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Lebanon national football team facts for kids

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Quick facts for kids
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) رجال الأرز
(The Cedars)
Association Lebanese Football Association
(الاتحاد اللبناني لكرة القدم)
Confederation AFC (Asia)
Sub-confederation WAFF (West Asia)
Head coach Aleksandar Ilić
Captain Hassan Maatouk
Most caps Hassan Maatouk (100)
Top scorer Vardan Ghazaryan
Hassan Maatouk (21)
Home stadium Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current NR (7 February 2019)
Highest 77 (September 2018)
Lowest 178 (April – May 2011)
Elo ranking
Current 96 Decrease 4 (3 March 2019)
Highest 46 (27 April 1940)
Lowest 164 (28 July 2011)
First international
 Palestine, British Mandate 5–1 Lebanon 
(Tel Aviv, Mandatory Palestine; 27 April 1940)
Biggest win
 Lebanon 11–1 Philippines 
(Tokyo, Japan; 28 September 1967)
Biggest defeat
 Iraq 8–0 Lebanon 
(Baghdad, Iraq; 25 November 1959)
 Qatar 8–0 Lebanon 
(Doha, Qatar; 27 March 1985)
Asian Cup
Appearances 3 (first in 2000)
Best result Group stage (2000, 2019)
Arab Cup
Appearances 8 (first in 1963)
Best result Third place (1963)
WAFF Championship
Appearances 7 (first in 2000)
Best result Group stage (7 times)
Medal record
Men's football
Arab Cup
Bronze 1963 Lebanon
Pan Arab Games
Bronze 1957 Beirut
Bronze 1997 Beirut
Mediterranean Games
Bronze 1959 Beirut

The Lebanon national football team, 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 qualified three times to the AFC Asian Cup: they first participated in 2000, when they hosted the event. Lebanon's main venue is the Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium in Beirut; however they also play in other locations such as the Saida Municipal Stadium in Sidon.

In 1935, Lebanon played their first match against the Romanian side CA Timișoara (TAC), 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 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 compete in the Arab Cup, the WAFF Championship, and the Pan Arab Games. As hosts, they have finished third—once at the Arab 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 16-game unbeaten streak, 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. 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). The LFA was first headed by Hussein Sejaan, and joined FIFA in 1936.

On 3 February 1934, 22 players from Beirut were called up to a training camp by the LFA in view of a friendly game against the Romanian side CA Timișoara (TAC); the players were divided into two teams, and played against each other at the American University of Beirut's (AUB) field. The match against TAC, scheduled to be played on 18 February, was cancelled due to financial disagreements between the LFA and the AUB, who organised the encounter. The Beirut select team eventually played against TAC on 21 November 1935 at AUB's field, losing 3–0. Beirut XI played their first game against Syria's Damascus XI in 1939 at the Habib Abou Chahla Stadium; the match ended in a 5–4 loss. The two teams played 16 unofficial games until 1963, winning seven, drawing two, and losing seven.

Camille Cordahi v Mandatory Palestine, 1940
Lebanese forward Camille Cordahi during the 1940 match against Mandatory Palestine

The national team's first official FIFA game was a 5–1 loss to Mandatory Palestine on 27 April 1940. Camille Cordahi, assisted by Muhieddine Jaroudi, scored for Lebanon in the second half, becoming his team's first official international scorer. Lebanon played their first official game against Syria on 19 April 1942; coached by Abed Traboulsi, Lebanon lost 2–1 in Beirut. In 1947 Lebanon played two more friendlies against Syria: a 4–1 defeat in Beirut on 4 May, and a 1–0 defeat in Aleppo on 18 May.

During the early-1950s, Lebanon were coached by Vinzenz Dittrich and Ljubiša Broćić. The side played four official games between 1953 and 1956, most notably hosting Hungary in 1956. Lebanon lost the match 4–1, with Hungary's Ferenc Puskás scoring two goals. 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 1–0 for Lebanon thanks to a Joseph Abou Mrad goal.

1957–1989: Early history and first tournaments

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 Mrad and Mardik Tchaparian, and one goal each by Robert Chehade and Levon Altounian; 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. They finished last in the group, after four losses to the two European teams.

Lebanon national football team 1966
Lebanon at the 1966 Arab Cup

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 Tchaparian. 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 1966 edition, 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. Lebanon had also played at the 1964 Tripoli Fair Tournament; in a group with Libya, Sudan, Morocco, and Malta, they finished in first place with seven points.

