|Association||Lebanese Football Association|
(الاتحاد اللبناني لكرة القدم)
|Sub-confederation||WAFF (West Asia)|
|Head coach||Jamal Taha|
|Most caps||Abbas Ahmed Atwi|
Hassan Maatouk (84)
|Top scorer||Hassan Maatouk (21)|
|Home stadium||Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium|
|Current||90 1 (17 September 2020)|
|Highest||77 (September 2018)|
|Lowest||178 (April – May 2011)|
|Current||105 2 (16 September 2020)|
|Highest||46 (27 April 1940)|
|Lowest||164 (28 July 2011)|
| Mandatory Palestine 5–1 Lebanon |
(Tel Aviv, Mandatory Palestine; 27 April 1940)
| Lebanon 8–1 Pakistan |
(Bangkok, Thailand; 26 May 2001)
Lebanon 7–0 Laos
(Sidon, Lebanon; 12 November 2015)
| China PR 6–0 Lebanon |
(Chongqing, China; 3 July 2004)
Lebanon 0–6 Kuwait
(Beirut, Lebanon; 2 July 2011)
South Korea 6–0 Lebanon
(Goyang, South Korea; 2 September 2011)
|AFC Asian Cup|
|Appearances||2 (first in 2000)|
|Best result||Group stage (2000, 2019)|
|Appearances||7 (first in 2000)|
|Best result||Group stage (7 times)|
|Website||lebanonfa.com (in Arabic)|
The Lebanon national football team,[a] controlled by the Lebanese Football Association (LFA), have represented Lebanon in association football since their inception in 1933. The squad is governed by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) continentally, and FIFA worldwide. While Lebanon have yet to qualify for the FIFA World Cup, they have participated twice in the Asian Cup: in 2000, when they hosted the event, and in 2019, the first time through regular qualification. Lebanon's main venue is the Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium in Beirut; however they also play in other locations such as the Saida International Stadium in Sidon.
In 1934, Lebanon played their first match against the Romanian side CA Timișoara (T.A.C.), but it was not ratified by FIFA. Lebanon played their first FIFA-recognised game in 1940 against Mandatory Palestine. During their 2014 qualification campaign for the World Cup, Lebanon reached the final qualifying round for the first time thanks to a 2–1 victory against South Korea at home in 2011, but failed to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup finishing bottom of their group. At the 2019 Asian Cup, Lebanon were close to qualifying to the knock-out stages for the first time. However, they lost a tiebreaker to Vietnam in the third-place ranking on the fair play rule and were knocked out of the competition at the group stage. Lebanon also competes in the WAFF Championship, the Arab Nations Cup and the Pan Arab Games. As hosts, they have finished third—once at the Arab Nations Cup and twice at the Pan Arab Games.
Inspired by their national symbol, the Lebanese team is known as "the Cedars" (Arabic: رجال الأرز) by fans and media. Their home kit is primarily red and their away kit white, a reference to their national flag. After a steady decline in their FIFA ranking from 1998 to 2016, Lebanon jumped 66 places (from 147th in 2016 to 81st in 2018) and reached their highest rank to date—77th—in September 2018. This came after a 15-game unbeaten streak,[b] from 24 March 2016 to 11 October 2018, during which Lebanon won eight games and drew seven.
1933–1957: The beginning
Lebanon was one of the first nations in the Middle East to establish an administrative body for association football.[c] On 22 March 1933, representatives of 13 football clubs gathered in the Minet El Hosn district in Beirut to form the Lebanese Football Association (LFA). Hussein Sejaan was the LFA's first president. The LFA joined FIFA in 1935 and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in 1964.
On 27 January 1934, Beirut's International team lost to the American University of Beirut's (AUB) varsity team 5–1. The following month, a Beirut team composed of AUB varsity and Renaissance athletes played two matches against the Romanian side CA Timișoara (T.A.C.) at home. The first match, on 18 February at the Edmond Rubeiz Field, ended in a 1–9 defeat; the second, played two days later at the University Field, was a 1–4 loss. These unofficial matches are regarded as the national team's first. The All-Beirut Team lost again to T.A.C. on 21 November 1935 at the Varsity Field.
Beirut XI, representing Lebanon, played their first game against Syria (Damascus XI) in 1939 at the Habib Abou Chahla Stadium; the match ended in a 4–5 loss. The team played 17 unofficial games against Damascus XI until 1963, winning nine, drawing two and losing six. The national team's first official FIFA game was a 5–1 loss to Mandatory Palestine on 27 April 1940, with Camille Cordahi scoring Lebanon's first official international goal. In 1944, Lebanon lost to an unofficial Iraqi national team representing Iraq's Ministry of Education, which was coached by George Raynor.
