Al Ahed FC

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Al Ahed Football Club (Arabic: نادي العهد الرياضي‎, lit. 'The Covenant Sporting Club') is a Lebanese football club based in Ouzai, a district in Beirut. Founded in 1964 as Al Ahed Al Jadeed, the club started in the Third Division before they first reached the Lebanese Premier League in 1996.

Ahed
Al-Ahed SC (logo).png
Full nameAl Ahed Football Club
Nickname(s)القلعة الصفراء‎ (The Yellow Castle)[1]
Short nameAhed
Founded1964; 56 years ago (1964), as Al Ahed Al Jadeed
1985; 35 years ago (1985), as Nejmeh Al Ahed Al Jadeed
GroundAl Ahed Stadium[a]
Capacity2,000
ChairmanTamim Sleiman
ManagerBassem Marmar
LeagueLebanese Premier League
2018–19Lebanese Premier League, 1st of 12 (champions)

Nicknamed "the Yellow Castle" (Arabic: القلعة الصفراء‎), Ahed have won one AFC Cup title, seven Premier League titles, six FA Cup titles, seven Super Cup titles, five Elite Cup titles, and one Federation Cup title. They earned their first league title in 2008. In a period stretching from 2008 to 2010, they went unbeaten for 44 consecutive games. In 2011, Ahed became the first team in Lebanon to accomplish both a domestic treble and quadruple after they won the league, the cup, the Super Cup and the Elite Cup in the same season. In 2019, Ahed became the first Lebanese side to win the AFC Cup, defeating North Korean side April 25 in the final.

The club primarily receives support from the Shia community in Beirut. Ahed are also affiliated with Hezbollah, and are fierce rivals with fellow Beirut club Nejmeh.

HistoryEdit

Early history (1964–1989)Edit

Ahed were founded in 1964 as Al Ahed Al Jadeed (Arabic: العهد الجديد‎) in Dahieh, a southern suburb of Beirut. Under the presidency of Mahieddine Anouti, the club played in the Lebanese Third Division.[2][3] During the 1970s, Ahed played in Msaytbeh, an area of Beirut, under the name Al Huda Islamic Club (Arabic: نادي الهدى الإسلامي‎). However, the club stopped playing as a consequence of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982.[3][4]

In 1984, Anouti bought a license under the name Nejmeh Al Ahed Al Jadeed (Arabic: نادي نجمة العهد الجديد‎) but did not actually form a club.[3][4] On 2 May 1985, the Lebanese Football Association granted membership to the club to continue playing football, with Mohammad Assi as president.[3][4] During the 1988–89 season in the Second Division, the team qualified for a playoff match against Al-Majdi. However, the match ended 1–1 to prevent Ahed from being promoted to the Premier League.[4]

Lebanese Premier League (1992–2005)Edit

In 1992, Abdo Saad became the new president and changed the name of the club to Al Ahed (Arabic: العهد‎) because its leaders wanted a name with a Quranic meaning.[3] In 1996, Amin Sherri became president after Saad resigned even though Ahed had reached the Second Division promotion play-offs.[3] On 20 December 1996, Ahed were promoted to the Lebanese Premier League for the first time in their history. After two seasons in the Premier League, they were relegated to the Second Division, before they earned promotion back to the Premier League.[3][4]

After the club's second promotion to the Premier League, Sherri resigned as club president and was replaced by Osama Al-Halabawi.[3] Under Al-Halabawi, Ahed reached the finals of the 2001–02 FA Cup, the finals of the 2002 Elite Cup, and third place in the league during the 2002–03 season.[3] Between 2004 and 2005, Ahed won two FA Cups and one Federation Cup.[3][4][5]

Domestic and continental success (2007–present)Edit

The club won their first league title in 2007–08;[6] they went on a record 44-match unbeaten streak in the Lebanese Premier League from 26 October 2008 to 6 November 2010.[7] In the 2010–11 season, Ahed won the league, the cup, the Super Cup and the Elite Cup, becoming the first team in Lebanon to accomplish both a domestic treble and a quadruple.[8][9] On 25 June 2014, Tamim Sleimen was appointed president of the club by unanimous decision.[10] In his first year as president, Ahed won the 2014–15 Premier League, the club's 4th in total.[11]

After Ahed won the 2018–19 Lebanese Premier League, their 7th in total, Ahed became the three-time defending champions, a position held once before by Ansar in 1992.[12] Ahed beat Al-Jazeera at the 2019 AFC Cup to reach the final for the first time in their history. They became the third Lebanese team to be a finalist at an AFC Cup; the first two were Nejmeh in 2005 and Safa in 2008.[13] On 4 November 2019, Ahed beat North Korean club 25 April 1–0 in the final due to a header by Issah Yakubu, becoming the first Lebanese team to win the competition.[14] Ahed conceded only three goals in 11 matches; they had nine clean sheets, including five in a row in five knockout matches, as they went unbeaten throughout the tournament.[15]