Having joined the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in 1964, Lebanon's first Asian Cup qualifying campaign was in 1971, coached by Joseph Abou Mrad. In the first round they lost to hosts Kuwait 1–0, but defeated neighbours Syria 3–2 to qualify for the next round. In a decisive semi-final match against Iraq, Lebanon lost 4–1 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 Cup, Lebanon were drawn with Egypt, Iraq, Tunisia, and Saudi Arabia. They finished third in their group, with one win, two draws, and one defeat.

1993–2004: Post-Civil War and Asian Cup hosts

Devastated Stadium - 13371618444
Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium in 1982; it was destroyed during the Lebanese Civil War.

In 1993 Lebanon played their first qualification campaign after the civil war, in the 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, with Adnan Al Sharqi as their coach. Their gap of 57 years between the date of FIFA affiliation (1936) and their first full World Cup qualifying campaign (1993) was the highest to date; it was surpassed by the Philippines three years later with a gap of 68 years. 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 February 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.

Soccer Field Transparant.svg

F. Antar
Taha (C)
R. Antar
Lebanon's starting line-up against Iran at the 2000 AFC Asian Cup

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. Out of the 23 called-up players for the tournament, five were Brazilians with Lebanese ancestry.

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 4–0 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 long-distance volley in the 28th minute, Lebanon's first goal 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 Fernandes 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 away to 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 the Maldives. Under Mahmoud Hamoud, they finished second in their group and were eliminated.

2006–2014: Final round of World Cup qualification and match fixing

Lebanon drew into Group D for the 2007 AFC Asian Cup qualifying campaign with Australia, Bahrain, and Kuwait, played in 2006. 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, 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) 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. Between 2009 and 2010, they drew into Group D with China, Syria, and Vietnam, finishing last. Emile Rustom, re-appointed as head coach in November 2008, led Lebanon into the second round of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers. They faced Bangladesh, winning 4–0 in Beirut on 23 July 2011, 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 (UAE). 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. Lebanon began the third round losing 6–0 away to South Korea. In the second match, they came back from one goal down to defeat the UAE 3–1 at home. The team then drew 2–2 to Kuwait in Beirut on 11 October. 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 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. Ali Al Saadi gave Lebanon the lead after four minutes, however South Korea tied the score with a penalty kick. Lebanon regained the lead in the 30th minute through an Abbas Ali Atwi penalty; the match finished in 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.

Iran v Lebanon, 11 June 2013 05
Lebanon against Iran at the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification

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 against Iran, a first-half Roda Antar goal gave Lebanon the lead through a header. 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 5–0 away loss to Qatar a month later, Giuseppe Giannini was fired.

2015–2019: First Asian Cup qualification

Miodrag Radulović Lebanon, 2019 AFC Asian Cup
Radulović coached Lebanon between 2015 and 2019.

Miodrag Radulović was appointed the team's new coach in 2015, and led Lebanon in the 2018 World Cup qualifications, played between June 2015 and March 2016. 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 qualified to the 2019 Asian Cup qualification third round, played between March 2017 and March 2018.

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. Although Radulović failed to qualify the team for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, he helped Lebanon reach their first-ever AFC Asian Cup through qualification in 2019; he was the first Montenegrin manager to help a team qualify for a major tournament. Radulović managed a 16-game unbeaten streak (from 24 March 2016 to 11 October 2018), winning eight and drawing eight, making Lebanon the second-most unbeaten national team by number of games at that point (16) after Spain (26). In September 2018, Lebanon achieved their best-ever FIFA ranking (77th).

Lebanon vs Saudi Arabi 20191201 08
Lebanon during the 2019 AFC Asian Cup group stage match against Saudi Arabia

Lebanon relied on their diaspora abroad for the 2019 Asian Cup, with nine of their 23 called-up players being born outside of Lebanon. They started the campaign on 9 January 2019, with a 2–0 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.

Soccer Field Transparant.svg

A. Melki
F. Melki
M. Haidar
Lebanon's starting line-up against North Korea at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup

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. The encounter ended in a 4–1 win, thanks to a brace by Hilal El-Helwe, which gave 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.

Liviu Ciobotariu was appointed for the joint 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.

For the second round of qualification for the 2022 World Cup, 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) between September and November 2019, before the remaining games were postponed on 9 March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Asia.