During the 1950s, Lebanon were coached by Vinzenz Dittrich and Ljubiša Broćić. The side played three official games, only managing one draw against Syria in 1953. The team also played unofficial games against top-level European clubs such as Dynamo Moscow, Leipzig and Spartak Trnava in 1957. Lebanon played Energia Flacăra Ploiești the same year in the opening game of the Sports City Stadium. The match ended in 1–0 win for Lebanon thanks to a Joseph Abou Murad goal.
1957–1989: Early history
From 19 to 27 October 1957 Lebanon hosted the second edition of the Pan Arab Games, and were drawn with Saudi Arabia, Syria and Jordan in the group stages. After two 1–1 draws against Saudi Arabia and Syria, Lebanon defeated Jordan 6–3 in their first official international win thanks to two braces by Joseph Abou Murad and Mardek Chabarian and one goal each by Robert Shehada and Levon Altonian; this placed them first in their group. In the semifinals, Lebanon lost 4–2 to Tunisia. They finished in third place, however, since Morocco withdrew from the third-place match.
Joseph Nalbandian was appointed coach of the national team in 1958. He was one of Lebanon's most successful coaches, winning nine of 26 official matches during his 11-year tenure. Under Nalbadian, Lebanon hosted the 1959 Mediterranean Games and were grouped with Italy B and Turkey B.[d] They finished last in the group, after four losses to the two European teams.
Lebanon hosted the inaugural edition of the Arab Cup in 1963, and were grouped with Tunisia, Syria, Kuwait and Jordan. They won their first match against Kuwait 6–0, thanks to a hat-trick by team captain Altonian. This six-goal win tied Lebanon's biggest win to date, a 7–1 victory against Saudi Arabia in 1961. After another win (against Jordan) and two losses (to Syria and Tunisia), Lebanon finished third in the tournament. In the following edition, in 1966, Lebanon were drawn with Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait and Bahrain in Group A. After three wins and a draw, they qualified to the semi-finals against Syria, where they lost 1–0. In the third-place match, Lebanon lost 6–1 to Libya, finishing the competition in fourth place.
Their first Asian Cup qualifying campaign was in 1971, coached by Joseph Abou Murad. In the first round they lost to hosts Kuwait 0–1 but defeated traditional rival Syria 3–2 to qualify for the next round. In a decisive semi-final match against Iraq, Lebanon lost 1–4 and were eliminated. Due to the country's civil war, Lebanon only played nine games between 1975 and 1990. They appeared in the 1980 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers held in Abu Dhabi; with one win, one draw, and one defeat, Lebanon came third in their group and were eliminated. Lebanon also initially took part in the 1986 FIFA World Cup qualifiers; however, after playing four matches, Lebanon withdrew and their results were annulled. In the 1988 Arab Nations Cup, Lebanon were drawn with Egypt, Iraq, Tunisia, and the Saudi Arabia Olympic team. They finished third in their group, with one win, two draws, and one defeat.
1993–2004: Post-Civil War
Lebanon's first World Cup qualification campaign after the civil war was in 1993, with Adnan Al Sharqi as their coach. After two wins, two losses and four draws, Lebanon finished third in their group and were eliminated. Under Terry Yorath, the team's first foreign manager since the war, Lebanon began their first post-war campaign to qualify for the 1996 AFC Asian Cup. Despite winning twice against Turkmenistan and losing only once (at home, against Kuwait), Lebanon were eliminated from the competition with a one-point difference with Kuwait (the group leader).
Yorath helped Lebanon gain 10 places in the FIFA World Ranking thanks to a 3–3 draw against the Czech Republic and a 1–0 win against Jordan, both friendlies played in January 1997. Thanks to their performances, Lebanon were awarded the Asian Team of the Month award in February. Lebanon were drawn in a group which included Kuwait and Singapore in the 1998 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, played between April and June 1997. Led by Yorath, the Cedars were eliminated with only four points. Despite the team's elimination, the Welsh manager was one of the team's most successful managers, winning 13 of 31 official matches during his two-year tenure.
Lebanon hosted the 2000 AFC Asian Cup, despite FIFA's concerns about stadium conditions. Under Croatian coach Josip Skoblar, Lebanon, captained by Jamal Taha, drew into Group A with Iran, Iraq and Thailand. Lebanon played their first Asian Cup game against Iran on 12 October 2000 at the Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium with 52,418 spectators. Trailing by one goal at half time, Lebanon conceded three further goals in the second half to end their first group stage match in a 0–4 defeat. In the second match, against Iraq, two goals in the first 22 minutes gave the opposing team a comfortable lead. However, an Abbas Chahrour goal in the 28th minute, Lebanon's first in the competition, and a goal by Moussa Hojeij in the 76th minute gave Lebanon their first point of the competition. Lebanon played Thailand in the final group stage match. With the opposing team gaining the lead in the 58th minute, Luís Fernandez equalised for Lebanon to end the match 1–1. The draw was not enough as they finished last in the group, with only two points.