StadiumEdit

Ahed owns the Al Ahed Stadium in Beirut. Located near Rafic Hariri Airport, the venue can hold 2,000 people.[16] The club only uses its stadium for training. For games at home in club matches, Ahed uses various other stadiums in Lebanon such as the Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium and the Saida International Stadium, as they have a larger capacity.[17]

In 2018, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Hezbollah, a Shia political party and militant group based in Lebanon, in a speech of using the Al Ahed Stadium as a missile cluster.[2] Gebran Bassil, the Lebanese Minister of Foreign Affairs, denied the claims.[18][19]

SupportersEdit

Ahed's fan base primarily consists of Beirut's Shia community.[20] The team has strong ties with Hezbollah, with whom they share the same colour, yellow.[2][21][22] Ahed is also affiliated with Iranian club Sepahan, Turkish club Adanaspor and Lebanese club Bekaa.[23] Following the introduction of ultras groups in Lebanon in 2018,[24] Ahed formed "Ultras Yellow Inferno".[25]

Club rivalriesEdit

Ahed and Ansar are rivals; also located in Beirut, Ansar identify with the Hariri family and represent the most nationalist stream.[2] In recent years, Nejmeh, another Beirut-based team, has become a fierce rival of Ahed as well. Nejmeh is the most-supported team in Lebanon, and tensions between Nejmeh and Ahed have forced the federation to change venues multiple times.[2]

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

As of 14 February 2020[26]

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

No. Position Player
2   DF Mohamad El Housseini
3   DF Jamal Khalife
4   DF Nour Mansour
6   DF Hussein Zein
7   MF Hussein Monzer
8   MF Hussein Dakik
9   FW Mahdi Fahes
10   MF Mohamad Haidar
11   FW Ahmad Zreik
13   MF Daouda Diémé
14   MF Walid Shour
15   MF Haytham Faour (captain)
16   FW Issouf Ouattara
No. Position Player
17   FW Mohammad Masri
18   MF Hassan Srour
19   FW Mohamad Jaber
20   MF Said Saad
21   GK Mohamad Hammoud
22   FW Karim Darwiche (on loan from Akhaa Ahli Aley)
23   DF Ali Hadid
25   MF Ali Reda
29   FW Ali Haidar Ahmad
30   FW Tarek El Ali
96   GK Ali Daher
98   GK Hadi Khalil

Out on loanEdit

As of 14 February 2020

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

No. Position Player
  GK Mehdi Khalil (at   Zob Ahan until 30 June 2020)[27]
  DF Hussein Fahes (at Shabab Bourj until 30 June 2020)[28]
  DF Mohamad Hayek (at Safa until 30 June 2020)[28]
  DF Khalil Khamis (at   Pahang until 30 June 2020)[29]
  DF Ahmad Younes (at Shabab Sahel until 30 June 2020)[28]
  MF Rabih Ataya (at   UiTM until 30 June 2020)[30]
No. Position Player
  MF Hussein Awada (at Shabab Bourj until 30 June 2020)[28]
  MF Issah Yakubu (at   Al-Arabi until 30 June 2020)[31]
  FW Mohamad Fahes (at Safa until 30 June 2020)[28]
  FW Hussein Haidar (at Shabab Sahel until 30 June 2020)[28]
  FW Mohamad Kdouh (at   Al Jandal until 30 April 2020)[32]
  FW Hadi Madi (at Chabab Ghazieh until 30 June 2020)[28]

Notable playersEdit

Players in international competitions
Competition Player National team
2019 AFC Asian Cup Rabih Ataya   Lebanon
Samir Ayass   Lebanon
Haytham Faour   Lebanon
Mohamad Haidar   Lebanon
Mehdi Khalil   Lebanon
Nour Mansour   Lebanon
Ahmad Al Saleh   Syria

HonoursEdit

As of 4 November 2019[6][5]

DomesticEdit

ContinentalEdit

Asian recordEdit

Ahed first participated in an Asian competition in the 2005 AFC Cup, where they were drawn in the group stage with Indian club Dempo and Jordanian club Al-Hussein.[33] After finishing second in the group, Ahed faced Sun Hei in the quarter-finals, to whom they lost 2–3 on aggregate.[33]

Before they won the competition, their best performance was in 2016, when they reached the semi-finals before Iraqi club Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya eliminated them 3–4 on aggregate.[34] In 2019, Ahed defeated April 25 to win the AFC Cup. They are the first Lebanese side to do so; previous finalists Nejmeh and Safa were defeated in the 2005 and the 2008 finals, respectively.[14]

2005: Quarter-finals
2006: Group stage
2009: Group stage
2010: Group stage
2011: Round of 16
2012: Group stage
2016: Semi-finals
2018: Zonal semi-finals
2019: Champions
2020: TBD

