The most unique football final in Yemen / Pics

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Two Yemeni football teams As Ssumnd and Al Easifa played in Taiz Amateur League final in a gravel football pitch which hundreds of people watched this match.

Hundreds of locals cram around a gravel football pitch to catch a glimpse of rare sporting spectacle in Yemen.

In a country torn by civil war, the Taiz Amateur League final, played between As Ssumnd and Al Easifa on Thursday, was a unique chance for the people of western Yemen to see the sport they love.

But despite the masses of football fans that surrounded the Kidre football pitch in Taiz's Qadas region to watch the reds of Al Ssumnd come out on top, the reality of the country's fragile situation was clear to see.

The game was not played in a stadium - far from it - and had armed Yemini security forces surrounded the pitch, watching every move of the spectators in attendance.

Those fans turned every rooftop, cliff face, rock or vehicle in the close vicinity into stands, to ensure they got the best possible view of the action.

Some smartly-dressed fans watched on from behind the goals at wooden desks - executive boxes which are a far-cry from the five-star standards at the Premier League's modern venues.

Football is Yemen's biggest sport. Youngsters were seen around the pitch wearing shirts of Barcelona, no doubt wishing that they would one day be able to see their idols in action, but happy that they can at least see the sport live.

The sheer mass of people that attended proved just how much of a craving there is for football in the area.

Sport in Yemen is at a standstill. Matches like the Taiz Amateur League final provide rare relief from the political troubles.Yemen's national team have not played since June of last year - and even then, home matches have been played in Qatar because of the ongoing unrest throughout the country.Problems with air travel in and out of Yemen also meant that the national team had to travel on a ship that was used for livestock to Africa, before they could fly to Doha for one of their 'home' matches. The journey took 18 hours.

Yemen won just one game in the first stage of AFC qualifying for the 2018 World Cup - beating the Philippines away 1-0 - before bowing out at the first group stage. Yemen only scored three goals throughout their campaign.


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