2020–present: Recent history

Iran v Lebanon, 29 March 2022 (Fars) 14
Lebanon against Iran at the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification

Former national team captain Jamal Taha was appointed head coach in summer 2020. North Korea withdrew from the World Cup qualifiers in May 2021, and their previous results were voided; this highly benefited Lebanon, as they had only gained one point in two games against them. Despite only winning only one of their following three games, other results went in Lebanon's favour and they finished among the best runners-up, qualifying to the 2023 Asian Cup for the third time, and the final round of 2022 World Cup qualification for the second time.

Between September 2021 and March 2022, Lebanon played in Group A of the final round of qualification under coach Ivan Hašek; they were drawn with Iran, South Korea, the UAE, Iraq and Syria. Lebanon's performance was inconsistent, gaining five points away from home, but only one at home. Having earned five points from the opening four games, most notably via a 3–2 win against Syria, the team was noted as an "early surprise", sitting in the play-off qualifying third place as the lowest-ranked team in the round. Lebanon only gained one point from the remaining six games, and finished in last place with six points. The qualification campaign was partially covered by Captains, a docuseries released by FIFA and Netflix following six national teams and their respective captains in their 2022 World Cup qualification runs.

Team image


Lebanon is known as "the Cedars" (Arabic: رجال الأرز) by fans and the media, since the cedar tree is the country's national symbol.


Lebanon's kit over the years
Camille Cordahi wearing a white Lebanese shirt with black shorts
Joseph Abou Mrad wearing a red Lebanese jersey with a green cedar in the center inside a white horizontal band
Felix Michel Melki wearing a red Lebanon shirt with white collar and details

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 1935, 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. During the 1960s, 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, and the socks were red-and-white-striped.

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, was 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.

Home stadium

Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium 2018 - Beirut derby (Nejmeh fans)
The Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium in 2018

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 Mrad 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 Municipal 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.


Produced by Fulwell 73, FIFA released Captains in 2022, an eight-part sports docuseries following six national team captains in their respective 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification campaigns. Hassan Maatouk, representing Lebanon, starred in the first season alongside Thiago Silva (Brazil), Luka Modrić (Croatia), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon), Andre Blake (Jamaica) and Brian Kaltak (Vanuatu). It was released by Netflix, and also shown on FIFA's own streaming platform, FIFA+.

Results and fixtures

The following is a list of match results in the last 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.

      Win       Draw       Loss       Fixture



Current squad

The following players were called up for the friendly match against the United Arab Emirates on 30 December 2022.

Information correct as of 30 December 2022, after the match against the United Arab Emirates
No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Mehdi Khalil (1991-09-19) 19 September 1991 (age 32) 49 0 Lebanon Ahed
21 1GK Ali Sabeh (1994-06-24) 24 June 1994 (age 29) 2 0 Lebanon Nejmeh
23 1GK Antoine Al Douaihy (1999-03-18) 18 March 1999 (age 24) 0 0 Lebanon Salam Zgharta

2 2DF Andrew Sawaya (2000-04-30) 30 April 2000 (age 23) 1 0 Lebanon Ahed
3 2DF Maxime Aoun (2001-03-04) 4 March 2001 (age 22) 0 0 Lebanon Ansar
4 2DF Mohammad El Hayek (2000-02-19) 19 February 2000 (age 23) 1 0 Lebanon Tadamon Sour
5 2DF Mohamad Baker El Housseini (2002-12-08) 8 December 2002 (age 20) 1 0 Lebanon Safa
15 2DF Said Awada (1992-11-07) 7 November 1992 (age 30) 1 0 Lebanon Nejmeh

6 3MF Mahdi Zein (2000-05-23) 23 May 2000 (age 23) 5 0 Lebanon Nejmeh
8 3MF Mouhammed-Ali Dhaini (1994-03-01) 1 March 1994 (age 29) 18 0 Sweden Trelleborg
12 3MF Hasan Srour (2001-12-18) 18 December 2001 (age 21) 1 0 Lebanon Ahed
14 3MF Nader Matar (1992-05-12) 12 May 1992 (age 31) 55 2 Lebanon Ansar
16 3MF Walid Shour (1996-06-10) 10 June 1996 (age 27) 6 0 Lebanon Ahed
22 3MF Ali Tneich (1992-07-16) 16 July 1992 (age 31) 1 0 Lebanon Ansar

