Al-Zawraa SC

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Al-Zawraa Sports Club (Arabic: نادي الزوراء الرياضي‎) is an Iraqi sports club based in Utayfia, Karkh District, West Districts of the Tigris River, Baghdad. Their football team compete in the Iraqi Premier League, the top-flight of Iraqi football. Al-Zawraa are the most decorated club in Iraq having won 14 league titles and 16 Iraq FA Cup titles, both national records. They won their most recent trophy in 2021 by claiming a record fifth Iraqi Super Cup trophy.

Al-Zawraa SC
Al-Zawraa Club Logo.png
Full nameAl-Zawraa Sports Club
Nickname(s)Al-Nawaris (The Gulls)
FoundedJune 29, 1969; 52 years ago (1969-06-29), as Al-Muwasalat
GroundAl-Zawraa Stadium[1]
OwnerMinistry of Transport
PresidentFalah Hassan
ManagerEssam Hamad
LeagueIraqi Premier League
2020–21Iraqi Premier League, 2nd of 20
Current season

They have won the league unbeaten on a record four occasions and also hold the joint-record for the most Iraqi Elite Cups with three. They are one of only two teams to have won all four of the aforementioned trophies in the same season (the 1999–2000 season), and they hold the joint-record for the most consecutive league matches undefeated in Iraq (39).

Al-Zawraa's best continental achievements include finishing fourth at the 1996–97 Asian Club Championship and finishing as runners-up of the 1999–2000 Asian Cup Winners' Cup where they lost the final to Japanese club Shimizu S-Pulse. Since the AFC Champions League was formed in 2002, Al-Zawraa have not advanced past the group stages of the tournament, although they have reached the knockout rounds of the AFC Cup three times and the round of 16 at the Arab Club Champions Cup twice. The team's home colour is white, thus the nickname Al-Nawaris, which means The Gulls.


1969–1974: Three promotions in five yearsEdit

Al-Zawraa were founded on 29 June 1969 as Al-Muwasalat, which means 'Transportation'. Al-Muwasalat participated in the Iraq Central FA Fourth Division in the 1969–70 season. In the 1970–71 season, they won the fourth division and were promoted to the third division. The 1971–72 season saw the establishment of 'Al-Muwasalat B' (the club's B team) by the merging of Al-Bareed B and Al-Matar Al-Midani, and they joined the fourth division. In their first season, Al-Muwasalat B won the fourth division under coach Rasheed Radhi and were promoted to the third division, beating Al-Shabab 2–1 on 1 June 1972 at Al-Kashafa Stadium. On 16 November 1972, the club was renamed to Al-Zawraa. The 1972–73 season saw both Al-Zawraa and Al-Zawraa B competing in the third division, and in the 1973–74 season, Al-Zawraa B won the third division title, securing promotion to the second division. As they were the club's B team, the A and B teams merged back together, and the club competed in the newly founded Iraqi Second Division in the 1974–75 season. Al-Zawraa won the second division title that season under Rasheed Radhi's leadership, being promoted into the Iraqi National League for the first time in their history for the 1975–76 season.

1974–1980: First league and cup titlesEdit

A club named Al-Naqil (meaning 'Transport') were the runners-up of the 1974–75 Iraqi National League, but after the season they had no administration and financial backing so Al-Naqil folded. Al-Naqil's players, who were just one point away from winning the 1974–75 Iraqi National League, thus joined fellow Ministry of Transport team and newly promoted side Al-Zawraa. This meant that Al-Zawraa became one of the strongest clubs in Iraq right from their first season in the top-flight of Iraqi football, which was the 1975–76 season. Al-Zawraa managed to win the league title in their very first season, finishing five points ahead from runners-up Al-Tayaran (now called Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya), who would soon become Al-Zawraa's biggest rivals. They also won the Iraq FA Cup that season, thrashing Al-Baladiyat 5–0 in the final, to secure the double.

In the 1976–77 Iraqi National League, Al-Zawraa managed to retain their title, winning the league undefeated with a record of nine wins and two draws. The 1977–78 season saw Al-Zawraa finish as runners-up in the league for the first time, ending up two points behind champions Al-Mina'a, meanwhile in the 1977–78 Iraq FA Cup, Al-Zawraa were knocked out in the quarter-final meaning they had their first trophyless season since their promotion to the top-flight. The 1978–79 Iraqi National League saw Al-Zawraa win the league undefeated again, winning seven and drawing five, and they also won the Iraq FA Cup with a 3–1 win against Al-Jaish to secure their second double. Al-Zawraa were very close to winning the league in the 1979–80 season as well; if they had defeated Al-Shabab in their last league game, they would have won the league, but they drew 1–1 and handed the title to Baghdad rivals Al-Shorta, finishing behind them on goal difference. They also failed to win the Iraq FA Cup that season, losing the semi-final to Al-Talaba.

