Al Ansar FC
Al Ansar Football Club (Arabic: نادي الأنصار الرياضي, lit. 'The Supporters Sporting Club') is a Lebanese football club based in the Tariq El Jdideh district of Beirut. Formed in 1951, the club did not win its first Lebanese Premier League until 1988, when went on to set a world record by winning the league 11 seasons in a row.
|Full name||Al Ansar Football Club|
|Nickname(s)||الزعيم الأخضر (The Green Leader)|
|Ground||Beirut Municipal Stadium|
|League||Lebanese Premier League|
|2018–19||Lebanese Premier League, 2nd of 12|
Ansar have won the most Lebanese Premier League titles and Lebanese FA Cups than any other club, with 13 and 14 titles respectively. The club's support comes in majority from the Sunni community and they have been funded by Rafic Hariri and Salim Diab till 2005. Nabil Badr is the club's president and main patron since 2012. Ansar's major rivalry is with Nejmeh: dubbed the Beirut derby, it is the most anticipated game in Lebanon.
In 1948, a group of young Beirutis set up the first Administrative Board at the club headed by Mustafa Al-Shami. It was only 3 years later when Misbah Dougan, then head of the Administrative Board, formally requested an official licence for the club allowing them to play football on all Lebanese grounds. Their name originated from the word "victory". They were to be called "Al-Intisar", however a club with that name was already present Mustafa Al-Shami proposed "Ansar" in remembrance of the ‘Ansar’ (supporters) of the Prophet Muhammad.
Initially, Ansar was known as a Mount Lebanon team, rather than a team from Beirut. This is because, as Beirut had already too many clubs, the Federation decided to relocate Ansar to Ghobeiry. In 1965, Ansar moved to Beirut and won the 1966 Lebanese Second Division and was promoted to the Lebanese Premier League the following season.
Colours and badgeEdit
Due to the naming, Ansar use green as its main color in reference to one of the common Islamic colors. From the foundation of the club, the home kit is composed of a green shirt and white shorts, lately with green or black shorts. The away kit has traditionally been with an orange shirt and black shorts.
Ansar's crest has changed two times. Originally it consisted of the following:
- A torch that has five tailed flames, resembling the five pillars of Islam;
- Wheat as the symbol of agriculture, in reference to the former USSR coat of arms;
- A green ribbon showing the date of foundation.
In 2004, the board led by Karim Diab suggested to modernize the crest without changing the core of the design as shown nowadays.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Supporters of Al Ansar FC.|
Although the club's roots lie in the Sunni community in Beirut, Ansar's support comes from all areas and religions in Lebanon. The club has been associated with the Hariri family from the early 90s till 2005. In 2018, following the introduction of ultras groups in Lebanon, "Ultras Ansari 18" was formed.
The Beirut derby with Nejmeh has historically been the most anticipated game in Lebanon: both located in Beirut, Nejmeh and Ansar have shared the majority of titles. While Nejmeh has been more successful in Asia, Ansar holds the most league titles and FA Cups.
Another important rivalry is with Ahed: located in Beirut, they are affiliated with Hezbollah, with their fan base mostly coming from the Shia community in Beirut. In addition Ansar has a rivalry with Safa, also based in Beirut.
- As of 18 August 2019
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
- Lebanese Premier League
- Lebanese FA Cup
- Winners (14): 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2017
- Runners-up (4): 1986, 1997, 2001, 2019
- Lebanese Super Cup
- Winners (5): 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2012
- Runners-up (3): 2002, 2010, 2017
- Lebanese Elite Cup
- Winners (2): 1997, 2000
- Runners-up (6): 1996, 1998, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2016
- Lebanese Federation Cup
- Winners (2): 1999, 2000
Performance in AFC CompetitionsEdit
AFC Champions League: 11 appearances
AFC Cup: 6 appearances
Asian Cup Winners' Cup: 2 appearances
- Al Ansar FC Women (Former women's team)
- "الأنصار يواصل البحث عن النجمة 14... الاتحاد والتحكيم ضربا الزعيم الأخضر؟". An-Nahar. 16 April 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- Montague, James (24 October 2007). "In Lebanon, even soccer is tainted by sectarian strife". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 October 2010.
- Alami, Mona (1 September 2009). "Religious about football". Archived from the original on 19 April 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2010.
- "Lebanon's national teams fly above entrenched sectarianism among supporters". The National. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
- "The Birth, Death and Re-Birth of Lebanese Football | Ahdaaf". Retrieved 17 March 2019.
- "Lebanon's national teams fly above entrenched sectarianism among supporters". The National. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- البداية من «المدينة» والختام فيها. الأخبار (in Arabic). Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "Great Asian Derbies – Al Ansar SC vs Nejmeh SC (Beirut)". GhanaSoccernet. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
- "The Hezbollah Club". BabaGol. Retrieved 24 May 2019.