Yemen national football team
|Association||Yemen Football Association|
|Sub-confederation||WAFF (West Asia)|
|Head coach||Vladimir Petrović |
|Top scorer||Ali Al-Nono (29)|
|Home stadium||Althawra Sports City Stadium|
|FIFA ranking||179 2|
|Highest FIFA ranking||90 (August 1993)|
|Lowest FIFA ranking||179 (December 2013)|
|Highest Elo ranking||124 (13 October 2010)|
|Lowest Elo ranking||168 (June 2004)|
| Sudan 9–0 North Yemen
(Egypt, September 5, 1965)
Malaysia 0–1 Yemen
(Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; September 8, 1990)
| Yemen 11–2 Bhutan
(Kuwait City, Kuwait; February 18, 2000)
| Libya 16–1 North Yemen
(Cairo, Egypt; Date Unknown August, 1965)
|Appearances||1 (First in 1976)|
|Best result||First Round|
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. However, Yemen is one of the poorest Arab countries in the world which holds back development of football and other sports.
- 1 Early history
- 2 Reunification of the North and South
- 3 Competition records
- 4 Recent results and forthcoming fixtures
- 5 Current squad
- 6 Coaches
- 7 Former squads
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
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.
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
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. 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. 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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
World Cup record
AFC Asian Cup record
Gulf Cup of Nations record
Arab Nations Cup
Recent results and forthcoming fixtures
Win Draw Loss
The following players have been called up for the 2012 WAFF Championship, held in December 2012: