Thursday, April 23, 2015


Know Your Als, These Are Your Als

Don't worry about the's a Clash thing!

It would be suitably romantic to suggest that I was so fed up by the incompetence surrounding football in Indonesia and Singapore I just uppped sticks and moved on. Sadly. 'tis not the case.

There was a job offer long in the offing and when it was finally confirmed it was all rather quick. But anyways with the offer I didn't wanna commit to a season of covering football in Malaysia and Singapore only to I haven't bothered!

So, here I am. In a country where there is little material out there in English about the local football season. Where the script is unfamiliar. Welcome to Kuwait!

We are at the business end of the season so there isn't a whole lot happening but perhaps just enough to get a feel for things. The game stops in June to avoid the heat and the new season begins in September...which also coincides with the interesting part of the AFC Cup...a competition Kuwait clubs have dominated in recent years to very little acclaim.

The World Cup qualifiers kick off next month of course but if you think I am going to travel Asia watching the Kuwait national side you must thing I am more than a few sandwiches short of a picnic, And the new year sees the Culf Championships being hosted here in Kuwait.

So plenty of football to look forward to. Now, them als...

The best place is to start with the standings in the Kuwait Premier League.

There are 14 teams in the KPL and after 23 games the top of the table looks something like this:

1 - Al Arabi 23 19 2 2 58-12 59
2 - Al Kuwait 23 17 6 0 62-10  57
3 - Al Qadsia 23 16 4 3 58-19 52

The top three pretty well matches the historical record when it comes to success.

Al Arabi - 16 titles (last one 2002)
Al Qadsia - 16 titles (last one 2014)
Al Kuwait - 11 titles (last one 2013)

The three have dominated Kuwaiti football pretty much since the first season back in 1961/62 with only Al Salmiya (4), Kazma (4) and Al Jahra (1) breaking their stranglehold.

Al Kuwait and Al Qadsia haven't just proved all powerful on home turf. Between them they have won four of the last six AFC Cups and been runners up on three occasions in that period. Strong at home and abroad, yet so little is known about either them or their league.

We can come to the AFC Cup. For now the focus is on the tail end of the KPL and these are the outstanding games for the three teams.

24/04 - Al Qadsia v Al Kuwait
28/04 - Al Jahra v Al Arabi
02/05 - Al Arabi v Al Qadsia
04/05 - Yarmouk v Al Kuwait
09/05 Al Arabi v Al Tadmahon, Al Kuwait v Al Sulaibikat, Al Shahbab v Al Qadsia

A quick glance at the remaining games illustrates why I showed the top three and not just the top two. Al Qadsia are going to have a massive role to play in the outcome of the 2014/2015 Kuwait Premier League. But could the AFC Cup prove a distraction for both Al Qadsia and Al Kuwait?

Anyways hopefully I will be able to get to a game or two over the weekend!

Will it be Kuwait Casual after this then?
555. Did think about it but probably not
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