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).