The Kuwait national team’s journey to the 1982 World Cup:

The most notable feat for Kuwaiti football is reaching the finals of the 1982 FIFA World Cup, which was hosted in Spain. After finishing last in Group D, the team exited the tournament early in the first round.

The story begins in 1980, with the qualifying qualifiers for the Moscow Olympics held in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, in March, and our team qualified after a long marathon with the Iraqi team in the group, which at the time included the teams of Syria, Yemen, and Jordan, in addition to Kuwait and Iraq.

The following were the group results:

The first ever World Cup qualifying for the World Cup:

Kuwait hosted the inaugural qualifiers for the World Cup from 21 April 1981 to 29 April 1981.Kuwait defeated Thailand’s national team 6-0 in their first encounter on 22 April 1981.

Abdulaziz Al-Anbari (two goals), Jassem Yaqoub, Fathi Kamil, Faisal Al-Dakhil, and Muhammad Karam all scored.

The second encounter was with the Malaysian national team, which resulted in a Kuwaiti win of four goals to none, with Mahboub Jumaa scoring two goals and Jassim Yaqoub and Nasser Al-Ghanim scoring one each.

The second meeting was with the Malaysian national team and ended with a Kuwaiti victory with four goals to none, scored by Mahboub Jumaa, Jassim Yaqoub and Nasser Al-Ghanim.

Kuwait and Korean teams tied with points, and the last encounter decided who would advance to the second round of qualifications as the group champion. The game took place on April 29, 1981.


The bleachers were packed with Al-Azraq (the Blue) team supporters. The stands were filled with fans to support the Kuwait National Team. This match was about “TO BE OR NOT TO BE ”  The encounter started between the two teams, and caution was in control of the two teams at the beginning of the match until the first half ended in a negative tie, and the second half began, and the Kuwait players were clearly insisting on ending the match. In the fifth minute, Al-Anbari scored Kuwait’s first goal from passes between the Kuwaiti players that confused the Korean defense, Kuwait players attack and make pressure, and counter-attacks by the Korean team. The 35th minute, a ball lifted from Saad Al-Houti on the head of Jassim Yaqoub, dropped by the terrifying Jassem inside the Al-Sittah area in front of Nasser Al-Ghanim, who deposited it in the nets of the Koreans, announcing the qualification of Kuwait to Spain.

World Cup Final Qualifiers:

The encounter began with New Zealand pressure on the Kuwait goal and they were able to score their goal in the 25th minute of the first half, which ended with this goal and at the beginning of the second half changed the blue state and attacked the New Zealand goal and awarded a penalty kick to Kuwait at the beginning of the second half was missed by Jassem Yaqoub, but without despair and another attack from the side of Kuwait. Jassim Yaqoub scored a goal and a wonderful header to end the match with a 2-1 victory for Kuwait.

It was the 18th of October, the day of the meeting between Kuwait and China in Beijing. The game begins with China putting pressure on Kuwait, and they score two unexpected goals in the 25th and 29th minutes. In this half, Faisal Al-Dakhil misses a penalty kick, leaving the score at 2-0. 3/Zero, this defeat was painful for all members of the Kuwaiti delegation. As soon as a message from His Highness, Prince /Sheikh Jaber (May God have mercy upon your soul) came, he remarked to the members of the delegation in Beijing, “May God have pity upon your soul” (The victory will not always be an ally for any team, no matter how strong, and we are represented in the Kuwaiti saying that good may be in other than other destinies), These statements spurred the squad to return to the atmosphere of the qualifications once more.

On 4 November, Al-Azraq (the Blue wave) faced the fraternal Saudi squad for the third time, and Al-Azraq triumphed with a solitary goal scored by Al-Anbari in the tenth minute of the second half.

Match for qualification

Kuwait qualified for the World Cup with six points and one victory from two matches. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait The 12th of July, 1981, was a memorable day in the history of Kuwait Soccer. The Kuwaiti squad qualified after defeating the Saudi team by two goals to one, both of which were scored by Al-Dakhil in the 37th minute of the first half and the ninth minute of the match. The bleachers were ablaze with cheers in the second half, and Kuwaiti sheilas were pleased with the two goals, winning and qualifying for the World Cup finals.

The joy of qualifying after the Saudi match

Al-Azraq entered the match and is the guarantor of qualification, but it played as cup matches and the Kuwaiti response was harsh against the New Zealand team, and a Kuwaiti goal headed by Fathi Kamil ends in the first half with the progress of Kuwait with a goal … the second half … a New Zealand goal and another strange, strange goal from a direct free kick with a thousand question marks from the referee … The last minute of the match, Sami Al-Hashash scored the equalizer, and the stadium scene was horrible with the cheers of the fans

World Cup Finals
Fixture Result Details
17 June 1982 17:15 summer time
Czechoslovakia 1–1   Kuwait
Antonin Panenka هدف 21′ (RJ) Faisal Al-Dakhil هدف57′
Jose Zorrilla in Valladolid Attendance: 25,000
21 June 1982 17:15 summer time
France  1-4   Kuwait
Bernard Genghiniهدف 31′ Michel Platini هدف 43′ Didier Sixهدف 48′ Maxime Bossisهدف 89′ Abdullah Al Balushهدف 75′
Jose Zorrilla, in Valladolid Attendance: 25,000
25 June 1982 17:15 summer time
England   0-1   Kuwait
Trevor Francis هدف 27′
San Mames in Bilbao Attendance: 39,700