Some important lessons and a positive outlook for Lebanon despite heartbreak

Picture taken from the Lebanese Football Association

Thursday’s game against Iran was one hell of an emotional rollercoaster for Lebanese fans as the Cedars led for almost the entire game before falling apart in stoppage time and losing the game 2-1. Despite the supporters ban imposed by FIFA supposedly for “security reasons” in what was Lebanon’s first home game of this stage of World Cup Qualifying, the game was played with intensity and the tension was palpable as Lebanon came agonisingly close to a historic result that would have placed them in a very favourable position in the overall context of the group.

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What we learnt from the UAE match

Photo taken from the Lebanese Football Association

Lebanon kick started their Third Round of World Cup Qualifying campaign with an important goalless draw against the UAE in Dubai on Thursday. Having gone into this game as big underdogs and considering they were subjected to significant pressure by the hosts at times during this game, the Cedars walk away the happier of the two sides as they get their first point on the board. This was not only the first game of the Third Round of WCQ but it was also the first game for Lebanon under the tutelage of Czech head coach Ivan Hasek, and lots of eyes were on the Cedars to see how they fared at the highest level of continental football and under new management. After all, Lebanon scraped through the Second Round thanks in no small part to the results of other teams as well as the surprising withdrawal of North Korea and they definitely have a point to prove regarding whether they even deserve to be playing at such an advanced stage. At the end of an intense 90 minutes and hard-earned draw, we learned several key things about this “new” Lebanon side.

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The biggest Beirut Clasico in history! How do both sides win this game and what could victory mean for our game?

Today, Nejmeh face rivals Ansar in one of the most important derby in their history, with the title necessarily going to one of the two by the end of the game.

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The league returns and we have one hell of a title race on our hands

This weekend sees the long awaited return of the Lebanese Premier League and I think it’s fair to say we are very excited. Domestic competitive football has become a rare occurrence in recent years because of social turmoil and the health crisis linked to the pandemic. So it’s wonderful to see the league return, and the new format does add excitement to the competition, which may give us the best title race we have seen in years with 3 teams potentially fighting it out to be crowned champions.

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

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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 the-afc.com

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

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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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