Managed by Theo Bücker, Lebanon drew with Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand in the first round of the 2002 World Cup qualifications. The team, with good offense from Roda Antar, Haitham Zein, Vartan Ghazarian and Gilberto dos Santos, finished second in their group with 26 goals in six games (the most in their group).
Under Richard Tardy, Lebanon drew into Group D of the 2004 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers. Before the match against North Korea, the Lebanese team were reportedly ill-treated; hotel conditions were poor, and their training field contained goats and sheep. Lebanon finished third in their group, with four points. For the second round of the qualifiers for the 2006 World Cup, Lebanon were grouped with South Korea, Vietnam and Maldives. Under Mahmoud Hamoud, they finished second in their group and were eliminated.
2006–2014: Failed qualifications and match fixing
Lebanon drew into Group D for the 2007 AFC Asian Cup qualifying campaign with Australia, Bahrain and Kuwait. The scheduled meeting between Australia and Lebanon made Buddy Farah, an Australian player of Lebanese descent, declare his return to the Lebanese national side. Before Lebanon's match with Bahrain on 16 August 2006, it was announced on 1 August that the Asian Football Confederation had accepted a withdrawal request from the Lebanon Football Association due to the 2006 Lebanon War, which forced several players to leave their homes to avoid the war. In 2007 Lebanon was seeded in the first round of the qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup, where they faced India to qualify directly for the third round of the qualifiers. Lebanon won 6–3 on aggregate and advanced to the third round, with two goals by Mohammed Ghaddar in the second match. Lebanon, grouped with Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Uzbekistan, finished last with no points.
In April 2008, Lebanon and the Maldives (the two lowest-ranked teams in Asia)[e] played home-and-away matches in the preliminary round of the 2011 Asian Cup; the winner would proceed to the next round. A 4–0 home win and a 2–1 victory in the away match advanced Lebanon to the qualifying round. They drew into Group D with China, Syria and Vietnam, finishing last. Emile Rustom, re-appointed as head coach, led Lebanon into the second round of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers. They faced Bangladesh, winning 4–0 in Beirut on 23 July and losing 2–0 in Dhaka five days later. Lebanon advanced to the third round, where they were grouped with South Korea, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. Rustom resigned less than a week later, citing internal administrative problems.
On 4 August 2011, Theo Bücker was reappointed as Lebanon's head coach. The former national team manager took the reins nine years after leaving that position. On 6 September, Lebanon came back from one goal down to defeat the United Arab Emirates 3–1 in the World Cup qualifications; striker Mahmoud Khamees put the visitors in front after 15 minutes, Lebanon replied with goals from Mohammed Ghaddar, Akram Moghrabi and Roda Antar; Antar was named man of the match.
The team then drew 2–2 to Kuwait in Beirut on 11 October 2011. For the first time since 2005, when the LFA barred fans from the stadiums due to behavioural issues, spectators (32,000) were allowed at the Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium. Bad fan behaviour (mainly fireworks-related) was again a problem against Kuwait, forcing referee Masaaki Toma to stop the game several times. A month later, Lebanon defeated Kuwait 1–0 on a 57th-minute goal by Mahmoud El Ali at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Kuwait City; it was Kuwait's first home loss to Lebanon. On 15 November, Lebanon hosted South Korea at Beirut's Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium before over 40,000 spectators. After four minutes, Lebanon took the lead on a goal by Ali Al Saadi. Eleven minutes later, Korea tied the score with a penalty kick. In the 30th minute, Lebanon received a penalty kick after Mahmoud El Ali was tackled inside the penalty area; Abbas Ali Atwi scored, giving Lebanon a 2–1 victory. Lebanon's first-ever win against South Korea qualified them for the fourth (and final) round of the World Cup qualifiers for the first time.
In 2012 Lebanon drew into Group A of the fourth round, with South Korea, Uzbekistan, Iran and Qatar. In Lebanon's fourth game, on 11 September 2012 against Iran, a first-half Roda Antar goal gave Lebanon the lead. Antar rose above the Iranian defence to head home a free kick from Mohammad Haidar in the 28th minute. They held onto the lead and won 1–0; the three points were crucial to stay in contention for a spot at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. On 26 February 2013, team members Ramez Dayoub and Mahmoud El Ali were involved in the 2013 Lebanese match-fixing scandal; they were accused of illegal betting on several matches involving Lebanese teams (including the national team), in addition to manipulating results. The players were fined $15,000 and banned from the Lebanon Football Association for life. Lebanon's 1–0 defeat to Qatar was part of the scandal, with defender Dayoub purposely passing the ball to the Qatari striker, who netted the only goal of the game. The Lebanese team then lost to Uzbekistan 1–0 on the road. In the following match they hosted South Korea in Beirut and led 1–0, until South Korea scored the equaliser in the 97th minute, eliminating Lebanon.
