Al-Mina'a SC

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Al-Mina'a Sports Club (Arabic: نادي الميناء الرياضي‎, lit.'Port Sports Club') is an Iraqi multi-sport club based in Al-Maqal, Basra that participates in the Iraqi Premier League, the top-flight of Iraqi football. It is one of the most popular clubs in Iraq, particularly in the south, and became the first club outside Baghdad to win the Iraqi Premier League.

Al-Mina'a
Al-Mina'a SC logo.png
Full nameAl-Mina'a Sports Club
Nickname(s)Al-Safana
(The Sailors)
Founded22 November 1931; 90 years ago (22 November 1931)
GroundBasra Sports City[1]
Capacity65,227
OwnerMinistry of Transport
ChairmanMohammed Jaber Hassan
ManagerQusay Munir
LeagueIraqi Premier League
2020–21Iraqi Premier League, 8th of 20
WebsiteClub website
Current season
Active departments of Al-Mina'a SC
Football pictogram.svg Football pictogram.svg Futsal pictogram.svg
Football Football Youth[2][3] Futsal[2][3]
Basketball pictogram.svg Athletics pictogram.svg Taekwondo pictogram.svg
Basketball[4] Athletics[2] Taekwondo[2]
Karate pictogram.svg Wrestling pictogram.svg Weightlifting pictogram.svg
Karate[4] Wrestling[2][3] Weightlifting[3]
Boxing pictogram.svg Bodybuilding pictogram.svg Futnet (Football Tennis) pictogram.svg
Boxing[4][3] Bodybuilding[3] Futnet[5]

Al-Mina'a was founded on November 22, 1931, in Al-Maqal. In 1974, the club was merged with another club called Al-Bareed to form a single club called Al-Muwasalat, and it was a strange situation because the Al-Bareed team were based in Baghdad while Al-Mina'a were based in Basra and the two teams met in Baghdad on the day of the match only, so after just one season the club was dissolved and Al-Mina'a returned in their place. In 1978, the team won the national league title for the first time. After a lean period in the post-war years, the team finished second in the league in the 2004–05 season, and therefore qualified for the 2006 AFC Champions League, becoming the first Iraqi club from outside Baghdad to play in this tournament.

For a long time, the club was considered to be one of the Iraqi football clubs that had its own style of play, and the team practised only under the supervision and training of coaches who graduated from the club, until the beginning of 2011, when the club started to depend on foreign coaches.

HistoryEdit

Foundation and early years (1931–1951)Edit

Al-Mina'a Sports Club was formed by some of the British sailors and workers serving in the Marine Transportation Company in Basra on the banks of the Shatt Al-Arab after Mandatory Iraq, where Colonel Sir John Ward was the director of company in the 1920s. When they were forming gatherings, sports were practiced and football was the most important.[6] After the founding of Al-Maqal City and establishment the General Company for Ports on March 1, 1931, by Colonel Sir Ward under the auspices of King Faisal, and the transfer of employees in the company to Al-Maqal, the club coordinated with the company's management to make the green squares in the park located there to be a playing field for them,[7] and after a few months, the company announced the establishment of the club officially, and Mr. C. F. Neikell was chosen as the first president of the club. The first football team consisted of Markar Avadician, Kadhim Dawood, Dehjat Ohaness, Liu Steven, Samuel Akesh, Aziz Hormuz, Rashad Al-Mufti, Khudair Abbas and others.[8] After the founding of the Iraq Football Association, Al-Mina'a participated in the Iraq FA Basra League, a regional league for teams in Basra organised by the Basra branch of the IFA.[9] Al-Mina'a won the league title in its first season, beating Sharikat Naft Al-Basra 1–0 in the final.[10] Al-Mina'a also participated in the first ever national knockout cup in Iraq, the 1948–49 Iraq FA Cup, but were knocked out in the quarter-finals 2–0 by Baghdad-based side Al-Haris Al-Maliki.[11] Al-Mina'a went on to finish in third place in the regional league in both the 1949–50 and 1950–51 seasons.[12][13]

In 1950, Al-Mina'a played its first match outside the country as the first Iraqi team to play outside Iraq, they played against Shahin at the Amjadiyeh Stadium in Tahran and the result was 2–2, The team was composed of these players: Mustafa Hameed, Karim Allawi, Noori Lafta, Jassim Bader, Karim Jaber, Djali Najeeb, Subhi Mohammed Zaki, Alwan Hussein, Michael Stanley, Salih Mohammed and Sabeeh Darwish.[11] And the team played several friendly matches with other Iranian clubs. They played against Arteshe and the game ended in a 2–1 victory for Al-Mina'a, and they played against Taj Ahvaz and won that match 5–1. They also played against Khorramshahr and won 3–1, and they faced Abadan F.C. and won that game too.[11] The team benefited greatly from those matches. In 1951, the team won the Hanna Al-Sheikh Cup, which was organized for Basra-based teams.[14] And in the same year, the first Iraqi national football team was established. Coach Dhia Habib invited three players from the Al-Mina'a club to join them – Percy Lynsdale, Saeed Easho and Karim Allawi – to play against Turkey in Turkey. Before traveling, and on Wednesday 2 May 1951, Al-Mina'a played – with adding a player from Sharikat Naft Al-Basra club; Shaker Ismail – against Iraq in Basra, and ended the match a draw 1–1, Tariq Khalil scored for Al-Mina'a.[15][16][17]

