How Yemeni sports federations are the ball of the war

After three years of war in Yemen, there is a lack of everything. Everyone suffers from the fight, including sports federations. For the organizations, it is virtually impossible to function due to constant threat of violence and money boxes that are empty to the bottom. Money boxes that can be filled by choosing a side in the conflict, but that choice can become a bond expensive.

At the end of 2014, the houthi movement took the lead over the national football association. They used the fields and buildings as a military base and supported the national football team. Six months later, hostile forces, supported by Saudi Arabia, attacked the football association with air strikes. From the complex little remained.


In the case of the football association there was no choice, but for other Yemeni sports federations it is a big dilemma: do they opt for financial support, with which they support a political agenda? Or do they opt for independence, with a lack of money and a lack of wings?

The Yemeni cycling federation opted for the latter. Before the civil war, the union was still supported by the Ministry of Youth and Sport, but since 2015 the cash flow has been drained. Consequence: a paralyzed sports association and a national sport that is no longer practiced by many talents. “Since the beginning of the war, the cycling federation has been unable to organize a race,” said Maad Al-Mogahed, former secretary of the national cycling federation.