In 2013 the team drew into group B with Iran, Thailand and Kuwait for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualifications. After losing 5–0 to Iran, and winning 5–2 against Thailand, Giuseppe Giannini replaced Theo Bücker as head coach. During Giannini's first game, on match day three, Mohammad Ghaddar scored the equaliser against Kuwait in Beirut to earn a point for Lebanon. Lebanon ended the qualifications in third place in their group, with two wins, two draws, and two losses. Lebanon and China were tied on points in the ranking of third-places teams; China had a better goal difference, however, and went on to play in the final tournament.
After the country's failed attempt to qualify for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup in Australia, the Lebanese Football Association decided to reform the national team in 2014 by modeling it on the Belgium national team (particularly Belgium's performance in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil). Inviting new players from nations with a large Lebanese community (such as the United States, Germany, Denmark and Norway) would, it was hoped, bring about a rebirth of Lebanese football. On 8 September 2014, Lebanon played an unofficial FIFA match against the Brazilian Olympic team in Doha for the first time; the match ended in a 2–2 draw. Hassan Maatouk scored a goal which would have given Lebanon a 3–1 lead, but the goal was incorrectly ruled offside; Brazil's equalising goal was erroneously ruled onside. The match excited the Lebanese people, despite poor refereeing. After Lebanon's 0–5 loss to Qatar a month later, Giuseppe Giannini was fired.
2015–present: Recent history
Miodrag Radulović was appointed the team's new coach in 2015, and led Lebanon in the 2018 World Cup qualifications. The team were drawn in a group that included Asia's runners-up South Korea, Kuwait, Myanmar and Laos, the second time Lebanon faced South Korea and Kuwait in World Cup qualifiers. Lebanon finished second in the group and, although they were eliminated from the World Cup, they played in the 2019 Asian Cup qualification third round.
The Asian Cup draw put Lebanon in Group B, with North Korea, Hong Kong and Malaysia. With five wins and a draw, Lebanon topped the group and qualified for the cup for the first time (after qualifying as host in 2000, the country's only previous participation). Hassan Maatouk (who succeeded Roda Antar as captain in 2016) was key to Lebanon's success, scoring five goals in six games. Lebanon fielded a number of players of Lebanese origin who were born and raised in other countries during the qualifications, including Hilal El-Helwe, Joan Oumari and Omar Bugiel from Germany; Soony Saad from the United States; Samir Ayass from Bulgaria, and Adnan Haidar from Norway.
Although Radulović failed to qualify the team for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, he helped Lebanon qualify for their first-ever AFC Asian Cup in 2019; he was the first Montenegrin manager to help a team qualify for a major tournament. Radulović managed a 15-game unbeaten streak[b] (from 24 March 2016 to 11 October 2018), winning eight and drawing seven. In September 2018, Lebanon achieved their best-ever FIFA ranking (77th).
On 9 January 2019, Lebanon started their 2019 Asian Cup campaign with a 0–2 loss against Qatar. In the 37th minute, Ali Hamam scored a goal for Lebanon from a corner, only for it to be controversially disallowed for a foul. Two goals by Qatar in the second half secured all three points for the opposing team. Three days later, Lebanon played their second match of the tournament against Saudi Arabia. Two goals without reply brought Lebanon their second defeat of the tournament.
In the final group stage game against North Korea, played on 17 January, Lebanon needed to win by four goals to pass to the knock-out stages. Lebanon conceded an early free-kick goal, before leveling the score in the first half through a goal by Felix Melki. Lebanon took the lead in the second half after Hilal El-Helwe scored from close range. Fifteen minutes later Maatouk converted a penalty kick, becoming Lebanon's joint top-scorer. Lebanon's fourth goal came in the seventh minute of added time, with El-Helwe scoring his second of the match, ending the encounter 1–4 and giving Lebanon their first ever Asian Cup win. However, they lost out to Vietnam in the third-place ranking on the fair play rule. Because they had received seven yellow cards against five by Vietnam, they were knocked out of the competition.
On 3 June 2019, Liviu Ciobotariu was appointed head coach of the national team; he would coach Lebanon at the qualifications for the 2022 World Cup and the 2023 Asian Cup. His first games took place at the 2019 WAFF Championship, where Lebanon were drawn with hosts Iraq, Syria, Palestine and Yemen. Lebanon finished fourth in their group with four points, after a win, a draw, and two defeats.
On 17 July 2019, for the 2022 World Cup qualification second round, Lebanon were drawn with South Korea, for the third time in a row, North Korea, who Lebanon had faced in both the qualifications and final stage of the 2019 Asian Cup, Turkmenistan and Sri Lanka. Lebanon played five matches (two wins, two draws, and one defeat), before the remaining games were postponed on 9 March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Asia.
