mohsen Saleh 2007 – Jan 2009
Egypt Hamza Al Jamal Jan 2009 (caretaker)
Yemen Sami Hasan Al Nash Jan 2009 – Oct 2009
Croatia Srećko Juričić Nov 2009 – Dec 2010
Yemen Amine Al-Sunaini Dec 2010 – Jan 2012
Yemen Sami Hasan Al Nash Jan 2012 – Sep 2012
Belgium Tom Saintfiet Oct 2012 – Mar 2013
Yemen Sami Hasan Al Nash April 2013 – Dec 2013
Serbia Vladimir Petrović Dec 2013 - May 2014
Czech Republic Miroslav Soukup May 2014 – present

Former squads[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]