7 4FW Zein Farran (1999-07-21) 21 July 1999 (age 24) 2 0 Lebanon Shabab Sahel
9 4FW Karim Darwich (1998-11-02) 2 November 1998 (age 24) 7 0 Lebanon Ansar
10 4FW Ali Al Haj (2001-02-02) 2 February 2001 (age 22) 1 0 Lebanon Ahed
11 4FW Mohamad Kdouh (1997-07-10) 10 July 1997 (age 26) 24 6 Lebanon Ahed
17 4FW Khalil Bader (1999-07-27) 27 July 1999 (age 24) 2 0 Lebanon Nejmeh
18 4FW Mohammad Nasser (2001-10-16) 16 October 2001 (age 21) 0 0 Lebanon Ahed
19 4FW Gabriel Bitar (1998-08-23) 23 August 1998 (age 25) 1 0 Free agent
20 4FW Daniel Lajud (1999-01-22) 22 January 1999 (age 24) 2 0 Mexico Atlante

Recent call-ups

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 (1995-09-10) 10 September 1995 (age 28) 16 0 Saudi Arabia Al-Orobah v.  Kuwait, 19 November 2022
GK Hadi Mortada (1999-08-01) 1 August 1999 (age 24) 0 0 Lebanon Tadamon Sour v.  Iran, 29 March 2022

DF Robert Alexander Melki (1992-11-14) 14 November 1992 (age 30) 24 0 Sweden AFC Eskilstuna v.  UAE, 30 December 2022
DF Nour Mansour (1989-10-22) 22 October 1989 (age 33) 63 2 Lebanon Ahed v.  Kuwait, 19 November 2022
DF Kassem El Zein (1990-12-02) 2 December 1990 (age 32) 32 0 Lebanon Nejmeh v.  Kuwait, 19 November 2022
DF Maher Sabra (1992-01-14) 14 January 1992 (age 31) 17 1 Lebanon Nejmeh v.  Kuwait, 19 November 2022
DF Hussein Zein (1995-01-27) 27 January 1995 (age 28) 17 0 Lebanon Ahed v.  Kuwait, 19 November 2022
DF Nassar Nassar (1992-01-01) 1 January 1992 (age 31) 13 0 Lebanon Ansar Training camp, November 2022
DF Mohamad Zein Tahan (1988-04-20) 20 April 1988 (age 35) 38 1 Lebanon Safa v.  Iran, 29 March 2022
DF Joan Oumari (1988-08-19) 19 August 1988 (age 35) 36 4 Free agent v.  Iran, 29 March 2022
DF Hassan Chaitou (1991-06-16) 16 June 1991 (age 32) 17 0 Lebanon Ansar v.  Iran, 29 March 2022
DF Hussein El Dor (1994-01-18) 18 January 1994 (age 29) 5 0 Lebanon Ansar v.  Iran, 29 March 2022
DF Abbas Assi (1995-07-09) 9 July 1995 (age 28) 13 0 Lebanon Shabab Sahel v.  Syria, 20 March 2022

MF George Felix Melki (1994-07-23) 23 July 1994 (age 29) 27 1 Sweden AFC Eskilstuna v.  UAE, 30 December 2022
MF Bassel Jradi (1993-07-06) 6 July 1993 (age 30) 17 1 Republic of Cyprus Apollon Limassol v.  Kuwait, 19 November 2022
MF Hassan Kourani (1995-01-22) 22 January 1995 (age 28) 1 0 Lebanon Nejmeh v.  Kuwait, 19 November 2022
MF Mohamad Haidar (1989-11-08) 8 November 1989 (age 33) 81 4 Lebanon Ahed Training camp, November 2022
MF Majed Osman (1994-06-09) 9 June 1994 (age 29) 3 0 Indonesia Dewa United Training camp, September 2022
MF Jihad Ayoub (1995-03-30) 30 March 1995 (age 28) 4 0 Indonesia PSS Sleman v.  Iran, 29 March 2022