Matches with foreign teams (1952–1972)Edit

The 1950s and 1960s were periods of preparation for Al-Mina'a, and the team played several friendly matches with different teams in this period; some of these clubs were strong European teams, and other were strong Asian teams. These matches helped the club develop the qualities of the players in terms of tactics and technique and other aspects. On 6 January 1956, Al-Mina'a played with Tehran F.C. and lost 3–0,[18] and after a year they played with a number of English sailors teams, who were arriving in Basra in those years.[19] On December 20, 1958, Al-Mina'a team travelled to Kuwait, playing against Kuwait national football team in a friendly match in Ahmadi, defeating Kuwait 8–0, scoring goals by Mohammed Manther, Karim Allawi, Nouri Lafta and Waleed Dawood, each with two goals, It was a very big result against a national team.[20]

In 1961, under the leadership of Danish coach Ingvard Hansen, the team played with a number of Iranian teams, beating Abadan F.C. 4–3 and losing to Shahin 1–0.[21] and in February 1962, the Romanian club; Steaua București visited Iraq and Al-Mina'a, under the same coach, played with them and lost 4–1, then, Al-Mina'a played with the Syrian team Damascus and won 2–0.[22] In February 1963, the team under the same coach, played with another Romanian club, Petrolul Ploiești, and lost 2–0 to them.[23] The 1962–63 season saw Al-Mina'a win the Iraq FA Basra First Division, the top-tier league in the region, by winning three and drawing one of their four games. The club's B team were the league's runners-up.[24] In November 1965, the team played the Kuwaiti club Al-Qadsia and the match ended in a 3–3 draw.[25] In September 1968, the team traveled to Syria and played with some its teams, and the results were good,[26] and in 1969 the team under the leadership of coach Abdul Salam Saud, played against Bahraini club Al-Nasr and beat them 4–1; they then played against the Soviet club Neftçi and lost 1–0[27]

On January 17, 1970 Al-Mina'a played against Yugoslavian club Sarajevo and lost 3–1,[28] and over a year later on January 29, 1971, they played under the leadership of coach Hadi Hassan Wasfi, with Czechoslovak club Spartak Trnava and won 2–0; Waleed Dawood and Abdul Razzak Ahmed scored.[29] On December 20, 1972, Al-Mina'a under the leadership of coach Hamza Qasim, played against the China national football team lost 1–0.[30] These matches had a significant impact in making Al-Mina'a a stronger team.

Golden years and League title (1973–1979)Edit

By 1973, Al-Mina'a had amassed more than 14 regional league titles in Basra. In the 1973–74 season, Al-Mina'a played in Iraq's new nationwide league under the leadership of coach Hamza Qasim, and finished the season in third place.[8] In the 1974–75 season, the first nationwide league of clubs was formed, and Al-Mina'a were merged with another club called Al-Bareed to form a club called Al-Muwasalat which finished third place in the league.[8] Al-Mina'a began to participate in the Iraqi Premier League as an independent club in the 1975–76 season under the leadership of coach Najem Abdullah, and finished the season in fourth place.[8] The team was not well under coach Faleh Hassan Wasfi in the 1976–77 season, and finished in sixth place.[8] The first match in Iraqi Premier League history to be televised was played in this season between Al-Mina'a and Al-Zawraa at Al-Shaab Stadium on Friday, March 11, 1977, which ended 5–1 for Al-Zawraa.[31]

The 1977–78 season was the golden season for the team when they won the league title, and the title moved for the first time from the clubs of the capital, Baghdad, to Basra under coach Jamil Hanoon. The team collected 21 points by winning eight matches and drawing in five matches; they did not lose any matches in this season. The Al-Mina'a player Jalil Hanoon won the top scorer award with 11 goals in the league.[32] The champions' squad included the following players: Sattar Farhan, Sameer Nori, Aziz Abdullah, Sabeeh Abed Ali, Abdul Redha Hussein, Rahim Karim, Khalil Ibrahim, Hadi Ahmed, Alaa Ahmed, Ali Abdul Zahra, Abdul Razzaq Ahmed, Jalil Hanoon, Hassan Abdul Hussein, Adnan Saddam, Raad Abdullah and Hadi Jabbar.[8] Before the league start, Al-Mina'a played in a pre-season football friendly tournament in Arbil, and the team played against Arbil and won 0–6, and won against Salahaddin in two matches 7–0 and 8–0, depending on this, the team was well prepared for the league championship.[33] The first match of this league season was on October 1, 1977, and the last match was on March 31, 1978. Al-Mina'a started the first two matches under coach leadership Faleh Hassan Wasfi, who resigned after being drawn against Salahaddin 0–0 and Al-Sinaa 0–0, the team played after that under the leadership of coach Jamil Hanoon, who took over the job, and led the team to a series of successes, began to win against defending champions Al-Zawraa 2–3 in Baghdad.[33] In the last match, Al-Mina'a played against Al-Shorta at Al-Mina'a Stadium in Basra, and Al-Mina'a won 1–0, thanks to Jalil Hanoon's goal on 50th minutes. The Al-Mina'a goalkeeper, Sattar Farhan, saved a penalty kick obtained by Al-Shorta in the final minutes of the match.[34] In 1978–79 season, The team played under the leadership of coaches Sabeeh Abed Ali and Abdul Mahdi Hadi, and finished the season in fourth place, after being equated with second-placed; Al-Shorta and third; Al-Talaba in the number of points (15 points), who applied it on goals difference.[8]

