Sport in Kuwait
Football is the most popular sport in Kuwait. The Kuwait Football Association (KFA) is the governing body of football in Kuwait. The KFA organises the men's, women's, and futsal national teams. The men's team has gained limited success at the sport, with the national team having competed at eight AFC Asian Cup competitions, and one FIFA World Cup, in 1982. The Kuwaiti Premier League is the top league of Kuwaiti football, featuring eighteen teams. Kuwait is home to many football clubs including Al-Arabi, Al-Fahaheel, Al-Jahra, Al-Kuwait, Al-Naser, Al-Salmiya, Al-Shabab, Al Qadsia, Al-Yarmouk, Kazma, Khaitan, Sulaibikhat, Sahel, and Tadamon. Kuwait is one of Asia's most successful footballing nations. They have been the champions of the 1980 AFC Asian Cup, runners-up of the 1976 AFC Asian Cup, and have taken third place of the 1984 AFC Asian Cup. Kuwait has also been to one FIFA World Cup, in 1982, but didn't win a single match, but tied 1-1 with Czechoslovakia on the first round.
Basketball is one of Kuwait's most popular sports. Basketball in Kuwait is governed by the Kuwait Basketball Association (KBA). The national team has never been to a Basketball World Championship (FIBA), and the national team has also never been to an Olympic Games in basketball, but the national team has been to the FIBA Asian Championship in basketball eleven times, but did not win any medals. Kuwait is one of the most successful basketballing nations in the Middle East. Abdullah Al-Saraf is one of the best and most famous Kuwaiti basketballers. He currently plays for Al-Qadsia in Kuwait.
In cricket, Kuwait has been an associate member of the International Cricket Council since 2005, having previously been an affiliate member since 1998. They are currently ranked at tenth amongst non-test teams in Asia. In recent years, the popularity of cricket has been constantly rising and is set to overtake Football. In several years it may even be Kuwait's most well known sport.
The Kuwait national handball team is controlled by the Kuwait Handball Association. It is highly regarded as one of the most successful national handball teams in Asia and the Arab World. Kuwait has enjoyed great handball success at both the national and club level. The sport is widely considered to be the national icon of Kuwait, although football is more popular among the overall population. Kuwait is also the founding member of the Asian Handball Federation, the Asian Championship and Club Champions League.
Hockey in Kuwait is governed by the Kuwait Ice Hockey Association. Kuwait first joined the International Ice Hockey Federation in 1985, but was expelled in 1992 due to a lack of ice hockey activity. Kuwait was re-admitted into the IIHF in May 2009. In 2015, Kuwait won the IIHF Challenge Cup of Asia.
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