FW Hassan Maatouk (captain) (1987-08-10) 10 August 1987 (age 36) 100 21 Lebanon Ansar v.  Kuwait, 19 November 2022
FW Soony Saad (1992-08-17) 17 August 1992 (age 31) 26 7 Malaysia Penang v.  Kuwait, 19 November 2022
FW Hilal El-Helwe (1994-11-24) 24 November 1994 (age 28) 44 9 Free agent Training camp, September 2022
FW Fadel Antar (1995-11-13) 13 November 1995 (age 27) 4 0 Lebanon Shabab Sahel Training camp, September 2022
FW Rabih Ataya (1989-07-16) 16 July 1989 (age 34) 49 5 Lebanon Ahed v.  Iran, 29 March 2022
FW Hassan Mehanna (1997-01-29) 29 January 1997 (age 26) 1 0 Lebanon Nejmeh v.  Iran, 29 March 2022

Individual records

Most-capped players

Hassan Maatouk with a fan 2019
Hassan Maatouk is Lebanon's all-time record goalscorer and most-capped player.
# Player Caps Goals Period
1 Hassan Maatouk 100 21 2006–present
2 Abbas Ahmad Atwi 88 8 2002–2016
3 Roda Antar 82 20 1998–2016
4 Youssef Mohamad 81 3 1999–2016
Mohamad Haidar 4 2011–present
6 Jamal Taha 71 12 1993–2000
7 Walid Ismail 69 1 2010–2019
8 Vardan Ghazaryan 66 21 1995–2001
9 Nour Mansour 63 2 2010–present
Hassan Chaito 6 2011–2021

As of 19 November  2022 (2022 -11-19). Highlighted names denote a player still playing or available for selection.

Top scorers

Vartan Ghazarian
With 21 goals, Vardan Ghazaryan is Lebanon's joint-top scorer alongside Hassan Maatouk.
# Player Goals Caps Average Period
1 Vardan Ghazaryan 21 66 0.32 1995–2001
Hassan Maatouk (list) 100 0.21 2006–present
3 Roda Antar 20 82 0.24 1998–2016
4 Mohamad Ghaddar 19 46 0.41 2006–2017
5 Levon Altounian 18 18 1 1956–1967
6 Haitham Zein 17 50 0.34 1997–2004
7 Mahmoud El Ali 12 46 0.67 2007–2012
8 Jamal Taha 71 0.11 1993–2000
10 Mardik Tchaparian 10 10 1 1956–1963
Joseph Abou Mrad 21 0.48 1953–1967

As of 19 November  2022 (2022 -11-19). Highlighted names denote a player still playing or available for selection.

Competitive record

Event 1st place 2nd place 3rd place
World Cup 0 0 0
Asian Cup 0 0 0
Summer Olympics 0 0 0
Arab Cup 0 0 1
WAFF Championship 0 0 0
Pan Arab Games 0 0 2
Asian Games 0 0 0
Mediterranean Games 0 0 1

FIFA World Cup

Lebanon v South Korea, 14 November 2019 19
Lebanon's match against South Korea at the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers

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.

Lebanon first reached the final round of World Cup qualification 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. The team beat South Korea in a historic 2–1 win at home, coming second in their group and qualifying to the fourth (and final) round for the first time. Grouped with Iran, South Korea, Uzbekistan, and Qatar, Lebanon finished last in Group A and were eliminated with only one win and two draws in eight games.

     Champions       Runners-up       Third place  

FIFA World Cup Qualification
Year Host Round Pld W D L GF GA Squad Pos. Pld W D L GF GA Ref.
1930 to 1982 Did not enter Did not enter
1986  Mexico Withdrew Withdrew
1990  Italy Did not enter Did not enter
1994  United States Did not qualify 3rd of 5 8 2 4 2 8 9
1998  France 2nd of 3 4 1 1 2 4 7
2002  South Korea
2nd of 4 6 4 1 1 26 5
2006  Germany 2nd of 4 6 3 2 1 11 5
2010  South Africa First round win, 4th of 4 8 1 1 6 9 17
2014  Brazil Second round win, 2nd of 4, 5th of 5 13 5 2 6 16 22
2018  Russia 2nd of 5 8 3 2 3 12 6
2022  Qatar 2nd of 5, 6th of 6 16 4 4 8 16 21
2026  Canada
 United States
To be determined To be determined
Total N/A 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/22 69 23 17 29 102 92

AFC Asian Cup

Qatar v Lebanon, 9 January 2019
Lebanon's match against Qatar at the 2019 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.