1980–1990: League struggles but cup successEdit

The 1980s was the worst decade in the history of Al-Zawraa as they failed to win a single league title. The decade started with the 1980–81 Iraqi National League where Al-Zawraa finished in a lowly seventh, however they did win their third Iraq FA Cup by beating Al-Talaba 1–0 in the final. They finished fifth in 1981–82 but once again won the Iraq FA Cup, beating Al-Talaba 2–1 this time. In 1982–83, Al-Zawraa finished seventh again, and they ended up fifth in 1983–84, although they managed to win the Victory Championship that season and also reached the final of the Al-Qadisiya Championship, losing to Al-Jaish after Saad Abdul-Hamid missed a penalty. The 1984–85 season was cancelled with Al-Zawraa in eighth position, and the 1985–86 season was one of the worst in Al-Zawraa's history as they finished in ninth, just one point away from the relegation playoff, although they did win their second Victory Championship. They finished in seventh in 1986–87 and fifth in 1987–88, and lost the 1987–88 Iraq FA Cup final on penalties to Al-Rasheed; they were also runners-up in the Uday Saddam Hussein Cup that season. Al-Zawraa improved in the 1988–89 season as they finished fourth in the league and won the Iraq FA Cup for the fifth time, and they also participated in, and won, the first ever ACC Club Championship (organised by the Arab Cooperation Council). They did exactly the same in the following season finishing fourth again, winning the Iraq FA Cup again and winning the ACC Club Championship again. Their cup win qualified them to the 1990 Arab Club Champions Cup but the tournament eventually got abandoned; Al-Zawraa played two games in the preliminary round of the tournament, drawing the first and winning the second.

1990–2003: Domination of Iraqi footballEdit

The 1990s was a much better decade for Al-Zawraa. They were crowned champions of Iraq for the fourth time in 1990–91 and also won yet another Iraq FA Cup to secure another double. Al-Zawraa finished as runners-up in the 1991–92 Iraqi National League and were knocked out of the 1991–92 Iraq FA Cup at the round of 32 stage, but they did win the first ever edition of the Iraqi Elite Cup that season by defeating rivals Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya in the final. The 1992–93 Iraqi National League saw Al-Zawraa finish as runners-up again, but they won another Iraq FA Cup by beating Al-Talaba.

The next three seasons were three of the best in Al-Zawraa's history; they won three consecutive doubles in 1993–94, 1994–95 and 1995–96. They also participated in their first ever AFC tournaments, being knocked out in the first round of the 1993–94 Asian Cup Winners' Cup and the second round of the 1995 Asian Club Championship. Al-Zawraa did not win any trophies in the 1996–97 season as their rivals Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya won all four domestic trophies. However, they did reach the furthest they ever reached in the Asian Club Championship in 1996–97 as they reached the semi-finals. They lost the semi-final and also lost the third place match to finish in fourth in Asia's main tournament. In 1997–98, Al-Zawraa were in with a chance of winning the league on the final day but ended up finishing third after drawing their final match to Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya 1–1. However, they did manage to win the Iraq FA Cup again (which saw manager Anwar Jassam win his record fifth FA Cup), and followed that up by winning their first Iraqi Super Cup with a 1–0 win over league champions Al-Shorta. In the 1997–98 Asian Club Championship, Al-Zawraa reached the second round before being knocked out.

The following two seasons (1998–99 and 1999–2000) brought even more success to Al-Zawraa as they continued their domination of Iraqi football. They won the double in both seasons, and also won the Iraqi Elite Cup, Iraqi Super Cup, Jerusalem International Championship and Al-Shaab Friendship Tournament across the two campaigns. They also reached the final of the 1999–2000 Asian Cup Winners' Cup, the furthest that they have ever reached in a major continental competition, but lost 1–0 to Shimizu S-Pulse, a club from Japan. As champions, Al-Zawraa qualified for the 2000–01 Asian Club Championship but were knocked out in the first round. Al-Zawraa won their third consecutive league title in 2000–01 and also won the Iraqi Super Cup, but they lost the 2000 Iraqi Elite Cup final 1–0 to Al-Shorta.

