Football in Yemen
Governing bodyYemen Football Association
National team(s)men's national team
Club competitions
International competitions

Football in Yemen is run by the Yemen Football Association.[1][2] The association administers the Yemen national football team, as well as the Yemeni League.[3]

Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in Yemen.[4] The Yemen national football team competes in the FIFA and AFC leagues. The country also hosts football clubs that compete nationally and internationally.

Yemen hosted the 20th Arabian Gulf Cup in Aden in 2010. Yemen was defeated in the first three rounds.

The development of football in Yemen is often thought to be held by back many of Yemen's internal problems such as terrorist attack threats, political tension between the North and South, an unstable economy, and a high illiteracy rate.[2]

The Yemeni national team has never won a championship.


Despite a population of over 20,000,000 inhabitants, Yemen has only 9,200 registered players.[5] Many of the clubs in the Yemeni League offer free admission to their matches, but despite this incentive attendance is declining and support is waning.


While football is the most popular sport in Yemen, its domestic league is overshadowed by the more popular European leagues of Spain's La Liga which Yemenis prefer to watch and support.[2]

Civil unrest (2015-present)

Due to the Yemeni Civil War, football in Yemen has stood at a standstill at a professional level.[6] The Yemeni League hasn't been active since 2014 despite the national team playing in competitions. It is unlikely that football in Yemen will continue professionally in the near future however popularity among locals in amateur matches still thrive.[7][8]

National team

Yemen's greatest football achievement is qualifying for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.[9][10]

Football stadiums in Yemen

Note that many stadiums in Yemen are damaged because of the war.

Stadium City Capacity Tenants Image
Baradem Mukalla Stadium Mukalla 50,000 Al-Shaab Hadramaut
Al-Wihda Stadium Zinjibar 30,000 Hassan Abyan
Al Ulufi Stadium Al Hudaydah 10,000 Al-Hilal Al-Sahili

See also


  1. ^ Ghosh, Bobby (2 December 2010). "Yemen: Can Soccer Solve a Separatist Problem?". Time. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "Football and its political effects in Yemen". Total Football Magazine. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  3. ^ Almasri, Omar (21 May 2012). "The State of Football in the Yemen". Sabotage Times. Archived from the original on 4 December 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  4. ^ "Yemeni Football and Identity Politics". Middle East Institute. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  5. ^ "Yemen: country information". Archived from the original on 9 July 2007. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  6. ^ Almasri, Omar. "Yemen Has Been Ruined By War, But Its Soccer Program Is Still Kicking". Deadspin. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  7. ^ "The long struggle for Yemen's footballers". Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  8. ^ "Asian Cup 2019: Does Yemen's Jan Kocian have the toughest job in world football?". 7 January 2019. Retrieved 13 March 2019 – via
  9. ^ "Soccer-Big stage no problem for Asian Cup debutants Yemen: asst coach". 6 January 2019. Retrieved 13 March 2019 – via
  10. ^ "Yemen's long road to the 2019 Asian Cup". The National. Retrieved 13 March 2019.