The national team traditionally wear red as their primary colour and white as their secondary colour. The choices originate from the national flag of Lebanon (red, white and green); green is typically reserved for the goalkeeper. At home, Lebanon usually wear a red shirt, shorts, and socks, with white details; the away kit is a white outfit with red details.
During their first unofficial match in 1934, Lebanon wore white shirts with the Lebanese cedar and the association's name on the chest, black shorts and white socks; the goalkeeper wore a black shirt and white trousers. In 1940, on the occasion of their first FIFA-sanctioned game against Mandatory Palestine, Lebanon wore a white kit with a black collar, along with black shorts and striped socks. Between the 1940s, when the current iteration of the Lebanese flag was designed, and the 1970s, Lebanon wore a red shirt with a white horizontal band in the center, which included a green cedar tree in the middle; the shorts were white.
In the 2000 AFC Asian Cup, Lebanon wore a red Adidas shirt with white details on the sides and a white collar, white shorts and red socks. In the 2019 campaign, Lebanon wore a red kit (manufactured by Capelli Sport) with white details and a white collar. The Lebanese cedar, the country's national symbol, is present under the team logo in a darker shade of red. Since 2015 the team kit has been manufactured by Capelli Sport, a sports brand founded by Lebanese-born entrepreneur George Altirs. Previous manufacturers include Diadora and Adidas.
The Lebanese national team play their home games in various stadiums throughout the country. The team's main venue is the Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium. Built in 1957 during the presidency of Camille Chamoun, it is the country's largest stadium with 49,500 seats. Its inaugural game was in 1957, when the national team played Energia Flacara Ploiesti and won 1–0 thanks to a Joseph Abou Murad goal. It was the main stadium used to host the 2000 Asian Cup held in Lebanon; six matches were played in the stadium including the opening match and the final. In 2011 the stadium hosted the famed 2–1 victory against South Korea in the 2014 World Cup qualification, sending Lebanon to the final round of qualification for the first time. Over 40,000 spectators were present to watch the match.
The national team, however, also play in other stadiums such as the Saida International Stadium located in Sidon. Built over the sea, the stadium holds 22,600 people, and was one of the venues to host the 2000 Asian Cup. Other stadiums in which the national team play include the Tripoli Municipal Stadium and the Beirut Municipal Stadium.
The following 23 players were called up for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against South Korea and North Korea on 14 and 19 November 2019, respectively. Nader Matar withdrew injured, and was replaced by Ahmad Jalloul on 16 November 2019.
Caps, goals and player numbers are correct as of 19 November 2019[update] after the match against North Korea.
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|1||GK||Mehdi Khalil||19 September 1991||40||0||Zob Ahan|
|21||GK||Ahmad Taktouk||29 September 1984||2||0||Nejmeh|
|23||GK||Ali Daher||26 November 1996||1||0||Ahed|
|2||DF||Kassem El Zein||2 December 1990||18||0||Al-Nasr|
|3||DF||Mootaz Jounaidi||20 January 1986||49||0||Ansar|
|4||DF||Nour Mansour||22 October 1989||53||2||Ahed|
|6||DF||Joan Oumari||19 August 1988||24||2||FC Tokyo|
|12||DF||Robert Alexander Melki||14 November 1992||9||0||Al-Khor|
|15||DF||Hussein Zein||27 January 1995||4||0||Ahed|
|16||DF||Hassan "Shibriko" Chaito||16 June 1991||9||0||Ansar|
|19||DF||Abdallah Aich||5 October 1994||1||0||Nejmeh|
|5||MF||Adnan Haidar||3 August 1989||36||1||Unattached|
|10||MF||Mohamad Haidar||8 November 1989||65||4||Ahed|
|13||MF||George Felix Melki||23 July 1994||10||1||AIK|
|14||MF||Ahmad Jalloul||23 January 1992||14||0||Safa|
|17||MF||Houssein Rizk||1 January 1997||1||0||Shabab Sahel|
|18||MF||Hussein Monzer||20 March 1997||7||0||Ahed|
|22||MF||Bassel Jradi||6 July 1993||7||1||Hajduk Split|
|7||FW||Hassan Maatouk (Captain)||10 August 1987||84||21||Ansar|
|8||FW||Hassan "Moni" Chaito||20 March 1989||56||6||Ansar|
|9||FW||Hilal El-Helwe||24 November 1994||26||8||SV Meppen|
|11||FW||Mohamad Kdouh||10 July 1997||8||1||Ahed|
|20||FW||Rabih Ataya||16 July 1989||36||4||UiTM|
The following footballers were part of a national selection in the past 12 months, but are not part of the current squad.