Years of war and chaos (1980–2003)Edit

At the beginning of the Iran–Iraq War in 1980, Basra became a battleground, and the eight-year war broke all areas of life in Basra, including the field of sports. Al-Mina'a in particular had many players recruited and transported to the battlefield, and the team lost their playing field, and did not find a training ground. Their financial allocations were significantly reduced, and the stars of the team left to play in the big clubs of Baghdad. In this period, the Iraqi Ba'athist government worked on the separation of the club and GCPI in terms of funding, so the club has become dependent on self-financing, which was very poor, and as a result the team was composed of 11 players only (players without substitutes).[35]

In the 1985–86 season, Al-Mina'a were not able to play in Basra, due to the fall of the bombs and the lack of safe stadiums, so their matches were moved to Amarah, and because of these harsh conditions, the team finished in 14th place and were relegated to the Iraq Division One for the first time in its history.[33] But the team was determined to return to play in the Iraqi Premier League, and they managed to win the Iraq Division One title in 1987, and thus were able to return to play in the Premier League again in the 1987–88 season.[33] They were runners-up of the Al-Faw Liberation Championship in 1988, a tournament hosted at Al-Mina'a Stadium that featured Al-Talaba, Al-Zawraa and Al-Tayaran.[36] The club remained unstable after the Second Gulf War, which began in 1991, and Sanctions against Iraq[37] later (1991-2003), which destroyed the sport in the whole of Iraq.[38] The ruling Ba'ath Party has been accused of treating the club with racist treatment, including the opening match of Maysan Stadium in 1987 between Al-Mina'a and Al-Rasheed (club sponsored by the ruling party in Iraq), which ended in a 0-0 draw attended by the son of president Uday Saddam Hussein, and when he found that the fans cheer for Al-Mina'a team said: "If this stadium could have been moved to Baghdad, I would have done so (this audience is not worth it)".[39] And another of the manifestations of racism that the Ba'athist government was accused of is what happened in the league in 1991–92 season at the Al-Mina'a match against Al-Karkh, on Friday, 8 May 1992 at the Al-Mina'a Stadium and the attendance of more than 20,000, which ended for Al-Karkh 3–2. The match was led by international referee Subhi Rahim, who scored an incorrect penalty against Al-Mina'a and the most famous red card against Al-Mina'a player Asaad Abdul Razzaq, which led to the protest of the supporters of the club, then the Al-Karkh coach Adnan Dirjal was accused of shooting Al-Mina'a supporters from his pistol,[40] resulting in serious injuries among supporters of the club. The Football Association punished Al-Mina'a players, and because Dirjal led the Iraq national football team in the 1994 FIFA World Cup qualification, he prevented Al-Mina'a players from playing in the national team, including Mohammed Abdul Hussein, who won the title of best player in the league for the 1992–93 season.[41] Among the practices that one of the most important players in Al-Minaa was exposed to, when Sabah Mirza Mahmoud, a close associate of Saddam Hussein, became president of the Al-Shabab Club and ordered Hadi Ahmed, the most important player in Al-Minaa team, to leave his club and moving to Al-Shabab Club, but Ahmed refused because of his loyalty to the club and was severely punished. Also Uday Saddam Hussein imprisoned him in Al-Radwaniyah Prison, shaved his hair and forced him to retire.[42][43]

Despite these difficult circumstances, the team managed to reach fourth place in Iraqi Elite Cup and fourth place in the league in 1998–99 season,[44] and reach the semifinals of the 1999–2000 Iraq FA Cup, where they were came out of the championship after losing from Al-Zawraa, who won the title that season,[45] and in the 2002–03 Iraq FA Cup also reached the semifinals, came out of the championship after losing from Al-Talaba, who won the title that season.[46]

Gradual return and Asian prominence (2004–2006)Edit

With the change that took place after the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the overthrowing of Saddam Hussein, GCPI took care of the club, and started to bring the team back to their natural position slowly, and the 2004–05 season was the distinctive season. Under the leadership of coach Abdul Karim Jassim (Jombi), Al-Mina'a won the Southern Group in the First Stage, and advanced to the Elite Stage where they won Group A. In the semi-finals, they managed to beat Al-Zawraa in Baghdad 1–0 and tied 0–0 with them in Basra to advance to the final, where they played against Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya. The match was played in Baghdad which gave Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya an advantage. Al-Mina'a lost the match 2–0 to take the runner-up title, and the opportunity to represent Iraq in the next AFC Champions League; the team became the first team from outside Baghdad to represent Iraq in the continental championship.[47]

After the return of the Iran–Iraq relations, Al-Mina'a participated in the 2004 Peace and Friendship Cup in Ahvaz, under the leadership of coach Abdul Karim Jassim, has won the tournament, having played against Iranian clubs have won it, in semi-final, the team played against Esteghlal Ahvaz B and won 2–1, Al Mina'a’s goals were scored by Nasser Talla Dahilan at the 35th minute and Qais Essa at the 75th minute.[48] in final played against Foolad Khuzestan B and won 1–0, the winning goal was scored by Alaa Aasi at the 44th minute of the game.[49]

The team under the leadership of coach Aqeel Hato did not enter the 2006 AFC Champions League to compete for the title, given the weaknesses of the team (most of them were young and they needed experience in matches like this), but as a chance to play with strong teams and prepare for the Iraqi Premier League.[50][51] But Al-Mina'a embarrassed some of the big teams in Asia and by earning draws against the likes of Mash'al[52] and Al-Hilal.[53]

