Sahrawi national football team

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Western Sahara
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Los Dromedarios (The Dromedaries)[1]
AssociationSahrawi Football Federation
ConfederationConIFA
Head coachSahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Sidahmed Erguibi Ahmed Baba Haiai
Top scorerSahla Ahmed Budah (3)
First colours
Second colours
Elo ranking
Current191 Steady (6 December 2018)[2]
Highest187 (2012)
Lowest191 (2018)
First international
Unofficial
 Galicia 2–1 Western Sahara XI Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
(Teo, Spain; 23 December 2011)
Official
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Western Sahara 0–6 Iraqi Kurdistan 
(Erbil, Iraq; 4 June 2012)
Biggest win
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Western Sahara 5–1 Darfur 
(Erbil, Iraq; 7 June 2012)
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Western Sahara 4–0 Esperanto Flag of Esperanto.svg
(Villeneuve-d'Ascq, France; 31 July 2015)
Biggest defeat
 Tibet 12–2 Western Sahara 
(Marseille, France; 28 June 2013)
Viva World Cup
Appearances1 (first in 2012)
Best result6th (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 ConIFA for non-FIFA-affiliated nations.

History[edit]

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.[3] 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.[4]

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

On 12 December 2003, the Sahrawi Football Federation became provisionally affiliated to the Nouvelle Fédération Board.[5] 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.[6] On 5 December 2009, three Sahrawi representatives participated in the 6th General Assembly of the N.F.-Board in Paris, France.[7]

On 25 March 2012, Mohamed Moulud Mohamed Fadel, SADR Minister for Youth and Sports, announced the official creation of the Sahrawi national football team.[8]

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.[9] 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.[10] 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.[11]

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.[12] 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.[13][14][15][16]

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.[17]

On 13 April 2018, the ConIFA announces the death of El-Mahfoud Welad, the goalkeeper of the selection of Western Sahara, who was killed during the 2018 Algerian Air Force Il-76 crash.

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
17 June 2017 friendly game – Algeria  Western Sahara Emblem of the United Nations.svg UNHCR 3–3
31 June 2015 2015 Zamenhof Cup – France  Western Sahara Flag of Esperanto.svg Esperanto 4–0
28 June 2013 2013 International Tournament of Peoples, Cultures and TribesFrance  Western Sahara  Tibet 2–12
24 June 2013 2013 International Tournament of Peoples, Cultures and TribesFrance  Western Sahara  Iraqi Kurdistan 0–6
23 June 2013 2013 International Tournament of Peoples, Cultures and TribesFrance  Western Sahara France UGA Ardeiv 3–17
9 June 2012 2012 VIVA World Cup – Kurdistan  Western Sahara  Occitania 1–3
8 June 2012 2012 VIVA World Cup – Kurdistan  Western Sahara  Raetia 3–0
7 June 2012 2012 VIVA World Cup – Kurdistan  Western Sahara  Darfur 5–1
5 June 2012 2012 VIVA World Cup – Kurdistan  Western Sahara  Occitania 2–6
4 June 2012 2012 VIVA World Cup – Kurdistan  Western Sahara  Iraqi Kurdistan 0–6
23 December 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 6th 5 2 0 3 11 –16
Total 1/5 Best: 6th 5 2 0 3 11 –16

References[edit]

  1. ^ Zoo africano Pablo Aro Geraldes – International football journalism (in Spanish)
  2. ^ Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 6 December 2018. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  3. ^ The Dromedaries Archived 2013-02-22 at the Wayback Machine. Ed Stubbs – In Bed With Maradona, 15 February 2013
  4. ^ "República Sahara – Euskadi". Ueskadiko Futbol Federakundea – Federación Vasca de Fútbol. Retrieved 2012-03-28. (in Spanish)
  5. ^ "List Federations Affiliated to NF-Board". N.F.-Board. Archived from Nouvelle Fédération-Board the original Check |url= value (help) on 2012-02-04. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
  6. ^ "La selección gallega venció al combinado saharahui en Teo". El Correo Gallego. 2011-12-26. Retrieved 2012-03-30. (in Spanish)
  7. ^ Press release N.F.-Board N° 24:[permanent dead link] N.F.-Board
  8. ^ "Establishment of Saharawi national football team (Minister of Youth and Sport)". SPS. 2012-03-25. Archived from the original on 2012-06-26. Retrieved 2012-03-27.
  9. ^ Arsalan Abdullah (2012-05-31). "2012 VIVA World Cup matches kick off Monday". AK News. Archived from the original on 2012-06-02. Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  10. ^ "WESTERN SAHARA – OCCITANIA 2/6". Vivaworldcup2012.com. 05-06-2012. Archived from the original on 2012-06-07. Retrieved 2012-06-19. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  11. ^ "Calendar results". Vivaworldcup2012.com. Archived from the original on 2012-06-07. Retrieved 2012-06-19.
  12. ^ James M. Dorsey (2012-06-15). "Iraqi Kurds' VIVA World Cup win rises hopes for nationhood". Hurriyet. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  13. ^ Andoni Lubaki I (2012-06-17). "La selección de las arenas vuelve a casa". Gara. Retrieved 2012-07-06. (in Spanish)
  14. ^ Viva 2012 World Cup i Iraqi Kurdistan Saharawi National Football Team Facebook
  15. ^ Sahara Occidental – Rhétie, 3–0 sous le soleil kurde APSO
  16. ^ VIVA World Cup 2012 ™, Occitanie – Sahara Occidental, 6–2 APSO
  17. ^ James Patrick Goprdon (1 August 2015). "Esperanto vs Western Sahara Challenges Our Ideas Of What International Football Looks Like". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 26 June 2016.

External links[edit]