     Champions       Runners-up       Third place  

AFC Asian Cup Qualification
Year Host Round Pld W D L GF GA Squad Pos. Pld W D L GF GA Ref.
1956 to 1968 Did not enter Did not enter
1972  Thailand Did not qualify 2nd of 3, semi-final loss 3 1 0 2 4 7
1976  Iran Withdrew Withdrew
1980  Kuwait Did not qualify 3rd of 4 3 1 1 1 2 1
1984  Singapore Withdrew Withdrew
1988  Qatar Did not enter Did not enter
1992  Japan
1996  United Arab Emirates Did not qualify 2nd of 3 4 2 1 1 7 6
2000  Lebanon Group stage 3 0 2 1 3 7 Squad Qualified as hosts
2004  China Did not qualify 3rd of 4 6 1 1 4 2 8
2007  Indonesia
Withdrew Withdrew
2011  Qatar Did not qualify Preliminary round win, 4th of 4 8 2 1 5 8 14
2015  Australia 3rd of 4 6 2 2 2 12 14
2019  United Arab Emirates Group stage 3 1 0 2 4 5 Squad 2nd of 5, 1st of 4 14 8 3 3 26 10
2023  Qatar Qualified 2nd of 5 6 3 1 2 11 8
Total Group stage 6 1 2 3 7 12 3/18 50 20 10 20 72 68

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. Starting from the 1992 edition, the Olympic Football Tournament has been reserved for national under-23 teams.

Lebanon's Summer Olympic Games record Qualification record
Host nation,
city and year
Round Pos Pld W D L GF GA Squad Outcome Pld W D L GF GA Ref
France Paris 1900 Did not participate Did not participate
United States St. Louis 1904
United Kingdom London 1908
Sweden Stockholm 1912
Belgium Antwerp 1920
France Paris 1924
Netherlands Amsterdam 1928
Nazi Germany Berlin 1936
United Kingdom London 1948
Finland Helsinki 1952
Australia Melbourne 1956
Italy Rome 1960 Withdrew 3rd of 3 4 0 0 4 0 15
Japan Tokyo 1964 Withdrew
Mexico Mexico City 1968 Did not qualify 3rd of 6 5 2 1 2 18 9
Germany Munich 1972 First round loss 3 1 0 2 2 3
Canada Montreal 1976 Withdrew Withdrew
Soviet Union Moscow 1980 Did not participate Did not participate
United States Los Angeles 1984 Withdrew Withdrew
South Korea Seoul 1988 Did not participate Did not participate
See Lebanon national under-23 football team See Lebanon national under-23 football team
Total Best: N/A 0/19 Total 12 3 1 8 20 27
     Gold       Silver       Bronze   Home venue

FIFA Arab Cup

Lebanon national football team 1963
Lebanon at the 1963 Arab Cup

Lebanon have taken part in all iterations of the Arab Cup, except the 1985 and 1992 editions. They hosted the inaugural edition in 1963, in a group containing Tunisia, Syria, Kuwait, and Jordan. After beating Kuwait 6–0 through a hat-trick by Mardik Tchaparian, Lebanon lost 3–2 to Syria, before winning 5–0 against Jordan. In a decisive match against Tunisia, Muhieddine Itani scored an own goal, and Lebanon lost 1–0, finishing third.

Lebanon finished in fourth place in the subsequent two editions (1964 and 1966); ever since, they have failed to pass the group stage.

Lebanon's FIFA Arab Cup record Qualification record
Host nation(s)
and year
Round Pos Pld W D L GF GA Squad Outcome Pld W D L GF GA Ref
Lebanon 1963 Third place 3rd of 5 4 2 0 2 13 4 Squad Qualified as invitees
Kuwait 1964 Fourth place 4th of 5 4 1 1 2 4 5 Squad Qualified as invitees
Iraq 1966 4th of 9 6 3 1 2 11 10 Squad Qualified as invitees
Saudi Arabia 1985 Did not participate Withdrew
Jordan 1988 Group stage 6th of 10 4 1 2 1 2 4 Squad 2nd of 3 2 0 1 1 1 2
Syria 1992 Did not participate No qualifying tournament
Qatar 1998 Group stage 9th of 12 2 0 1 1 1 4 Squad 3rd of 4 3 1 0 2 3 4
Kuwait 2002 8th of 10 4 1 1 2 5 7 Squad Qualified as invitees
2009 Cancelled 2nd of 4 3 1 2 0 4 0
Saudi Arabia 2012 Group stage 10th of 10 3 0 1 2 1 4 Squad Qualified as invitees
Qatar 2021 Group stage 10th of 16 3 1 0 2 1 3 Squad Win 1 1 0 0 1 0
Total Best: third place 8/10 27 8 7 12 37 38 Total 9 3 3 3 9 6
     Champions       Runners-up       Third place Home venue