Last five years of local dependence (2006–2011)Edit

After the team were knocked out of the AFC Champions League, the experienced players joined other clubs,[54] and thus began a new era for the club under the leadership of young coach Asaad Abdul Razzaq[55] for two seasons with and the young players who have grown up in the club. The team entered the 2006–07 season and managed to finish second in their First Stage group behind Al-Najaf to qualify for the Elite Stage,[56] but team was not able to get to the semi-finals as they finished fourth behind Arbil, Al-Talaba and Karbalaa.[57]

In the 2007–08 season, a similar thing repeated under the same coach, where the team finished in 3rd place in their First Stage group behind Karbalaa and Al-Najaf, having won eight matches, drawn six and lost two, but could not go beyond the Elite Stage,[58] where they finished in fourth place in Group A behind Arbil, Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya and Kirkuk.[59]

In the following three seasons, the team was under the leadership of young coach Adel Nasser[60] and these were not good seasons, as they were knocked out in the First Stage in all three seasons. In the 2008–09 season, the team finished in sixth place in their group, where team won ten matches, drew six and lost eight matches,[61] and in the 2009–10 season, the team ended up in seventh place in the group stage where they won 16 matches, drew 11 and lost seven.[62]

In pre-season and under the leadership of coach Adel Nasser, Al-Mina'a won 2009 Thaghr Al Iraq Championship title, Al-Mina'a qualified for the final game after collecting 7 points by defeating Naft Maysan 3–1, Ghaz Al-Junoob 4–1,[63] and won the Thaghr Al Iraq Championship after beating Naft Al-Junoob in the final game with a score of 2–1. Al Mina'a’s goals were scored by Nayef Falah in the 46th minute and Hassan Hadi Ahmad in the 79th minute. On the other hand, the sole goal of Naft Al-Junoob was scored by Muhannad Youssef at the 10th minute of the game. The two teams shared the lead of the game that was led by referee Ahmad Shaker. The referee gave red cards to 3 players: Amjad Hameed, Alaa Nayrouz from Naft Al-Junoob team and Al-Mina'a player Ihsan Hadi.[64]

In the third season, 2010–11, the team under the same coach finished in fourth place in their First Stage group with 12 wins, nine draws and five defeats.[65]

Eight coaches in three seasons (2011–2014)Edit

The club was always praised for depending on coaches and players that had graduated from the club itself, but since the 2011–12 season, the club went a different way by contracting with a professional coach of Norwegian nationality (Iraqi origin) called Younis Al Qattan.[66] But the club's management did not settle on one coach during the season, so they changed the coach seven times during these three years. In the 2011–12 season, the team under the leadership of Al-Qattan was not successful with two wins, two losses and six draws, so the manager was changed.[67] The team began playing under the leadership of Rahim Hameed[68] and they ended the Premier League in 11th place, and in the 2012-2013 season, the club returned to the local coach Aqeel Hato[69] but this did not last very long as he was sacked having won four matches, drawn four matches and lost two matches, and the team played under the leadership of the young coach Ghazi Fahad[70] afterwards but this also did not last long as he was fired having won five matches, drawn one match and lost five matches.[71] The club then appointed coach Asaad Abdul Razzaq [72][73] who led the team to finish the season in eighth place, having won eight matches and lost six with one draw, and the team began the season relying on foreign players. Al-Mina'a used five foreign professionals from Europe, Africa and Asia in this season.[74]

In the 2013–14 season, the same thing happened as happened in the previous season, where three coaches led the team in a row. They started the season led by coach Jamal Ali[75] and who resigned because the results were not good, especially after the 2–1 loss to Al-Karkh.[76] Ali won two matches as coach, drew four and lost three, so the club turned the leadership of the team to his assistant Ammar Hussein, who also did not remain long; he resigned after the 3–0 loss to Al-Zawra'a, and he won three matches, drew four and lost three.[77] The club then appointed coach Hassan Mawla,[78] who finished the season in 11th place, and he led the team for just four matches, winning one, losing one and drawing two, and he could not continue the rest of the matches because of Iraq Football Association suspended the Premier League and considered it finished on June 18, 2014.[79]

Title challenge under Al-Sayed (2014–2016)Edit

In the 2014–15 season, the team was under coach Asaad Abdul Razzaq[80] and he was sacked after six matches because the results were not satisfactory; he won one match, lost three and drew two, leaving the team in eighth place in their First Stage group. Al-Mina'a contracted with the Syrian professional coach, Hussam Al-Sayed,[81] who led the team through 13 matches until the end of the group without a loss, where the team move into second place in the group behind Al-Shorta.

 
Al-Minaa players lining up before a match in 2014.