In the 2001–02 Iraqi Elite League, Al-Zawraa finished in a disappointing fourth place, and reached the second round of the 2001–02 Asian Club Championship as well as losing the final of the 2001 Baghdad Day Cup. They disappointed again in the following season by losing to Al-Sadd in 2002–03 AFC Champions League qualification.

2003–present: Ups and downs after the warEdit

The 2003–04 Iraqi Premier League was not completed, but the Iraqi Elite Cup was, and Al-Zawraa won the tournament for the third and final time. In the 2003–04 Arab Champions League, Al-Zawraa were knocked out at the round of 16, but they did manage to win the 2004 Tishreen Tournament by beating Al-Talaba in the final. Al-Zawraa yet again finished in fourth position in the 2004–05 Iraqi Premier League and were knocked out at the group stage of the 2005 AFC Champions League as well as losing the final of the 2005 edition of the Damascus International Championship to Al-Talaba. In the 2005–06 season, Al-Zawraa secured their 11th league title by defeating Al-Najaf via a penalty shootout after a goalless draw, but in the 2005–06 Arab Champions League they were comfortably defeated over two legs by MC Algiers in the round of 16. The next four seasons (2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09 and 2009–10) saw Al-Zawraa finish in eighth, second, seventh and third respectively. Meanwhile, in this time period they also played in two AFC competitions: the 2007 AFC Champions League (knocked out in the group stage) and the 2009 AFC Cup (knocked out in the round of 16 by Erbil).

In 2010–11, they returned to the top of Iraqi football by winning their 12th league title after a penalty shootout win over Erbil. This qualified them to the 2012 AFC Cup but they were again knocked out in the round of 16. The 2011–12 Iraqi Elite League saw them make their worst defence of a title in their history as they finished in eighth position, behind Al-Shorta. The 2012–13 Iraqi Elite League saw them move up to fourth, and they were also knocked out of the 2012–13 Iraq FA Cup by Al-Talaba at the round of 32 stage. In 2013–14 they fell back down to sixth and they dropped back down to eighth in 2014–15, although they did win a friendly cup called the Tournament for the Armed Forces. They managed to recover from these disappointing seasons in the 2015–16 campaign and won the league title without losing a single league match, finishing ahead of runners-up Naft Al-Wasat in what was their 13th league title. They also reached the final of the 2015–16 Iraq FA Cup but were defeated 2–0 by fierce rivals Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, missing out on the chance to win their 15th Iraq FA Cup title. Their manager in this season, Basim Qasim, resigned from the club following the title-winning campaign and decided to manage Al-Zawraa's biggest rivals, Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, in the 2016–17 season. Al-Zawraa finished fourth in the 2016–17 Iraqi Premier League, but won the 2016–17 Iraq FA Cup, extending their record to a staggering 15 cup titles. This qualified them for the Iraqi Super Cup, which they won by defeating league champions Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya 3–0 on penalties after a 1–1 draw. They went on to couple that victory with the 2017–18 Iraqi Premier League title, extending their record to 14 league triumphs.

Al-Zawraa finished third in the 2018–19 Iraqi Premier League, but won the 2018–19 Iraq FA Cup, thus qualifying to the 2020 AFC Champions League.


Al-Zawraa currently play at Al-Sha'ab Stadium. They formerly played at Al-Zawraa Stadium, which has been demolished to make way for a new stadium which is currently under construction. Al-Zawraa play all their derby matches against Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, Al-Shorta and Al-Talaba at Al-Sha'ab Stadium in order to accommodate more spectators.


Ultras The Kings is the name of the ultras group of Al-Zawraa fans. The group was founded in response to the foundations and successes of the Ultras Green Harp (Al-Shorta) and Ultras Blue Hawks (Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya) groups. The ultras group use flares, banners and flags in order to create a good atmosphere during matches.