WAFF Championship

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
Host nation(s)
and year
Round Pos Pld W D L GF GA Squad Ref
Jordan 2000 Group stage 5th of 8 3 1 1 1 3 2 Squad
Syria 2002 5th of 6 2 0 0 2 0 3 Squad
Iran 2004 6th of 6 2 0 0 2 1 7 Squad
Jordan 2007 6th of 6 2 0 0 2 0 4 Squad
Iran 2008 Did not participate
Jordan 2010
Kuwait 2012 Group stage 9th of 12 3 1 0 2 2 3 Squad
Qatar 2013 8th of 9 2 0 1 1 0 2 Squad
Iraq 2019 7th of 9 4 1 1 2 3 4 Squad
United Arab Emirates 2023 To be determined Squad
Total Best: group stage 8/10 18 3 3 12 9 25
     Champions       Runners-up       Third place/semi-finalists   Home venue

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
Host nation,
city and year
Round Pos Pld W D L GF GA Squad Ref
Egypt Alexandria 1953 Group stage 5th of 6 3 1 1 1 1 4 Squad
Lebanon Beirut 1957 Third place 3rd of 8 5 2 2 1 10 6 Squad
Morocco Casablanca 1961 Fourth place 4th of 6 5 2 0 3 13 9 Squad
United Arab Republic Cairo 1965 Group stage 7th of 10 4 1 1 2 4 7 Squad
Syria Damascus 1976 Did not participate
Morocco Rabat 1985
Syria Aleppo 1992
Lebanon Beirut 1997 Third place 3rd of 8 5 2 2 1 9 7 Squad
Jordan Amman 1999 Second stage 5th of 11 5 2 1 2 6 9 Squad
Egypt Cairo 2007 Did not participate
Qatar Doha 2011
Iraq Baghdad 2023 To be determined
Lebanon Beirut 2025
Total Best: third place 6/11 27 10 7 10 43 42
     Champions       Runners-up       Third place Home venue

Asian Games

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
Host nation,
city and year
Round Pos Pld W D L GF GA Squad Ref
India New Delhi 1951 Did not participate
Philippines Manila 1954
Japan Tokyo 1958
Indonesia Jakarta 1962
Thailand Bangkok 1966
Thailand Bangkok 1970
Iran Tehran 1974
Thailand Bangkok 1978
India New Delhi 1982
South Korea Seoul 1986
People's Republic of China Beijing 1990
Japan Hiroshima 1994
Thailand 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
     Gold       Silver       Bronze Home venue

Mediterranean Games

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
Host nation,
city and year
Round Pos Pld W D L GF GA Squad Ref
Egypt Alexandria 1951 Did not participate
Spain Barcelona 1955
Lebanon Beirut 1959 Third place 3rd of 3 4 0 0 4 1 2 Squad
Italy Naples 1963 Group stage 7th of 9 4 1 0 3 2 7 Squad
Tunisia Tunis 1967 Did not participate
Turkey İzmir 1971
Algeria Algiers 1975
Yugoslavia Split 1979
Morocco Casablanca 1983
Syria 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
     Gold       Silver       Bronze Home venue

Other tournaments

Lebanon won their first tournament—albeit unofficial—at the 1964 Tripoli Fair Tournament; with three wins and one draw, Lebanon finished first in a group containing Libya, Morocco, Sudan, and Malta. In 1998, Lebanon participated at the Friendship Tournament in the United Arab Emirates where, with two draws and a defeat, they finished in third place out of four. Lebanon also finished in third place at the 2009 King's Cup in Thailand; after losing to the hosts in the semi-finals, they won against North Korea in the third-place match.

Tournament Round Ref
Libya 1964 Tripoli Fair Tournament Champions
Syria 1974 Kuneitra Cup Group stage
South Korea 1975 President's Cup Group stage
South Korea 1978 President's Cup Group stage
Kuwait 1989 Peace and Friendship Cup Group stage
United Arab Emirates 1998 Friendship Tournament Third place
Thailand 2009 King's Cup Third place
India 2009 Nehru Cup Group stage
     Champions       Runners-up       Third place

See also

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