In the Elite Stage they played against three teams (Duhok, Naft Al-Junoob and Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya). The team was competing to top the group which would have qualified them for the final, but mistakes from assistant referees shattered that dream, where the assistant referee Maitham Khamat allowed an offside goal to stand in favor of Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya against Naft Al-Junoob, while assistant referee Haider Hameed did not count a legitimate goal for Al-Mina'a against Duhok due to offside, which lost them two points.[82] These cases deprived the team from getting to the final, where the team is equal to Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya in the number of points (ten points) but Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya had a better goal difference.[83] In the third place match they were set to play against Al-Shorta but Al-Shorta declared that they pulled out of the match. But strangely, Al-Shorta ended up turning up for the match and Al-Mina'a was not prepared to match them so they withdrew meaning the team finished in fourth place in the Premier League.[84]

In the 2015–16 season, the coach Hussam Al-Sayed led the team to a series of wins against strong teams, defeating the likes Erbil 3–1, Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya 2–1 and Al-Shorta 1–0. Al-Mina'a were in first place in their First Stage group,[85] with six wins, one draw and two losses, but the many mistakes for the referees against the team[86][87] and then a number of problems arose between the club management and some players[88][89] and other reasons[90] which caused a decline in the level of the team, although the team still managed to qualify for the Elite Group. Their performances in the Elite Group were not up-to-scratch, so the team ended the season in sixth place.[91]

Administrative problems (2016–2019)Edit

In the 2016–17 season, Al-Mina'a contracted with the Romanian professional coach, Marin Ion[92][93] and he was sacked after twenty-seven matches because the chaos that appeared in the team due to the weakness of the personality of the coach, and the results were not satisfactory; he won fourteen matches, lost four and drew nine, and lost both Basra Derbies; against Al-Bahri 2–1, Naft Al-Junoob 1–0, leaving the team in fourth place in their First Stage in league,[94] then Al-Mina'a signed local coach Ghazi Fahad,[95][96] who finished the league in sixth place.[97][98] In the 2016–17 Iraq FA Cup, Al-Mina'a reached the semi-finals, but could not reach the final after losing from Naft Al-Wasat on penalties, in the match that ended 1-1.[99] Then, the team ended the season without any good results due to several problems within the club.[100] The administrative problems continued within the club, where two departments were formed and each claimed to be the legitimate administration. There was also a conflict between the management of the club and the Ministry of Transport (the owner), which led to a financial crisis, in which the important players migrated to the Baghdad clubs, and change of coaches in the same season was repeated within the club, all of which led to a decline in the level of the team, and ranked last in the ranking of the league teams for more than a season (15th place in the 2017–18 season and 17th place in the 2018–19 season).[101]

Recent history (2019–)Edit

Since the election of a new board members in accordance with the Clubs Act,[102] the new administrative has worked in the club to pay the previous debts and the withdrawal of complaints recorded by some athletes against the club because of financial matters.[103][104][105] The Romanian coach Valeriu Tița was then appointed on July 2, 2019[106] to create a new competitive team in the league for 2019–20 season.[107] Al Mina'a were performing well under Tita, however the league was suspended, and eventually cancelled, due to the October protests and the COVID-19 pandemic. The following season, Al Mina'a were battling relegation as they sacked Valriu after 14 games with the club second to last. Abdul Ghani Shahad was called in to replace him [108]

KitEdit

Al-Mina'a's traditional colours are blue and white. The home kit is blue and the away kit is white. For much of Al-Mina'a's history, their home colours have been bright blue shirts with white sleeves and white shorts, though this has not always been the case. The shirt was blue, and was worn with blue shorts and white socks in 1977–78 season when won league title for the first time.[109] In some seasons the team used the home kit that was blue and painted in yellow or white, and in the away kit use the white and painted in blue or black or red or some of these colors together. But in the 1998–1999 season only the kit was green, and this was unfamiliar.[110]

Historical kitsEdit

Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsorsEdit

Al-Mina'a's shirts have been made by manufacturers including Adidas (from the 1970s until 1982), Puma (1982–1984), Adidas (1984–1989), Uhlsport (2001–2003), Macron (2011–2014), Uhlsport (2014–2016), Adidas (2016–2017) and Jako (2017–2018), Uhlsport (from 2018). Like those of most other Iraqi football clubs, Al-Mina'a's shirts have featured sponsors' logos since the 1980s; sponsors include Samsung (1999–2000), Elaph Islamic Bank (2015–2016), Fuchs Petrolub (2016–2017) and GCPI (2017–2020).[111]

StadiumEdit

 
Basra Sports City, as a temporary ground of Al-Mina'a since May 23, 2015

Al-Mina'a Stadium was founded in the 1930s and contained an open field with a stand on one side. In the 1960–61 season, lighting was installed in the stadium and the stadium was considered the second best stadium in the Arab world after the Alexandria Stadium in Egypt.[112] In the mid-1980s, terraces with three strips were placed around stadium in order to accommodate 4,000 spectators. In 1995, circular strips were built around the ground in order to accommodate 10,000 spectators. The opening match of the new stadium was Al-Mina'a match against Samarra, and ended for Al-Mina'a 1–0, Adel Nasser scored from a penalty kick.[113]

Work has been going on for the construction of New Al-Mina'a Stadium since March 22, 2011[114][115] and it has not been completed yet.[116] The new stadium will accommodate 30,000 spectators, and is being built on an area of 52 acres. Al-Mina'a continues to participate in the Iraqi Premier League even without the presence of a regular training ground.[117]

Al-Mina'a played at the Naft Al-Junoob Stadium during the first phase of the 2012–13 season, for the period from 20 October 2012 to 1 March 2013. In the second phase of the same season, the team was played at the Basra Stadium (Al-Jamhoriya) for the period from 27 April 2014 to 4 September, and they were training at Al-Hawta Stadium in this season. On October 1, 2013, Al-Zubair Olympic Stadium was inaugurated and the team played all home matches at it, during the 2013–14 season and the 2014–15 season, and until May 23, 2015, when the Basra Sports City became a temporary stadium for the team.[118] Since October 2017, Basra Sports City has been officially leased to club.[1]

