In 1933 Nassif Majdalani founded the very first sports federation in the country, the Lebanese Football Association and a year later the Lebanese national team played its first game against Romanian side Altak at the Municipal stadium in Beirut.
The first ever game for the Lebanese national team was in 1934 at the Beirut Muncipal Stadium against Altak (???) from Romania, which ended in a 0-0 draw. The team that day was Sargisian, Loino, goalkeeper Tanous Bakazi, Adil Sidani, Sabih, Abu Shala, Saioun, Janoun, Jacque Shehab, Labib Majdalani, Anwar Pierre, and the rest striker Emile Nassar, Ahmed Jumaa, Husseini, captain Salah Falah, Malkonian, Tourous, Raafit. (Number of players is very unclear)
The first game with Syria was in 1939 at the Habib Abu Shala Stadium and ended 5-4 to Syria. Labib Majdalani, Saifaddin Sidani and Emile Nassar 2 scored the goals. The same year the team traveled to Damascus to play a match at the Barada stadium in a game refereed by Syrian international referee Adam Mashnuk, and ended in a 6-1 win to Beirut, with goals from Labib Majdalani 3, Emile Nassar (2) and Ahmed Jumaa. These games were played between Damascus XI and Beirut XI selections.
An unoffical Iraq national team (representing the ministry of Education) toured Lebanon and Syria, playing several club sides and Syria and Lebanon national teams in 1944. Not much is known about this tour, but Iraq lost 1-4 in Beirut; in 1945, Iraq beat Lebanon 4-1 in Baghdad. The Iraqi coach was Englishman George Raynor (later coach of Sweden, Lazio, Juventus, and several other clubs).
Beirut XI 1935 Beirut Beirut XI 0-2 First Vienna FC 1936 Beirut Beirut XI 0-1 France (Military) 1939 Beirut Beirut 2-1 Damascus 1939 Damascus Damascus 1-6 Beirut 1947 Beirut Beirut 5-1 Damascus 1947 Damascus Damascus 1-3 Beirut 1952 Beirut Beirut 0-1 Damascus 1952 Damascus Damascus 8-2 Beirut 1953 Damascus Damascus 1-0 Beirut 1953 Beirut Beirut 2-2 Damascus 1954 Beirut Beirut 3-1 Damascus 1954 Damascus Damascus 5-1 Beirut 1956 Beirut Beirut 2-0 Damascus 1956 Damascus Damascus 1-2 Beirut 1959 Damascus Damascus 4-1 Beirut 1959 Beirut Beirut 2-1 Damascus 1963 Beirut Beirut 2-1 Damascus [16-6-63] 1963 Damascus Damascus 0-0 Beirut [21-6-63] various other Lebanon representative matches 1954 Arab Military Championship (Damascus Exhibition Championship) 1954 Damascus Lebanon 3-7 Iraq Mardek Chabarian 3; Nassir "Chiko" Yousef 5 1954 Damascus Lebanon 2-5 Syria Mardek Chabarian, Levon Altonian 23.01.1955 Beirut Lebanon 2-3 Bulgaria Mardek Chabarian, Joseph Abu Murad; Todor Diev, Georgi Dimitrov, Dimitar Milanov Lebanon: Samih Shatela, Samik, Yousef Yemout, Manuel Altonian, Emile Salih, Metri Shouiti, Fawzi Kanj, Yousef Hani, Kamal Shatela, Joseph Abu Murad, Mardek Chabarian, Levon Altonian. 29.02.1956 Beirut Lebanon 1-4 Hungary Mardek Chabarian; Sándor Kocsis, Peter Palotas, Ferenc Puskás (2) NB: the idea of bringing the Hungarian team to Lebanon came after LFA President Azzat Al-Tark and vice-president Khalil Helmi saw the Hungarians play in Cairo for a friendly game against Egypt in 1954, with the Hungarians winning 3-0. The LFA President met with the head of the Hungarian delegation requesting to play a friendly game in Beirut, and two years later the team arrived in Lebanon to play two matches. Lebanon Squad: GK: Samih Shatela (Al-Nejmah), Mohammed Chahine (Shabibe Mazraa), Dekran (Homentmen) DF: Yousef Yamout (Al-Nejmah), Samek (Homenmen), Eli Salih (Racing Club), Manuel Altonian (Homentmen). MF: Fawzi Kanj (Racing Club), Aris (Homenmen), Joseph Abu Murad (Racing Club), Kamil Shatela (Al-Nejmah). FW: Mardek Chabarian (Homenmen), Levon Altonian (Homentmen), Robert Shehada (Shabibe Mazraa) coach: Joseph Nalbandian, former keeper of Lebanon, Homentamen, Nahda and Helmi Sport The Hungarians also played the Beirut Select XI winning 6-0; in their match in Damascus against Syrian club Al-Jaish they won 4-0 with a hat-trick from Ferenc Puskas and one from Sándor Kocsis. 1957 Dynamo Moscow 7-1 Lebanon Mardek Chabarian 1957 Lebanon 1-0 Energia Flacara Ploiesti (opening game at Sports City Stadium) Joseph Abu Murad 1957 Greece (Mil.) 1-3 Lebanon Levon Altonian, Mardek Chabarian, Robert Shehada. 1957 Leipzig 4-3 Lebanon Levon Altonian 2, Joseph Abu Murad 1957 Bulgaria (B) 0-1 Lebanon Joseph Abu Murad 1957 Spartak Trnava 2-2 Lebanon Mardek Chabarian, Samek
list of international matches Lebanon
Source for Beirut-Damascus matches: "Le Jour" (Beirut newspaper), articles from June 1963
Prepared and maintained by Hassanin Mubarak and Neil Morrison for the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation
Authors: Hassanin Mubarak and Neil Morrison
Last updated: 29 Sep 2020
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