Sudan national football team
|Nickname(s)||Falcons of Jediane|
|Association||Sudan Football Association (SFA)|
(East & Central Africa)
|Head coach||Hubert Velud|
|Captain||Akram El Hadi Salim|
|Most caps||Muhannad El Tahir (86)|
|Top scorer||Nasr El-Din Abbas (27)|
|Home stadium||Khartoum Stadium|
|Current||123 4 (7 April 2021)|
|Highest||74 (December 1996)|
|Lowest||164 (July 2017)|
| Sudan 5–1 Ethiopia |
(Sudan; 13 May 1956)
| Sudan 15–0 Muscat and Oman |
(Cairo, Egypt; 2 September 1965)
| South Korea 8–0 Sudan |
(Seoul, South Korea; 10 September 1979)
|Africa Cup of Nations|
|Appearances||9 (first in 1957)|
|Best result||Champions, 1970|
The Sudan national football team (Arabic: منتخب السودان الوطني لكرة القدم) represents Sudan in international football and is controlled by the Sudan Football Association, the governing body for football in Sudan. Its home ground is Khartoum Stadium in the capital Khartoum. In 1957, it was one of the three teams to participate in the inaugural Africa Cup of Nations, the other two being Egypt and Ethiopia.
Sudan is one of the oldest teams in Africa and has a rich history, especially in the 1950s and up to the 70s. They won the 1970 Africa Cup of Nations as hosts with Mustafa Azhari as their best player. After beating Ethiopia 3–0, and a 1–0 defeat against Ivory Coast, they secured a place in the semi-finals by beating Cameroon 2–1. They overcame Egypt 2–1 after extra time in the semi-final, and won 1–0 against Ghana in the final to become African champions. Since then, Sudan has witnessed a significant decline and deterioration in football at the country, thus the country is unable to repeat the feat they used to achieve like before.
Beginning and an African giant (1946–1970)
The Sudan Football Association was founded in 1936 and thus it became one of the oldest football associations to exist in Africa. However, before the foundation of the Football Association, Sudan had started experiencing football brought to the country by the British colonizers since early 20th century via Egypt. Some of the finest Sudanese clubs were also founded at that time, including Al-Hilal Omdurman, Al-Merrikh, which led to popularization of football in the country. The Khartoum League became the first national league to be played in Sudan, laying ground for the future development of Sudanese football.
Being experienced early with football, Sudan was quick to affiliate itself with FIFA in 1948, and soon after, the Sudanese officials were instrumental, along with Ethiopian, South African and Egyptian counterparts, forming the Confederation of African Football in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum in 1957. Following the establishment of CAF, Sudan participated in the 1957 African Cup of Nations, the first historic Africa Cup of Nations which Sudan was host. The national team finished third, as South Africa was banned over apartheid.
During that early era, Sudan produced some of the finest players, most notably Mustafa Azhari, the captain of Sudan during this period; Nasr El-Din Abbas, who became Sudan's top scorer in the country's football team; Siddiq Manzul, who was an instrumental leader in Sudan's forward; Ali Gagarin with his meteoric ability. Sudan then managed to achieve its greatest feat ever in the history, winning the 1970 African Cup of Nations, their only African trophy up to date.
With the retirement of a significant number of Sudanese football star at the time, the national team of Sudan deteriorated. Sudan participated in 1972 and 1976 editions, but Sudan wasn't able to get out of the group stage. At the time, Sudan was plagued by the first and second civil wars that led to football in the country being largely unable to retain its status. Likewise, Sudan also suffered from series of political upheavals that drained the country's football resources. As such, Sudan struggled to qualify for another AFCON, and the country has yet to qualify for a single FIFA World Cup. Only Libya being the other major Arab country in Africa to have never achieved the feat. Often Sudan participated in AFCON qualification and majority finished in bottom or near bottom of their qualification. This was totally contrasted to their successes in club competition, as Sudanese clubs were omnipresent in CAF Champions League.
Small resurgence (2008–2012)
On 9 September 2007, Sudan managed to achieve a historic feat, beating African powerhouse and World Cup participant Tunisia 3–2 at home, sealing Sudan's position as top finisher in the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations qualification Group 4. This meant Sudan had finally returned to the AFCON after 32 years, which was seen as a major success. In the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, their first in 32 years, Sudan was grouped in group C, which they shared with Egypt, Cameroon and Zambia. With an entirely inexperienced squad, Sudan lost all three competitive games with the 0–3 result, finishing bottom of their group.
As the fortune increased, Sudan reached the final round of the 2010 World Cup qualifiers, which they had a chance to repeat the feat. Unfortunately, Ghana, Benin and Mali proved too good for Sudan, and the Sudanese finished last with only a point, missing out the chance to reach AFCON and World Cup.