First-team squadEdit

As of 27 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 Mohsen Sami
2 DF   IRQ Ahmed Arkan
3 DF   IRQ Ahmed Maknzi
5 MF   IRQ Muntadher Mohammed
6 DF   IRQ Hussam Kadhim
7 MF   IRQ Ahmad Fadhel
9 MF   IRQ Mazin Fayyadh
10 MF   IRQ Mohammed Saleh
11 MF   IRQ Ahmed Sartip
12 GK   IRQ Jalal Hassan
13 FW   IRQ Manar Taha
14 DF   IRQ Najm Shwan
15 DF   MTN Hassan Houbeib
16 MF   SYR Zaher Midani
17 DF   IRQ Alaa Mhawi
18 FW   IRQ Emad Abd A
No. Pos. Nation Player
19 MF   IRQ Mahdi Kamel
20 GK   IRQ Alaa Gatea
21 DF   IRQ Haider Ahmad
22 DF   IRQ Ali Mohammeed
23 MF   IRQ Moyad Abda
24 MF   IRQ Mohammed Ridha Jalil
25 MF   IRQ Ali Raheem
26 MF   IRQ Ali Sadiq
27 DF   IRQ Sajad Hussein
29 DF   IRQ Abbas Qasim
31 GK   IRQ Ali Yasin
35 MF   IRQ Zain Alabdeen
50 FW   MAR Hamza Sanhaji
55 MF   IRQ Saad Abdul-Amir
99 FW   ALG Lahouari Touil

Out on loanEdit

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

No. Pos. Nation Player

Notable playersEdit

For a list of all Al-Zawraa players, see List of Al-Zawraa players'


Al-Zawraa's main rivals are Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, with whom they contest the Iraqi El Clasico. They are also rivals with Al-Shorta and Al-Talaba.



Dates Name[2]
1969–1973   Abdul-Wahab Khalaf
1973–1974   Dawud Al-Azzawi
1974–1975   Rasheed Radhi
1975–1977   Saadi Salih
1977–1984   Anwar Jassam
1984–1985   Rasheed Radhi
1985–1986   Wathiq Naji
1986–1991   Falah Hassan
1991   Ali Kadhim
1991–1992   Ammo Baba
1992   Nawar Hussein
1992–1993   Anwar Jassam
1993   Abdul-Amir Naji
1993–1994   Ammo Baba
1994–1995   Kadhim Khalaf
1995   Kadhim Al-Rubaie
1985   Amer Jameel
1995   Hadi Mutanish
1995–1996   Adnan Hamad
1996–1997   Hadi Mutanish
1997   Ammo Baba
Dates Name
1997–1998   Anwar Jassam
1998   Adnan Hamad
1998–1999   Amer Jameel
1999–2001   Adnan Hamad
2001   Ibrahim Ali
2001   Sabah Abdul-Jalil
2001   Rasheed Radhi
2001–2002   Adnan Hamad
2002   Kadhim Khalaf
2002   Saad Abdul-Hameed
2002   Akram Salman
2002–2003   Ahmed Radhi
2003   Salam Hashim
2003–2004   Adnan Hamad
2004   Hadi Mutanish
2004–2005   Basim Qasim
2005   Mohammed Hussein Nasrallah
2005–2007   Salih Radhi
2007   Karim Saddam
2007–2008   Radhi Shenaishil
2008   Kadhim Khalaf
Dates Name
2008–2009   Yahya Alwan
2009–2010   Hazem Jassam
2009–2010   Essam Hamad
2010   Mohamed Jassim Mahdi
2010–2011   Radhi Shenaishil
2011   Karim Saddam
2011–2012   Yahya Alwan
2012–2014   Radhi Shenaishil
2014   Jamal Ali
2014–2015   Emad Mohammed
2015–2016   Basim Qasim
2016   Thair Ahmed
2016–2017   Essam Hamad
2017–2019   Ayoub Odisho
2019   Bassim Luaibi (caretaker)
2019   Hakim Shaker
2019–2020   Basim Qasim
2020–2021   Haidar Abdul-Amir (caretaker)
2021   Radhi Shenaishil
2021–   Essam Hamad

Current technical staffEdit

Position Name Nationality
Manager: Essam Hamad  
Assistant manager: Ali Rehema  
Assistant manager: Haidar Abdul-Amir  
Goalkeeping coach: Emad Hashim  
Fitness coach: Ismail Saleem  
Administrative director: Abdul Rahman Rashid  
Age teams supervisor: Raed Khalil  
Age teams supervisor: Abdul Amir Naji  
Reserves coach: Khalid Ghani  
U19 Manager: Abdul Mohsin Mohammed  
U16 Manager: Amir Qasim  
Women's futsal coach: Samir Saad  

Updated to match played December 2020
Source:[citation needed]