In low attendance matches, Al-Mina'a plays at Basra Sports City's secondary stadium (also known as Al-Fayhaa Stadium), which has a capacity of 10,000 spectators.[119]

SupportersEdit

 
Ultras Safana during Al-Minaa match in October 2014

Al-Mina'a fans often refer to themselves as "Jamhoor Al-Safana", the name derived from the team's nickname, "Al-Safana". The fanbase is large and generally loyal; in 2014–15, Al-Mina'a had the highest average League attendance for an Iraqi club (40,000, which was 66.6% of available capacity).[120] Al-Mina'a has the Promoters Association, which was established at the beginning of the club's starting point, and remained supportive of the team in all their matches, and traveled with them wherever they went.[121]

In June 2014, Al-Mina'a supporters founded a group known as "Ultras Safana". The supporters group has become well known throughout Iraqi football as one of the most passionate groups of football fans in Iraq and the group's banners and logos can be seen in any stadium that their club play in. The number of group members is increasing. The foundation of this group has significantly increased both the number of Al-Mina'a fans in stadiums and their presence in matches.[122] Ultras Safana won the title of Best Ultras in the Iraqi league a year after its founding,[123] as well as in the second consecutive year.[124]

The supporters of Al-Mina'a are very many, spread throughout the provinces of Iraq, and some live outside Iraq, and was considered to be the best fans in the Iraqi league.[123][125][126]

RivalriesEdit

Al-Mina'a contest the Basra Derby with Naft Al-Basra[127][128] (formerly Naft Al-Janoob until 2020).[129] Since 2005, there have been 29 competitive Basra Derbies. Al-Mina'a hold the precedence in these matches, with 10 victories to Naft Al-Basra's 7; there have been 12 draws. The most decisive result in an Al-Mina'a–Naft Al-Basra game is Al-Mina'a's 4–1 victory at Al Mina'a Stadium, their home ground, on March 11, 2005. There have been two incidences of 3–1, Al-Minaa have been won in both matches; home in December 2005, and away in January 2006. The competition saw 54 goals scored, 30 for Al-Mina'a and 24 for Naft Al-Basra; the individual player who scored the most goals was Al-Mina'a player Ihsan Hadi and Naft Al-Basra player Bassim Ali, each scored four goals. And there are five players who scored for both teams, they are Alaa Aasi, Nasser Talla Dahilan, Ahmed Hassan, Sajjad Abdul Kadhim and Hussam Malik.[130]

Head-to-headEdit

From 2005–2021.

Head-to-head
Competition P W D L GF GA GD
Iraqi Premier League 28 9 12 7 28 23 +5
Thaghr Al Iraq Championship 1 1 0 0 2 1 +1
Total 29 10 12 7 30 24 +6

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

As of 18 September 2021

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK   IRQ Mujtaba Mohammed
4 DF   IRQ Muntadher Abdul Sada
5 MF   IRQ Sadeq Sami
7 MF   IRQ Fadhel Wasmi
9 FW   IRQ Thulfiqar Ayid
10 FW   IRQ Mohammed Jabbar Shokan
11 FW   IRQ Abdullah Wasfi
13 MF   IRQ Ali Sattar
14 MF   IRQ Ahmed Salam
15 DF   IRQ Ali Lateef
16 MF   IRQ Ali Shawqi
17 MF   IRQ Ahmed Matar
18 FW   IRQ Salem Ahmed
19 FW   IRQ Hassan Odah
21 GK   IRQ Ahmed Hamid
22 GK   IRQ Ali Faisal
23 DF   IRQ Ahmed Yahya
24 MF   IRQ Ahmed Jabbar
No. Pos. Nation Player
25 MF   IRQ Sajed Abbas Hashim
26 MF   IRQ Ibrahim Naeem
27 DF   IRQ Abdul Muhaimin Jabbar
28 MF   IRQ Hamza Hadi Ahmed
29 DF   IRQ Karrar Al-Amir Ali
31 GK   IRQ Murtadha Sami
33 MF   IRQ Abbas Yas
34 DF   IRQ Abdullah Abdul Amir
35 DF   IRQ Ahmed Khaled (Captain)
44 MF   SLE Khalifa Jabbie
45 DF   TUN Afif Jebali
50 MF   IRQ Murtadha Shaker
55 MF   IRQ Hussein Qasim
61 MF   YEM Nasser Al-Gahwashi
93 MF   TUN Mohamed Ali Ragoubi
96 FW   BRA Augusto Neto
97 DF   IRQ Haider Abdul Salam

Retired numbersEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
20 GK   IRQ Karrar Ibrahim (posthumous honour)[131]

PersonnelEdit

Current technical staffEdit

Position Name Nationality
Manager: Qusay Munir  
Assistant coach: Uday Omran  
Assistant coach: Taiseer Abdul-Hussein  
Assistant coach: Ihsan Hadi  
Goalkeeping coach: Ali Hussein Jalil  
Fitness coach: Ali Mohammed  
Team doctor: Fares Abdullah  
Sport consultant: Rahim Bakr  
Team supervisor: Jihad Madlool  
Under-19s Coach: Mohammed Abdul Hussein  
Under-16s Coach: Fadhel Nasser  
Under-14s Coach: Fadhel Jather  