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
|GK||Mostafa Matar||10 September 1995||2||0||Ahed||v. South Korea, 14 November 2019 PRE|
|GK||Ali Sabeh INJ||24 June 1994||1||0||Nejmeh||2019 WAFF Championship|
|DF||Mohamed Zein Tahan||20 April 1988||34||1||Safa||v. South Korea, 14 November 2019 PRE|
|DF||Nassar Nassar||1 January 1992||11||0||Ansar||v. South Korea, 14 November 2019 PRE|
|DF||Hassan Bitar||18 May 1992||0||0||Ansar||v. South Korea, 14 November 2019 PRE|
|DF||Khalil Khamis OTH||12 January 1995||2||0||Pahang||2019 WAFF Championship|
|MF||Nader Matar INJ||12 May 1992||36||2||Unattached||v. South Korea, 14 November 2019|
|MF||Yahya El Hindi||24 September 1998||2||0||Unattached||v. South Korea, 14 November 2019 PRE|
|MF||Hassan Kourani||22 January 1995||0||0||Nejmeh||v. South Korea, 14 November 2019 PRE|
|MF||Samir Ayass||24 December 1990||13||1||Persiraja||v. Oman, 10 September 2019|
|FW||Soony Saad||17 August 1992||14||3||Ansan Greeners||v. South Korea, 14 November 2019 PRE|
|FW||Ahmad Hijazi||22 August 1994||1||0||Ansar||v. South Korea, 14 November 2019 PRE|
|FW||Karim Darwich||2 November 1998||0||0||Akhaa Ahli Aley||v. South Korea, 14 November 2019 PRE|
|FW||Omar Chaaban Bugiel||3 January 1994||7||1||Sutton United||v. Oman, 10 September 2019|
|FW||Ali Alaaeddine||8 September 1993||1||0||Nejmeh||2019 WAFF Championship|
INJ Withdrew due to injury
|Event||1st place||2nd place||3rd place||4th place|
|Arab Nations Cup||0||0||1||2|
|Pan Arab Games||0||0||2||1|
FIFA World Cup
Although the Lebanese Football Association was formed in 1933, Lebanon's first qualification campaign for the FIFA World Cup took place in the 1986 edition. However, after playing four matches, Lebanon withdrew due to the ongoing civil war, and their results were subsequently annulled. The country's first full qualification campaign came two editions later, in 1994, where they finished third in their group with two wins, four draws, and two losses. Ever since, Lebanon have participated in every iteration of the World Cup qualifiers.
The closest Lebanon got to qualifying to the World Cup was during the 2014 campaign. After beating Bangladesh 4–2 on aggregate in the second round, Lebanon qualified to the third round, where they were drawn with South Korea, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. After beating South Korea in a historical 2–1 win at home, Lebanon qualified to the fourth (and final) round for the first time, coming second in their group. In the final round, Lebanon were grouped with Iran, South Korea, Uzbekistan, and Qatar. With only one win and two draws in eight games, Lebanon finished last in Group A and were eliminated.
|Lebanon's FIFA World Cup record||Qualification record|
|1930||Did not participate||Did not participate||—|
|1990||Did not participate||Did not participate||—|
|1994||Did not qualify||3rd of 5||8||2||4||2||8||9|||
|1998||2nd of 3||4||1||1||2||4||7|||
|2002||2nd of 4||6||4||1||1||26||5|||
|2006||2nd of 4||6||3||2||1||11||5|||
|2010||First round win, 4th of 4||8||1||1||6||9||17|||
|2014||Second round win, 2nd of 4, 5th of 5||13||5||2||6||16||22|||
|2018||2nd of 5||8||3||2||3||12||6|||
|2022||To be determined||Ongoing|
|2026||To be determined||To be determined|
AFC Asian Cup
Lebanon's first qualification campaign for the AFC Asian Cup came at the 1972 edition; drawn in Group B of the Western Zone, Lebanon came second thanks to a 3–2 victory over neighbors Syria and advanced to the next stage. In the decisive semi-final match against Iraq, Lebanon lost 4–1 and were knocked-out. Lebanon won a consolatory third-place match against Jordan.
The 2000 edition was Lebanon's first participation in the finals, when the country hosted the event. Following a 4–0 defeat to Iran in the competition's opening match, Lebanon came from behind to draw 2–2 against Iraq; Abbas Chahrour became Lebanon's first goalscorer in the competition. Lebanon drew once again, 1–1 against Thailand, and were eliminated, finishing last in the group.