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Only used as a training ground.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "مجموعة الزمالك.. العهد اللبناني 'القلعة الصفراء'". البوابة نيوز (in Arabic). Archived from the original on 24 April 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e Levy, Uri (4 October 2018). "The Hezbollah Club". BabaGol. Archived from the original on 17 February 2019. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Gedeon, Abdo. "Mohammad Assi". www.abdogedeon.com (in Arabic). Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "فريق: العهد". www.kooora.com (in Arabic). Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  5. ^ a b Stokkermans, Karel. "Lebanon – List of Cup Winners". www.rsssf.com. Archived from the original on 4 June 2019. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  6. ^ a b Fujioka, Atsushi. "Lebanon – List of Champions". www.rsssf.com. Archived from the original on 4 June 2019. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  7. ^ Stokkermans, Karel. "Al-Ahed's series of 44 matches unbeaten in the Lebanese League". www.rsssf.com. Archived from the original on 9 March 2016. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Lebanon – Al Ahed – Results, fixtures, squad, statistics, photos, videos and news – Soccerway". us.soccerway.com. Archived from the original on 10 July 2019. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
  9. ^ Schöggl, Hans. "Lebanon 2010/11". www.rsssf.com. Archived from the original on 15 January 2019. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  10. ^ "تميم سليمان رئيساً لنادي العهد الرياضي". archive.alahednews.com.lb (in Arabic). 25 June 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  11. ^ "العهد يحتفل بالدوري اللبناني بعد تعادله مع الأنصار". kooora.com. 8 May 2015. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  12. ^ الميادين, شبكة (7 April 2019). "نادي العهد... قصة طموح ومثابرة نحو المجد". شبكة الميادين (in Arabic). Archived from the original on 10 April 2019. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  13. ^ Lebanon, Football (1 October 2019). "العهد الى نهائي كأس الإتحاد الآسيوي لأول مرة في تاريخه". football-lebanon.com. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  14. ^ a b "Al Ahed clinch historic title". www.the-afc.com. 4 November 2019. Archived from the original on 5 November 2019. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  15. ^ a b c "Al Ahed's Khalil named MVP". www.the-afc.com. 4 November 2019. Archived from the original on 5 November 2019. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  16. ^ Klaiber, Timo. "Al Ahed Stadium". klaiber-it.de (in German). Archived from the original on 29 March 2019. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  17. ^ "Lebanese League 2018/2019". www.goalzz.com. Archived from the original on 29 March 2019. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  18. ^ "زاسبيكين من ملعب العهد: ما تدعيه إسرائيل غير صحيح ويجب أن نكون حذرين". Elnashra News (in Arabic). 1 October 2019. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  19. ^ "باسيل يجول في ملعب العهد ويدحض مزاعم إسرائيل". Elsport News (in Arabic). 1 October 2018. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  20. ^ Alami, Mona (1 September 2009). "Religious about football". NOW Lebanon. Archived from the original on 19 April 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2010.
  21. ^ Montague, James (24 October 2007). "In Lebanon, even football is tainted by sectarian strife". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 17 February 2015. Retrieved 15 October 2010.
  22. ^ Levy, Uri (3 October 2016). "Derbies and defining history: Middle East football this week". alaraby. Archived from the original on 17 February 2019. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  23. ^ "Khabar Varzeshi Newspaper" (3400). 31 January 2009.
  24. ^ COPA90. "Ultras Supernova: Lebanon's First Ultras Group". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  25. ^ Zeineddine, Ali (7 December 2018). "مباريات قويّة في الجولة العاشرة". al-akhbar.com (in Arabic). Archived from the original on 24 February 2019. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  26. ^ "Al Ahed FC". www.the-afc.com. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  27. ^ "حارس منتخب لبنان والعهد مهدي خليل إلى الدوري الإيراني". Al Mayadeen (in Arabic). 7 January 2020. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  28. ^ a b c d e f g Haroun, Ali (17 September 2019). "ميركاتو لبناني كبير استعدادا لموسم 2019–2020". El Maestro Sport (in Arabic). Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  29. ^ "خليل خميس يوقع رسمياً مع Bahang Fa الماليزي". football-lebanon.com (in Arabic). 13 February 2020. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  30. ^ "Football: UiTM wrap up foreign signings with Ataya | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  31. ^ "يعقوبو إلى العربي الكويتي". football-lebanon.com. 21 January 2020. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  32. ^ "هدّاف العهد ينتقل إلى دوري الدرجة الثانية السعودي". kooora.com. 27 January 2020. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  33. ^ a b Stokkermans, Karel. "Asian Club Competitions 2005". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  34. ^ "2016 AFC Cup: Iraqi club Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya makes the final, set to play either of Bengaluru FC or Johor Darul Ta'zim". www.yahoo.com. Retrieved 27 October 2019.

External linksEdit