Updated to match played 21 August 2021
Source: almirbad.com

Board membersEdit

Position Name Nationality
President: Mohammed Jaber Hassan  
Secretary: Taher Balas  
Treasurer: Ali Kadhim Mubarak  
Member of the Board: Nazar Taha Humoud  
Member of the Board: Jihad Madlool Obaid  
Member of the Board: Ahmed Hamed Al-Jabery  
Member of the Board: Nabeel Abdul Ameer Jamil  
Member of the Board: Jalil Hanoon  
Member of the Board: Hani Abed Waleed  

Updated to match played 4 November 2019
Source: Alsumaria.tv, ninanews.com

RecordsEdit

League historyEdit

  • Iraqi Premier League (1974–2021)
Season League Position Played Wins Draws Losses GF:GA Points
1974–75 Iraqi National League 3 18 12 3 3 29:13 27
1975–76 Iraqi National League 4 24 12 7 5 29:18 31
1976–77 Iraqi National League 5 11 3 6 2 12:12 12
1977–78 Iraqi National League 1 13 8 5 0 27:10 21
1978–79 Iraqi National League 4 12 5 5 2 15:9 15
1979–80 Iraqi National League 10 22 7 6 9 26:29 20
1980–81 Iraqi National League 8 11 3 4 4 8:14 10
1981–82 Iraqi National League 9 22 5 7 10 22:30 17
1982–83 Iraqi National League 11 22 3 6 13 18:32 12
1983–84 Iraqi National League 12 24 5 5 14 22:48 15
1984–85[a] Iraqi National League
1985–86 Iraqi National League ↓ 14 15 3 3 9 12:22 9
1986–87 Iraq Division One 1
1987–88 Iraqi National League 12 30 5 13 12 22:34 23
1988–89 Iraqi Pan-National League 8 14
1989–90 Iraq Division One 1
1990–91 Iraqi National League 8 28 7 9 12 17:24 23
1991–92 Iraqi National League 9 32 12 13 13 39:42 37
1992–93 Iraqi National League 11 69 21 28 20 58:70 70
1993–94 Iraqi National League 17 50 12 21 17 42:58 45
1994–95 Iraqi National League 11 46 16 21 9 54:42 72
1995–96 Iraqi Advanced League 9 22 4 11 7 18:23 23
1996–97 Iraqi Premier League 8 30 9 10 11 22:32 37
1997–98 Iraqi Premier League 7 30 12 3 15 29:41 39
1998–99 Iraqi Premier League 4 30 14 8 8 35:25 50
1999–2000 Iraqi First Division 8 50 20 24 6 56:28 84
2000–01 Iraqi Elite League 9 30 10 10 10 24:26 40
2001–02 Iraqi Elite League 10 38 13 10 15 39:45 49
2002–03[a] Iraqi First Division
2003–04[a] Iraqi Premier League
2004–05 Iraqi Premier League 2 21 13 3 5 31:11 42
2005–06 Iraqi Premier League 10 16 9 4 3 26:16 31
2006–07 Iraqi Premier League 7 17 10 4 3 23:11 34
2007–08 Iraqi Premier League 10 24 10 9 5 15:18 39
2008–09 Iraqi Premier Division 11 24 10 6 8 20:24 36
2009–10 Iraqi Premier Division 13 34 16 11 7 36:23 59
2010–11 Iraqi Premier Division 7 26 12 9 5 33:21 45
2011–12 Iraqi Elite League 11 38 13 11 14 40:44 50
2012–13 Iraqi Elite League 8 34 15 7 12 54:48 52
2013–14 Iraqi Premier League 11 23 6 10 7 26:27 28
2014–15 Iraqi Premier League 4 23 9 8 6 28:22 35
2015–16 Iraqi Premier League 6 25 11 7 7 36:30 40
2016–17 Iraqi Premier League 6 36 18 12 6 40:24 66
2017–18 Iraqi Premier League 15 38 8 17 13 34:47 41
2018–19 Iraqi Premier League 17 38 8 16 14 34:42 40
2019–20[a] Iraqi Premier League
2020–21 Iraqi Premier League 8 38 12 13 13 45:44 49

[a] The league was not completed and was cancelled.

Performance in AFC competitionsEdit

Season Competition Round Nat. Club Home Away Aggregate
2006 AFC Champions League Group B   Al-Ain 1–2 1–2 4th
  Al-Hilal 1–1 1–3
  Mash'al 0–1 2–2

Against National TeamsEdit

Date Venue Opponent Result Scorers Source
2 May 1951 Basra, Iraq   Iraq 1–1 Tariq Khalil [20]
20 December 1958 Ahmadi, Kuwait   Kuwait 8–0 M. Manthar (2), K. Allawi (2), N. Lafta (2),
W. Dawood (2)
[20]
27 February 1959 Basra, Iraq   Algeria 2–3 Sabeeh Darwish (2) [132]
20 December 1972 Basra, Iraq   China PR 0–1 [133]
21 August 2015 İzmit, Turkey   Bahrain 0–0 [134]
23 August 2015 İzmit, Turkey   Libya 1–0 Ziyad Ahmed [135]
24 March 2017 Antalya, Turkey   Turkmenistan 1–0 Ahmed Yasser [136]
25 February 2018 Basra, Iraq   Iraq 0–0 [137]