After finishing the 2019 third round of qualification unbeaten, Lebanon qualified to the Asian Cup for the first time in their history. In the finals, Lebanon lost the first group stage match 2–0 to eventual champions Qatar, before losing once again by the same score to Saudi Arabia. In the final match of the group, Lebanon needed a win by four goals or more against North Korea to qualify to the knock-out stage. Despite conceding an early free-kick goal, Lebanon went on to win the match 4–1 thanks to a brace by Hilal El-Helwe. However, they lost out to Vietnam in the third-place ranking due to having received more yellow cards, and were knocked out of the competition.
|Lebanon's AFC Asian Cup record||Qualification record|
|1956||Did not participate||Did not participate||—|
|1972||Did not qualify||2nd of 3, semi-final loss||3||1||0||2||4||7|||
|1980||Did not qualify||3rd of 4||3||1||1||1||2||1|||
|1988||Did not participate||Did not participate||—|
|1996||Did not qualify||2nd of 3||4||2||1||1||7||6|||
|2000||Group stage||10th of 12||3||0||2||1||3||7||Squad||Qualified as hosts|||
|2004||Did not qualify||3rd of 4||6||1||1||4||2||8|||
|2011||Did not qualify||Preliminary round win, 4th of 4||8||2||1||5||8||14|||
|2015||3rd of 4||6||2||2||2||12||14|||
|2019||Group stage||17th of 24||3||1||0||2||4||5||Squad||2nd of 5, 1st of 4||14||8||3||3||26||10|||
|2023||To be determined||Ongoing|
|Total||Best: group stage||2/17||6||1||2||3||7||12||—||Total||43||16||9||18||59||59||—|
Summer Olympic Games
Lebanon's senior team have never qualified to the Summer Olympics final tournament; their first qualification campaign was for Rome 1960. After losing the first two group stage games against Iraq, Lebanon withdrew and the two remaining matches were awarded to their opponent Turkey. Lebanon participated in two more qualifications, in 1968 and 1972, failing to qualify to the final tournament on both occasions.
|Lebanon's Summer Olympic Games record||Qualification record|
city and year
|Paris 1900||Did not participate||Did not participate||—|
|St. Louis 1904||—|
|Rome 1960||Withdrew||3rd of 3||4||0||0||4||0||15|||
|Mexico City 1968||Did not qualify||3rd of 6||5||2||1||2||18||9|||
|Munich 1972||First round loss||3||1||0||2||2||3|||
|Moscow 1980||Did not participate||Did not participate||—|
|Los Angeles 1984||Withdrew||Withdrew|||
|Seoul 1988||Did not participate||Did not participate||—|
|See Lebanon national under-23 football team||See Lebanon national under-23 football team|||
Bar the 2008 and 2010 editions, Lebanon have participated in every WAFF Championship; however, they have failed to qualify past the group stage on all occasions. Their first participation in the WAFF Championship was in 2000, at the inaugural edition. Drawn with Iraq, hosts Jordan, and Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon finished third in their group with one win, one draw, and one loss.
|Lebanon's WAFF Championship record|
|2000||Group stage||5th of 8||3||1||1||1||3||2||Squad|||
|2002||5th of 6||2||0||0||2||0||3||Squad|||
|2004||6th of 6||2||0||0||2||1||7||Squad|||
|2007||6th of 6||2||0||0||2||0||4||Squad|||
|2008||Did not participate||—|
|2012||Group stage||9th of 12||3||1||0||2||2||3||Squad|||
|2014||8th of 9||2||0||1||1||0||2||Squad|||
|2019||7th of 9||4||1||1||2||3||4||Squad|||
|2021||To be determined||Squad|
|Total||Best: group stage||8/10||18||3||3||12||9||25||—||—|
Arab Nations Cup
Lebanon have taken part in all iterations of the Arab Nations Cup, except the 1985 and 1992 editions. They hosted the inaugural edition in 1963, finishing third in a group containing Tunisia, Syria, Kuwait, and Jordan. Lebanon finished in fourth place in the subsequent two editions (1964 and 1966); ever since, they have failed to go past the group stage.
|Lebanon's Arab Nations Cup record|
|1963||Third place||3rd of 5||4||2||0||2||13||4||Squad|||
|1964||Fourth place||4th of 5||4||1||1||2||4||5||Squad|||
|1966||4th of 9||6||3||1||2||11||10||Squad|||
|1985||Did not participate||—|
|1988||Group stage||6th of 10||4||1||2||1||2||4||Squad|||
|1992||Did not participate||—|
|1998||Group stage||9th of 12||2||0||1||1||1||4||Squad|||
|2002||8th of 10||4||1||1||2||5||7||Squad|||
|2012||Group stage||10th of 10||3||0||1||2||1||4||Squad|||
|Total||Best: third place||7/9||27||8||7||12||37||38||—||—|
Pan Arab Games
After participating in the inaugural edition of the Pan Arab Games, at Alexandria 1953, Lebanon hosted the 1957 edition. Topping a group containing Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan, Lebanon reached the semi-finals where they lost 4–2 to Tunisia. Due to Morocco withdrawing from the third-place match, Lebanon finished the tournament in third place. Lebanon also came third in 1997, once again as hosts. With two draws and a win, Lebanon came second in their group and qualified to the semi-finals, which they lost after extra time to Syria. Lebanon finished in third place after beating Kuwait 3–1.