Kit suppliersEdit

Period Kit manufacturer
2020– Adidas



Type Competition Titles Winning years Runners-up
National Iraqi Premier League 14 1975–76, 1976–77, 1978–79, 1990–91, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995–96, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2005–06, 2010–11, 2015–16, 2017–18 1977–78, 1979–80, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1996–97, 2007–08, 2020–21
Iraq Division One 1 1974–75
Iraq FA Cup 16 1975–76, 1978–79, 1980–81, 1981–82, 1988–89, 1989–90, 1990–91, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995–96, 1997–98, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2016–17, 2018–19 1987–88, 2015–16, 2020–21
Iraqi Elite Cup 3S 1991, 1999, 2003 1996, 2000
Iraqi Super Cup 5 1998, 1999, 2000, 2017, 2021 1997, 2001, 2019
Regional Iraq Central FA Third Division 1 1973–74
Iraq Central FA Fourth Division 1 1970–71


Competition Titles Winning years Runners-up Third place Fourth place
AFC Champions League 0 1996–97
Asian Cup Winners' Cup 0 1999–2000
  •   record
  • S shared record


  • Arab Cooperation Council Championship
  • Victory Championship
    • Winners (2): 1984, 1986
  • Tournament for the Armed Forces
  • Tishreen Tournament
    • Winners (1): 2004
  • Al-Zawraa Championship
    • Winners (1): 2004
  • Jerusalem International Championship
    • Winners (1): 2000[5]
  • Al-Shaab Friendship Tournament
    • Winners (1): 1999[6]


In domestic competitionsEdit


Year League Iraq Cup Super Cup Elite Cup
1974–75 Promoted (Div. 1) not held Started in
Started in
1975–76 Winner Winner
1976–77 Winner not held
1977–78 Runner-up Quarter-final
1978–79 Winner Winner
1979–80 Runner-up Semi-final
1980–81 Seventh place Winner
1981–82 Fifth place Winner
1982–83 Seventh place Quarter-final
1983–84 Fifth place -
1984–85 not finished not finished
1985–86 Ninth place not held Did not qualify
1986–87 Seventh place - not held
1987–88 Fifth place Runner-up not held
1988–89 Fourth place Winner not held
1989–90 Fourth place Winner not held
1990–91 Winner Winner not held
1991–92 Runner-up Second round not held Winner
1992–93 Runner-up Winner not held Third place
1993–94 Winner Winner not held Third place
1994–95 Winner Winner not held Third place
1995–96 Winner Winner not held Third place
1996–97 Runner-up Semi-final Runner-up Runner-up
1997–98 Third place Winner Winner Third place
1998–99 Winner Winner not held Group stage
1999–2000 Winner Winner Winner Winner
2000–01 Winner not held Winner Runner-up
2001–02 Fourth place Quarter-final Runner-up Group stage
2002–03 not finished Round of 32 Did not qualify Third place
2003–04 not finished not held not held Winner
2004–05 Fourth place not held not held Abolished in
2005–06 Winner not held not held
2006–07 Eighth place not held not held
2007–08 Runner-up not held not held
2008–09 Seventh place not held not held
2009–10 Third place not held not held
2010–11 Winner not held not held
2011–12 Eighth place not held not held
2012–13 Fourth place not finished not held
2013–14 Sixth place not held not held
2014–15 Eighth place not held not held
2015–16 Winner Runner-up not held
2016–17 Fourth place Winner not held
2017–18 Winner not held Winner
2018–19 Third place Winner not held
2019–20 not finished not finished Runner-up
2020–21 Runner-up Runner-up not held
2021–22 TBD TBD Winner

In international competitionsEdit

As of 7 April 2021
Competition Record
G W D L Win %
AFC Champions League 43 19 9 15 044.19
Asian Cup Winners' Cup 8 5 1 2 062.50
AFC Cup 26 12 8 6 046.15
Arab Club Champions Cup 16 5 4 7 031.25
Total 93 41 20 32 044.09

Performance in AFC competitionsEdit

2003: Third qualifying round
2005: Group stage
2007: Group stage
2019: Group stage
2020: Second qualifying round
2021: Second qualifying round
2022: TBD
1996: Second round
1997: Fourth place
1998: Second round
2001: First round
2002: Second round
1994: First round
2000: Runners-up
2009: Round of 16
2012: Round of 16
2017: Zonal semi-final
2018: Group stage

Individual honoursEdit

2009 FIFA Confederations Cup

The following players have played in the FIFA Confederations Cup whilst playing for Al-Zawraa:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Al Zawraa SC". Soccerway. Global Sports Media. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  2. ^ Al-Zawraa Coaches
  3. ^ 1989 results -
  4. ^ 1990 results -
  5. ^ Al-Quds International Championship -
  6. ^ Third Al Sha'ab Friendship Tournament 1999 (Sharjah) -

[1] [2]

External linksEdit