Top GoalscorersEdit

As of 5 March 2021.
Note: The statistic concerns only the goals scored in the league championship since its launch in Iraq, that is, since 1974. The statistics that precede the league are unknown.
Players who are still active with the club are in bold.
# Nat. Name Goals
  Jalil Hanoon 73
  Adel Nasser 55
  Mohammed Jabbar Shokan 40
  Ihsan Hadi 39
  Nazar Abdul Zahra 36
  Nasser Talla Dahilan 33
  Hussam Ibrahim 30
  Ali Al-Diwan 29

Presidents and managersEdit

List of presidentsEdit

This is a list of Al-Mina'a SC presidents and chairmen from its foundation in 1931.[138]

List of presidents

Name Nationality Period
C. F. Neikell   United Kingdom 1931–32
Bey Forde   United Kingdom 1932–43
Donald Langdon   United Kingdom 1944–45
Rajab Al-Ni'ma   Iraq 1946–47
R. C. Klette   United Kingdom 1947–49
Abdul Amir Rahmatallah   Iraq 1949–62
Mohammed Tariq Al-Katib   Iraq 1962–63
Yousef Al-Amer   Iraq 1963
Nasser Mohammed Khan   Iraq 1964–66
Tariq Widad Al-Katib   Iraq 1966–67
Mohammed Tariq Al-Katib   Iraq 1967–69
Adnan Ali Al-Qassab   Iraq 1969–77
Faleh Mahmoud Al-Musa   Iraq 1977–80
Mohammed Lafta Ojoom   Iraq Feb. 2, 1980–May 29, 1982
Talib Hashim Abbas   Iraq 1982–90
Abdul Wahab Al-Na'eb   Iraq 1990–92
Talib Hashim Abbas   Iraq 1992–2003
Hadi Ahmed   Iraq 2004–07
Rahim Karim   Iraq June 2, 2007 – May 30, 2009
Salah Khudhair Abboud   Iraq May 30, 2009 – June 1, 2012
Omran Radhi Thani   Iraq June 1, 2012–Mar. 13, 2016
Jalil Hanoon   Iraq Mar. 13, 2016–Feb. 5, 2017
Abdul Razzaq Ahmed (interim)   Iraq Feb. 5, 2017–Aug. 22, 2017
Jalil Hanoon   Iraq Aug. 22, 2017–Aug. 29, 2018
Asaad Abdul Razzaq (interim)   Iraq Aug. 29, 2018–Dec. 8, 2018
Hadi Ahmed   Iraq Dec. 8, 2018–Sept. 4, 2019
Mohammed Jaber Al-Jaberi   Iraq Nov. 3, 2019–present

Managerial historyEdit

This list includes the team coaches after the end of World War II and the return of the club to engage in sports activity.[139]

Notable playersEdit

For a list of all Al-Mina'a players, see Al-Mina'a SC players.

CaptainsEdit

This list includes the team's captains since the club's participation in the Iraqi League for the first time.

Years Position Captain
1974–1978 Forward   Abdul Razzaq Ahmed
1978–1983 Defender   Rahim Karim
1983–1986 Midfielder   Hadi Ahmed
1986–1988 Forward   Jalil Hanoon
1988–1990 Forward   Aqeel Hato
1990–1991 Defender   Qasim Jabbar
1991–1992 Defender   Karim Jassim
1992–1995 Goalkeeper   Aqeel Abdul Mohsin
1995–1996 Defender   Asaad Abdul Razzaq
1996–1997 Forward   Mohammed Abdul Hussein
1997–2001 Defender   Asaad Abdul Razzaq
2001–2002 Midfielder   Ali Al-Diwan
2002–2003 Defender   Musa Faiyadh
2003–2005 Forward   Ammar Hussein
2005–2008 Defender   Emad Aoda
2008–2010 Defender   Sajjad Abdul Kadhim
2010–2012 Forward   Mohammed Nasser Shakroun
2012–2014 Midfielder   Nayef Falah
2014–2015 Midfielder   Omar Alaa Ahmad
2015–2016 Goalkeeper   Karrar Ibrahim
2017 Goalkeeper   Noor Sabri
2017–2018 Defender   Mohammed Jabbar Rubat
2018–2019 Forward   Sultan Jassim
2019–2021 Midfielder   Hussam Malik
2021 Defender   Hamza Adnan
2021– Defender   Ahmed Khaled

HonoursEdit

DomesticEdit

Type Competition Titles Winning years Runners-up
National Iraqi Premier League 1 1977–78 2004–05
Iraq Division One 2 1986–87, 1989–90
Regional Iraq FA Basra League > 14 including 1948–49, 1962–63
Hanna Al-Sheikh Cup[140] > 10 including 1947–48, 1950–51
Al-Minaa Cup[141][142] 2 1948–49, 1949–50
Al-Shamkhany Cup 2 1947–48, 1948–49 1949–50
Happiness Cup 1 1956
Regent's Cup 1 1949–50
Asfar Knockout Cup 1 1948–49 1947–48
Students League Cup 1 1947–48
Industries Exhibition Cup[143] 0 1953–54
  •   record

FriendlyEdit

Winners (1): 2009
  • Al-Faw Liberation Championship
Runners-up (1): 1988

InternationalEdit

FriendlyEdit

Winners (1): 2004

RankingsEdit

CWR All-Time Club World RankingEdit

As of 4 July 2015[144]
Rank Club Association Points
2791   Alliance Dudelange UEFA 3
2791   Allied Bank Limited AFC 3
2791   Al-Mina'a AFC 3
2791   Al-Oruba AFC 3
2791   Al-Orouba AFC 3

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