|Lebanon's Pan Arab Games record|
city and year
|Alexandria 1953||Group stage||5th of 6||3||1||1||1||1||4||Squad|||
|Beirut 1957||Third place||3rd of 8||5||2||2||1||10||6||Squad|||
|Casablanca 1961||Fourth place||4th of 6||5||2||0||3||13||9||Squad|||
|Cairo 1965||Group stage||7th of 10||4||1||1||2||4||7||Squad|||
|Damascus 1976||Did not participate||—|
|Beirut 1997||Third place||3rd of 8||5||2||2||1||9||7||Squad|||
|Amman 1999||Second stage||5th of 11||5||2||1||2||6||9||Squad|||
|Cairo 2007||Did not participate||—|
|Baghdad 2021||To be determined||—|
|Total||Best: third place||6/11||27||10||7||10||43||42||—||—|
The Lebanon national senior team only participated once at the Asian Games, at Bangkok 1998. Thanks to a 5–1 win against Cambodia, Lebanon qualified past the preliminary round and were drawn with Qatar, Thailand, and Kazakhstan in the second round. Following two 1–0 defeats, respectively to Qatar and Thailand, Lebanon won 3–0 against Kazakhstan in their final encounter of the group stage. However, the three points weren't enough to qualify Lebanon to the knockout round.
|Lebanon's Asian Games record|
city and year
|New Delhi 1951||Did not participate||—|
|New Delhi 1982||—|
|Bangkok 1998||Group stage||12th of 23||5||2||0||3||9||7||Squad|||
|See Lebanon national under-23 football team||—|
|Total||Best: group stage||1/13||5||2||0||3||9||7||—||—|
Lebanon's first participation at the Mediterranean Games was in 1959, when they hosted the event. They lost both legs against Italy B and Turkey B, finishing last with no points. Lebanon's senior team participated two more times, in 1963 and 1987, failing to qualify past the group stage on both occasions.
|Lebanon's Mediterranean Games record|
city and year
|Alexandria 1951||Did not participate||—|
|Beirut 1959||Third place||3rd of 3||4||0||0||4||1||2||Squad|||
|Naples 1963||Group stage||7th of 9||4||1||0||3||2||7||Squad|||
|Tunis 1967||Did not participate||—|
|Latakia 1987||Group stage||6th of 8||3||0||1||2||1||7||Squad|||
|See Lebanon national under-20 football team||—|
|Total||Best: third place||3/10||11||1||1||9||4||16||—||—|
|1974 Kuneitra Cup||Group stage|||
|1975 President's Cup||Group stage|||
|1989 Peace and Friendship Cup||Group stage|||
|1998 Friendship Tournament||Group stage|||
|2009 King's Cup||3rd place|||
|2009 Nehru Cup||Group stage|||
|2021 pan-Arab tournament||To be determined|
Records and fixtures
As of 19 November 2019[update], the complete official match record of the Lebanese national team comprises 305 matches: 84 wins, 86 draws and 135 losses. During these matches, the team scored 361 times and conceded 449 goals. Lebanon's highest winning margin is seven goals, which has been achieved on two occasions: against Pakistan in 2001 (8–1) and against Laos in 2015 (7–0). Their longest winning streak is six wins, and their unbeaten record is 15 consecutive official matches.[b]
The entire match record can be examined on the following articles:
- Results in chronological order lists all individual matches.
- Record per opponent shows the head-to-head record against other footballing nations.
- Statistics per manager compiles an overview per managerial period.
Upcoming fixtures are listed on the 2020–29 results page.
|1||Abbas Ahmed Atwi||2002–2016||84||7||MF/FW|
|8||Hassan "Moni" Chaito||2011–present||56||6||MF/FW|
|10||Abbas Ali Atwi||2002–2016||52||4||FW|
|1||Hassan Maatouk (list)||2006–present||21||84||0.25||FW|
|6||Mahmoud El Ali||2007–2012||12||46||0.26||FW|
- List of men's national association football teams
- Lebanese Premier League
- Lebanese football league system
- Football in Lebanon
- Sport in Lebanon
Notes and references
- Arabic: المنتخب اللبناني لكرة القدم
French: Équipe du Liban de football
- The match played on 9 September 2018 against Oman, which ended in a 0–0 draw, was not considered official by FIFA.
- The FA's of Iran, Egypt, Turkey, and Israel are older.
- Both Italian and Turkish sides were made up of amateur players.
- Turkmenistan, Myanmar, and North Korea, respectively the lowest, third-lowest, and fourth-lowest-ranked teams in Asia, did not take part in the preliminary round on account of having participated in the 2008 and 2010 AFC Challenge Cup, which acted as qualifying tournaments to the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. Only the Maldives and Lebanon, respectively the second-lowest and fifth-lowest ranked teams, were involved in the preliminary round.
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