Sahrawi national football team

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Western Sahara
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Los Dromedarios (The Dromedaries)[1]
Association Sahrawi Football Federation
Confederation NF-Board
Head coach Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Sidahmed Erguibi Ahmed Baba Haiai
First colours
Second colours
First international
 Galicia 2–1 Western Sahara XI Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
(Teo, Spain, December 23, 2011)
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Western Sahara 0–6 Iraqi Kurdistan 
(Erbil, Iraq, June 4, 2012)
Biggest win
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Western Sahara 5–1 Darfur 
(Erbil, Iraq, June 7, 2012)
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Western Sahara 4–0 Flag of Esperanto.svg Esperanto
(Villeneuve-d'Ascq, France, July 31, 2015)
Biggest defeat
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Western Sahara 0–6 Iraqi Kurdistan 
(Erbil, Iraq, June 4, 2012)
VIVA World Cup
Appearances 1 (first in 2012)
Best result 6th in 2012

The Sahrawi national football team represents Western Sahara, a disputed territory, in association football. Controlled by the Sahrawi Football Federation, they are members of the New Federations Board for non-FIFA-affiliated nations.


Origins (1984–2003)[edit]

Many teams have represented Western Sahara, or the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), in unofficial matches. The first known games were played against Algerian league teams in 1984, before the creation of the Sahrawi Football Federation.[2] In 1986, 1987 and 1994, friendly matches were played against Algerian, Spanish and Italian league teams. In 1988, a Sahrawi Republic team played with Le Mans UC 72 in France, losing 3–2. On 27 February 2001, during the 25th anniversary of the proclamation of the SADR, a match was played in the Sahrawi refugee camps in Tindouf, Algeria between a Sahrawi Republic team and a Basque Country veterans team. The match was attended by more than 4,000 fans, and was abandoned during the second half owing to the temperature (38°C) with the score at 2–2.[3]

NF-Board membership and foundation (2003–2012)[edit]

On 12 December 2003, the Sahrawi Football Federation became provisionally affiliated to the Nouvelle Fédération Board.[4] In 2007, a team representing Western Sahara beat Macau 1–0. On 23 December 2011, a team from the Spanish region of Galicia beat a team composed of members of the Sahrawi diaspora in Spain 2–1, in a match played in Teo that was attended by 1,500 fans.[5] On 5 December 2009, three Sahrawi representatives participated in the 6th General Assembly of the N.F.-Board in Paris, France.[6]

On 25 March 2012, Mohamed Moulud Mohamed Fadel, SADR Minister for Youth and Sports, announced the official creation of the Sahrawi national football team.[7]

2012 VIVA World Cup[edit]

The Sahrawi national football team made its official international début at the inauguration match of the 5th VIVA World Cup, playing against the host team, Kurdistan at the Franso Hariri Stadium in Arbil, Iraq on 4 June 2012.[8] The Dromedaries lost 6–0 to the team which went on to win the tournament. Their next match was against Occitania, a 6–2 defeat, and the team finished in third position in Group A.[9] The next match was a play-off against Darfur, and ended in a 5–1 victory, Sahrawi's first official international victory. They beat Raetia 3–0 before losing the fifth place match 3–1 to Occitania.[10]

The Sahrawi national football team and federation had to face a deal made between the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Government of Morocco, which consisted of avoiding the display of the SADR flag during ceremonies and matches of the VIVA tournament.[11] Despite this, the SADR team managed to arrange extraofficial deals with all their rivals to fly the Sahrawi flag wave on the stadiums where they played their matches.[12][13][14][15]

Present (2012–current)[edit]

On 31 July 2015, the Sahrawi team beat the Esperanto Team by 4–0 at the Stadium Lille Métropole. The match was part of the Zamenhof Cup, event made during the 100th World Esperanto Congress.[16]

Match locations[edit]

Due to the Western Sahara conflict, their home stadium, El Aaiun Stadium, is in the Moroccan-occupied part of the territory. For this reason, until 2012 matches were played either abroad or in Sahrawi refugee camps.[citation needed]

Selected internationals[edit]

Date Venue Opponent Score
31-06-2015 2015 Zamenhof Cup – France  Western Sahara Flag of Esperanto.svg Esperanto 4–0
09-06-2012 2012 VIVA World Cup – Kurdistan  Western Sahara  Occitania 1–3
08-06-2012 2012 VIVA World Cup – Kurdistan  Western Sahara  Raetia 3–0
07-06-2012 2012 VIVA World Cup – Kurdistan  Western Sahara  Darfur 5–1
05-06-2012 2012 VIVA World Cup – Kurdistan  Western Sahara  Occitania 2–6
04-06-2012 2012 VIVA World Cup – Kurdistan  Western Sahara  Iraqi Kurdistan 0–6
23-12-2011 Friendly match – Galicia Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Western Sahara XI  Galicia 1–2
2007 Friendly match – Unknown Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Western Sahara XI  Macau 1–0
1988 Friendly match – Unknown Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Western Sahara XI France Le Mans UC 72 2–3

Tournament records[edit]

VIVA World Cup record[edit]

VIVA World Cup
Year Round Pos GP W D L GS GA
Occitania 2006 Did not enter - - - - - - -
Sápmi (area) 2008 Did not enter - - - - - - -
Padania 2009 Did not enter - - - - - - -
Gozo 2010 Did not enter - - - - - - -
Iraqi Kurdistan 2012 5th place match 6th 5 2 0 3 11 16
Total 1/5 Best: 6th 5 2 0 3 11 16


  1. ^ Zoo africano Pablo Aro Geraldes – International football journalism (Spanish)
  2. ^ The Dromedaries Ed Stubbs – In Bed With Maradona, 15 February 2013
  3. ^ "República Sahara – Euskadi". Ueskadiko Futbol Federakundea – Federación Vasca de Fútbol. Retrieved 2012-03-28.  (Spanish)
  4. ^ Nouvelle Fédération-Board "List Federations Affiliated to NF-Board" Check |url= value (help). N.F.-Board. Retrieved 2012-03-30. 
  5. ^ "La selección gallega venció al combinado saharahui en Teo". El Correo Gallego. 2011-12-26. Retrieved 2012-03-30.  (Spanish)
  6. ^ Press release N.F.-Board N° 24: N.F.-Board
  7. ^ "Establishment of Saharawi national football team (Minister of Youth and Sport)". SPS. 2012-03-25. Retrieved 2012-03-27. 
  8. ^ Arsalan Abdullah (2012-05-31). "2012 VIVA World Cup matches kick off Monday". AK News. Retrieved 2012-05-31. 
  9. ^ "WESTERN SAHARA – OCCITANIA 2/6". 05-06-2012. Retrieved 2012-06-19.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  10. ^ "Calendar results". Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  11. ^ James M. Dorsey (2012-06-15). "Iraqi Kurds' VIVA World Cup win rises hopes for nationhood". Hurriyet. Retrieved 2012-07-06. 
  12. ^ Andoni Lubaki I (2012-06-17). "La selección de las arenas vuelve a casa". Gara. Retrieved 2012-07-06.  (Spanish)
  13. ^ Viva 2012 World Cup i Iraqi Kurdistan Saharawi National Football Team Facebook
  14. ^ Sahara Occidental – Rhétie, 3–0 sous le soleil kurde APSO
  15. ^ VIVA World Cup 2012 ™, Occitanie – Sahara Occidental, 6–2 APSO
  16. ^ James Patrick Goprdon (August 1, 2015). "Esperanto vs Western Sahara Challenges Our Ideas Of What International Football Looks Like". Paste Magazine. Retrieved June 26, 2016. 

External links[edit]