The National Sport of Jordan is Soccer.
Soccer in Jordan represents passion and national pride, inspiring local talent and invoking a strong fan culture.
To learn more about sports culture in Jordan, read our article about the most popular sports in Jordan.
Table of Contents
#1 History of Soccer
- 1949: The Jordan Football Association (JFA) is founded, marking the beginning of organized soccer in the country.
- 1957: JFA becomes a member of FIFA, the international soccer governing body.
- 1962: JFA joins the Asian Football Confederation, resulting in increased regional competition participation.
- 1980: Launch of the Jordanian Pro League, providing a platform for local clubs to compete at a higher level.
- 2004: Jordan’s national team achieves its highest-ever FIFA ranking of 37th.
- 2016: The Jordanian women’s national team reaches the AFC Women’s Asian Cup for the first time.
#2 Culture and Traditions
Soccer holds a special place in Jordan’s cultural identity. It is not only a sport that garners attention and support from millions of fans but also an avenue for national pride. International matches, particularly those against regional rivals, evoke immense passion among Jordanians, showcasing their love for the sport.
Key domestic soccer events such as the Jordanian Pro League, Jordan FA Cup, and Jordan Super Cup play a vital role in the local soccer culture. These club competitions nurture local talent and foster a sense of belonging among fans, transcending socioeconomic barriers.
In addition to club soccer, international tournaments like the Asian Cup and FIFA World Cup qualifiers are significant soccer events followed closely by the Jordanian public. When the national team participates in crucial matches, public viewings and celebratory gatherings become commonplace across the country.
#3 How it Works: Rules, Gameplay and Equipment
📕 Rules & Gameplay
- Match Duration: A standard match consists of two halves, each lasting 45 minutes, with a 15-minute break in between.
- Objective: Each team aims to score by getting the ball into the opposing team’s goal.
- Players: Each team has 11 players, including one goalkeeper.
- Offside: A player is offside if they are nearer to the opponent’s goal than both the ball and the second last opponent when the ball is played to them.
- Fouls: Direct and indirect free-kicks and penalty kicks are awarded for infringements of the rules.
⚙️ Equipment & Gear
- Ball: Round and made of leather or another suitable material.
- Goalposts: Located at each end of the field, they are 7.32 meters wide and 2.44 meters tall.
- Kits: Teams wear distinguishing kits, with goalkeepers wearing different colors to stand out.
- Shin Guards: Protection for players from potential tackles or hits.
- Boots: Specialized shoes designed for the sport’s requirements.
#4 Modern Development of Soccer
In recent times, Jordanian soccer has witnessed an evolution and adaptation to modern soccer standards. Domestic leagues and clubs, supported by the JFA, have invested in infrastructure development, talent scouting, and youth academies to promote the sport’s growth.
Technological advancements, such as video assistant referees (VAR) and goal-line technology, have made their way into Jordanian soccer. These advancements ensure fair play and maintain the sport’s credibility and appeal to local and international audiences.
In recent decades, Jordan has also seen a rise in the popularity and success of women’s soccer. This development has resulted in a more inclusive and diverse soccer environment in the country, with the women’s national team garnering attention for its grit and achievements on the regional and international stage.
#5 Soccer and the Olympics
Soccer has been a prominent part of the Olympic Games since the early 20th century, with men’s soccer first included in 1900 and women’s soccer added in 1996. However, the Jordanian national soccer team has yet to make a significant impact in the Olympics. The Jordanian women’s national team came close to qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympics but fell short in a last-minute defeat during the qualifiers.
Nevertheless, the Olympics play a crucial role in promoting soccer globally, offering a platform for athletes to showcase their talents and inspiring a new generation of players. For countries like Jordan, participating in and following Olympic soccer events can spark national pride and boost the sport’s popularity and growth.
#6 Famous Athletes and Achievements
- Ahmad Hayel: A prolific striker who enjoyed a successful international career with the Jordanian national team, scoring crucial goals in regional and international competitions.
- Hassan Abdel-Fattah: A creative midfielder who played a vital role in leading Jordan’s national team to the 2011 and 2015 AFC Asian Cup.
- Samer Al-Kouz: A defensive stalwart who contributed to the Jordanian national team’s success during the late 1990s and early 2000s.
- Ahmad Eid: A versatile forward who played for several clubs in Jordan and Saudi Arabia, earning fans for his technical skills and goal-scoring abilities.
- Stephanie Al-Naber: A pioneering female soccer player who captained the Jordanian women’s national team and played an influential role in raising the profile of women’s soccer in the country.
#7 Where to watch Soccer
- Al Jazeera Sport and BeIN Sports: Broadcasting and streaming platforms offering coverage of local league matches as well as international soccer competitions.
- Jordan Sport TV: A local channel that broadcasts select domestic soccer matches and competitions.
- Live in Jordan: Experience the excitement of live matches at notable stadiums such as Amman International Stadium and King Abdullah II Stadium in Amman, or Al-Hassan Stadium in Irbid.