Lebanon Soccer Betting Odds
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Head coach: Theo Bücker
Top scorer: Wartan Ghazarian (19)
Home stadium: Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium
Football has established itself as the most popular sport during the recent sporting revival in Lebanon. After enduring very hard times, with sports facilities unusable from the early 1970s until well into the 1980s, football has managed to survive in backyards and the nation is now celebrating its first successes on the international stage. Since suffering demoralising defeats in some of its first forays at international level, the national team, which is predominately made up of amateur players, has more recently raised its game to such an extent that Lebanon more than held their own during the qualifiers for the 2002 FIFA World Cup?. This was an impressive achievement, given that the team had been thoroughly outclassed when the nation hosted the Asian Cup in the year 2000. Having managed to secure contracts outside of their home nation, Lebanons best-known players are Roda Antar (playing in Germany), Bassam Bourjawi (in Sweden) and Mazen Labban (in Denmark).
Due to delays that were outside of the Lebanese Football Associations control, its revised project proposal was approved by the Goal Bureau on 22 September 2004, rather than in March 2002 as originally anticipated. The project involves the construction of a national technical centre in Alayeh, which it is hoped will lead to significant cost savings. At the moment, no facilities are available anywhere in the country to organise centralised football development projects.
AFC World Cup Qualifiers
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is the governing body of association football in Asia. It has 46 member countries, mostly located on the Asian continent. Due to the disputed boundary of Europe and Asia, transcontinental nations such as Turkey and Russia are instead in the UEFA, whereas countries such as Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and Israel are entirely in Asia (Central or Western Asia) and still members of the UEFA. On the other hand, Australia, formerly in the OFC, has been in the AFC since 2006, in the same way as the Oceanian nations of Guam and Northern Mariana Islands, which are also members of AFC.