Revival of Yemeni Football League

Sports to shake off the dust of war
Osamah Alkurbash
September 6, 2021

Revival of Yemeni Football League

Sports to shake off the dust of war
Osamah Alkurbash
September 6, 2021

The Yemeni General Football Association announced the launch of the Yemeni Football League competitions, after a 6-year hiatus due to the ongoing war in Yemen, amid great aspirations and hopes by the sports public from all over Yemeni regions and governorates.

14 clubs will participate in the league, which started yesterday, Wednesday, September 15, and will play in the pool system, after they were divided into two groups, each group containing 7 clubs.

The first group includes Shaab Hadramout, Al-Orouba, Fahman, Wehdat Sanaa, and Shabab Al-Jeel clubs, in addition to Al-Ettihad Ibb and Al-Tilal. The matches of this group will be held at the Olympic Stadium in Seiyun (southeast of Yemen), which can accommodate 35,000 spectators.

The second group includes Al-Saqr, Al-Ahly Sanaa, Shaab Ibb, Al-Yarmouk and Al-Shula clubs, and next to them are Al-Hilal Al-Saheli, and Wehdat Aden, where their matches will be held at Al-Faqeed Al-Khelaifi Stadium, in Attaq, Shabwa Governorate, in the south of the country.

The matches will be played on a home and away basis, and the leaders of Group A will meet the leaders of Group B in the final match at the Olympic Stadium in Seiyun.

Retrieving the Sports passion

Many in the sports community rejoiced at this return to the Yemeni Football League, as they see it as a restoration of the collapsed Yemeni football, due to the war that has been going on in the country for more than six years.

Sports critic Murad Abul-Rijal says to "Khuyut", that this return is very important, not only at the level of sports, but also on all other arenas such as social and economic frameworks, restoring life and trust among the people of the one nation, in addition to restoring Yemen to the football map and demarcating the city and removing citizens from war news and dilemmas of the bad economic situation.

The critic added that although the preparations of the participating clubs in the league are very weak, but this is normal due to the cessation of sports activity and the poor financial resources of the clubs, wishing all the clubs success and that their return to the green rectangle would be a return of security and stability of Yemen.

For his part, the sports journalist, and former football player of Al-Ahly and Taleeah of Taiz, Sami Al-Handhali, believes that the return of the league is a good initiative by the General Football Association after the long interruption which resulted in the deterioration of the level of national teams and the absence of Yemeni clubs from participating in the Asian championships. However, we hope this revival will bring great benefit to Yemeni players and national clubs in all levels.

Regarding the disagreement between the clubs in Aden and the Football Association, Al-Handali points to the need for understanding and finding an appropriate solution between the two parties. Because the withdrawal of Aden clubs from the league will cause a great impact, as it is one of the important pillars of Yemeni sport.

Problems and aspirations

The clubs of the city of Aden, represented by Al-Tilal, Wahda Aden and Al-Shua'ala, announced their withdrawal from participating in the league in objection of what they called the illegal violations committed by the Football Association against sports clubs and personalities, by targeting Al-Jalaa, Mansoura and Al-Mina clubs and suspending their football activity.

On the other hand, the General Football Association considers that the withdrawal of these clubs from participating in the league is unjustified, stressing that it will take strict penalties against these clubs.

The thirsty Yemeni sports public, is very enthusiastic for the return of the football activity, and looking forward to see strong competition and wishing success of the league and the teams and players to benefit.

Sports fan, Hamza Al-Khal says that the return of the league will sow hope and optimism among Yemenis, and sports lovers in particular, and enhance confidence and tranquility among the people of the country that were robbed due to the war. 

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