The National Team is back! Here are 5 things to look out for

The Lebanese National Team in training in Dubai (by Lebanese Football Association)

359 days since the last time the Cedars took to the field. I think we can all agree this is way too long and everyone is eager for the National Team to get back into action. But since Lebanon’s 0-0 draw with North Korea in Beirut last year, a lot has changed and there is a lot to look out for on the Cedars’ return.

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Exclusive interview with Victor Calarge ahead of Tercera play-offs

On Saturday, CDA Navalcarnero take on RSD Alcala in the Spanish Tercera Division playoffs, aiming to return to the Segunda B, or third tier of Spanish football, and their full-back Victor Calarge, a Brazilian-born player of Lebanese descent, spoke to LebFootballReview about the upcoming match and about wanting to play for the Cedars.

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Retro 2000: Lebanon triumph over Kuwait in preparation to home Asian Cup

The newly-built Tripoli International Stadium

For the past few months, local broadcasting channel LBCI have searched into their archives to replay old sports events and although few of those were football games, earlier this week they decided to put on a friendly game between Lebanon and Kuwait which occurred in the build-up to the much anticipated 2000 Asian Cup, which Lebanon hosted. This represented a nice occasion to go back in time and see how football in Lebanon has developed since the turn of the century.

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Liviu Ciobotariu was a breath of fresh air for Lebanese football

photo obtained from

On Wednesday, the Lebanese Football Association announced their decision not to renew the Romanian Liviu Ciobotariu’s contract as National Team head coach, with Jamal Taha chosen as his successor. This decision comes as the country finds itself in the midst of an unprecedented economic and financial crisis, a circumstance which surely impacted the Federation’s decision. And yet Ciobotariu’s departure will leave many wondering what might have been.

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Women’s National Team head coach Wael Gharzeddine: the best is yet to come


These are bleak times for Lebanon and football is no exception. However, women’s football may just be able to provide the hope and joy that the Lebanese people desperately need. In the last couple of months, Lebanon’s U-15s and U-18s both won the West Asian Championship and senior National Team head coach Wael Gharzeddine believes this is just the beginning.

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Marmar and Abu Al-Hail managerial skills put to the test in this year’s AFC Cup


On Monday, the 2020 AFC Cup kicks off for the clubs representing Lebanon this year. Ahed – who qualify as league winners – and Ansar – who qualify as league runners up having lost to Ahed in the FA Cup final – will be facing tough challenges ahead of this year’s competition because of the country’s dire economic and political situation and both head coaches, Bassem Marmar (Ahed) and Abdel-Wahab Abu Al-Hail (Ansar), will see their credentials seriously tested as they bid to lead their teams to success.

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Roy Abi-Elias: The interview


There aren’t many coaches in Asia’s youth football who can boast of having coached players who now play in the top leagues of English football. But Roy Abi-Elias, the head coach of Lebanon’s u-19 national team, who was actually born and raised in the United Kingdom, is at the head of an exciting generation of talented young Lebanese coaches.

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Lebanon dreaming big after a big result against South Korea


Lebanon made a big statement on Thursday when they held South Korea to a 0-0 draw in Beirut despite playing the game in an empty stadium. The Cedars managed to stop high-quality players such as Tottenham’s Son Heung-Min and Bordeaux’s Hwang Ui-Jo all while threatening to score themselves in what was an exemplary performance by the players and a tactical masterclass from head coach Liviu Ciobotariu. This now puts Lebanon in a good position to qualify for the Third Round of Qualification, an achievement which would also send Lebanon automatically to the 2023 Asian Cup.

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From the streets to the stands; the Lebanese revolution prepares to face familiar foes South Korea


For the past 25 days, Lebanon has been taken over by an incredible uprising that has seen a big part of the Lebanese population, whether in Lebanon or throughout the various diasporas all over the globe, writing history in search of a better future. But Thursday, it is the National Team’s turn to take centre stage, with the hope that they can benefit from this momentum and unified and patriotic national movement and achieve what would be a historical result against continental giants South Korea.

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Lebanon host Turkmenistan in must-win qualifier


On Thursday, Lebanon will play their second game of the 2022 World Cup Qualifying campaign at home against Turkmenistan. The pressure is on after opening with a defeat to North Korea and Liviu Ciobotariu and the squad will be keen to get back to winning ways in front of their own fans. A big crowd is expected for the first World Cup Qualifier on Lebanese soil since March 2016 and the first at the Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium since June 2013, with anticipation high among local fans.

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