Group B: Kuwait look to regain past glory

  • 8 months   ago
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Kuwaiti players in action during a training session yesterday. Pictures: Twitter / @SaudiNT and @KuwaitFA

Ten-time winners of the Arabian Gulf Cup, Kuwait will seek to prove a point or two when they take on Saudi Arabia in the Group B match at the Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium here today.

Under coach Thamer Enad the Kuwaitis are seeking to regain the past glory having suffered for the last few years on account of FIFA suspensions and thus will be eyeing full points when they take on three-time winners Saudi Arabia in the crucial match of the group.

The Kuwaitis are continuing their return to international competition after long suspensions that have hurt sport in the country.

Soccer’s governing body FIFA in December 2017 lifted a suspension order on Kuwait that it imposed in 2015 over what it called government interference in the game.


“Everyone knows the conditions of the Kuwaiti team because of the suspension for four years. I say that Kuwait is far from the competition now but inevitably will return as it was in the past,” Enad said on the eve of the match.

“Gulf championship started before the whistle of referees and this is the nature of the momentum that accompanies them as you can see now in the press conference – a championship that makes everyone lives under great pressure,” he added.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia coach Hervé Renard said the match against Kuwait is of utmost importance and he waiting on the Al Hilal players who recently won the AFC Champions League title to join the team on the day of the match.

“We do not have any expectations at the moment. All I am focusing on is the match against Kuwait. I only got 12 players in addition to the goalkeepers in the previous training and I will see what will happen on match day,” Renard said.

“We know we will play against a good team (Kuwait) and we have to be ready for tomorrow’s game which is the most important for us in the tournament despite some absences and circumstances, but we will try to provide a good picture of Saudi football,” he added.

“We knew about the participation in the Gulf Cup after the game against Uzbekistan, and we played a very outstanding performance and as promised got a precious victory from Tashkent and then played against Paraguay without the Hilal players and we provided a good defensive performance but were not successful in the attack,” the Frenchman said.