Sudan (as hosts) automatically qualified for the 2011 African Nations Championship. They finished top of their group which consisted of Algeria, Uganda and Gabon to then advance to the knockout stages. After a win against Niger on penalties in the quarterfinals, they lost against Angola in the semifinals (also on penalties) to then win 1-0 against former groupmates Algeria (who also lost on penalties in the semifinals) and finish third in the Championship, their first top 4 finish in a major African tournament since 1970.
In the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualification, Sudan was once again in the same group with Ghana, alongside Swaziland and Congo. It was a success as Sudan lost only one game and reached the tournament with an emphatic fashion, including a famous away draw to the Ghanaians which had already reached the quarter-finals of earlier 2010 FIFA World Cup. Sudan then followed with a bigger success in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, where in group B, Sudan made an outstanding performance, finishing second behind powerhouse Ivory Coast, overcame Angola by goal difference to reach the knockout stage for the first time since 1970. Unfortunately, Sudan found itself against a rising Zambian side in the last eight, and lost 0–3. Zambia would go on to win the tournament for the first time.
In 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualification, Sudan suffered a huge blow when they lost to neighbor Ethiopia by away goal, losing 0–2 in Addis Ababa after an insane 5–3 thrilling win at home, thus missed out the competition. Since then, Sudan continued to struggle qualifying for the African Cup of Nations for the next 7 years. They also had no success qualifying for the African Nations Championship after their 3rd place finish in 2011 for a while until 2018.
More recent successes (2018-present)
In 2018 they qualified for the African Nations Championship after failing to do so and finished 3rd
Recent results and fixtures
|23 September 2020 Friendly||Chad||2–3||Sudan||N'Djamena, Chad|
|16:30 UTC+1||Stadium: Stade Omnisports Idriss Mahamat Ouya|
|25 September 2020 Friendly||Chad||0–2||Sudan||N'Djamena, Chad|
|16:30 UTC+1||Stadium: Stade Omnisports Idriss Mahamat Ouya|
|9 October 2020 Friendly||Tunisia||3–0||Sudan||Tunis, Tunisia|
|18:00 UTC+1||Stadium: Hammadi Agrebi Stadium|
Referee: Ibrahim Nour El Din (Egypt)
|12 October 2020 Friendly||Togo||1–1||Sudan||Tunis, Tunisia|
||Stadium: Hammadi Agrebi Stadium|
|6 November 2020 Friendly||Ethiopia||2–2||Sudan||Addis Ababa, Ethiopia|
|16:00 UTC+3||Stadium: Addis Ababa Stadium|
|12 November 2020 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualification Group C||Ghana||2–0||Sudan||Cape Coast, Ghana|
||Stadium: Cape Coast Sports Stadium|
Referee: Maguette N'Diaye (Senegal)
|17 November 2020 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualification Group C||Sudan||1–0||Ghana||Omdurman, Sudan|
||Stadium: Al-Hilal Stadium|
Referee: Joshua Bondo (Botswana)
|28 March 2021 2021 AFCONQ||Sudan||2–0||South Africa||Omdurman, Sudan|
|18:00 UTC+2||Report||Stadium: Al-Hilal Stadium|
Referee: Helder Martins de Carvalho (Angola)
- Caps and goals are correct as of: 28 March 2021, after the match against South Africa
The following players have been called up for Sudan in the last 12 months.
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
- As of 28 March 2021
- Players in bold text are still active with Sudan.
- Salih Rajab (1956)
- Jozsef Hada (1957–1959)
- Lozan Kotsev (1959-1964)
- jiři Starosta (1964-1968)
- Mohammed Hassan Kheiri (1968–1970)
- Abd Al Fattah Hamed (1970-1974)
- Ivan Yanko (1974–1976)
- Ibrahim Kabair (1976–1978)
- Burkhard Ziese (1978–1980)
- Sharafeldin Ahmed Musa (1998-1999)
- Fawzi El Mardi (1999-2000)
- Zoran Đorđević (2000)
- Ahmed Babiker (2000-2002) (2010)(2015)
- Wojciech Lazarek (2002–2004)
- Mohamed Abdallah (2005–2008)(2010–2015)(2016)
- Stephen Constantine (2009–2010)
- Hamdan Hamed (2016)
- Zdravko Logarušić (2017–2019)
- Hubert Velud (2020-)
FIFA World Cup record
Olympic Games record
Africa Cup of Nations record
African Games record
African Nations Championship record
CECAFA Cup record
Arab Nations Cup record
Pan Arab Games record
- "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 7 April 2021. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
- "World Football Elo Ratings: Sudan". World Football Elo Ratings. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
- Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 31 March 2021. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
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