Al Ansar FC

Al Ansar Football Club (Arabic: نادي الأنصار الرياضي‎, lit. 'The Supporters Sporting Club') is a football club based in Tariq El Jdideh, a district in Beirut, Lebanon, that competes in the Lebanese Premier League. Formed in 1951, the club did not win its first Lebanese Premier League until 1988. It went on to set a world record by winning the league 11 seasons in a row.

Ansar
Alansar logo.png
Full nameAl Ansar Football Club
Nickname(s)الزعيم الأخضر‎ (The Green Leader)[1]
Short nameAnsar
Founded1951; 69 years ago (1951)
GroundAnsar Stadium[a]
ChairmanNabil Badr
ManagerAbdul-Wahab Abu Al-Hail
LeagueLebanese Premier League
2019–20Lebanese Premier League (season abandoned)
WebsiteClub website
Current season

The club 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.[2][3] Nabil Badr was the club's president and main patron between 2012 and 2020.[4][5] Ansar's major rivalry is with Nejmeh: dubbed the Beirut derby, it is the most anticipated game in Lebanon.

HistoryEdit

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.[6] 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.[6]

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.[6] In 1965, Ansar moved to Beirut and won the 1966 Lebanese Second Division and was promoted to the Lebanese Premier League the following season.[6]

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.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
AFC 96-97
 
 
 
 
 
 
1999-2000
 
 
 
 
 
 
2000-2001
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2002-2003
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2004-2005
 
 
 
 
 
2010-2011
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2015-2016

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.

SupportersEdit

Although the club's roots lie in the Sunni community in Beirut,[7] 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.[7] In 2018, following the introduction of ultras groups in Lebanon, "Ultras Ansari 18", commonly shortened to "UA18", was formed.[8]

Club rivalriesEdit

 
Ansar fans during the Beirut derby at the Camille Chamoun Stadium in 2018.

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.[9]

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.[10] In addition Ansar has a rivalry with Safa, also based in Beirut.

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

As of 1 October 2020[11]

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   LBN Hassan Moghnieh
3 DF   LBN Mootaz Jounaidi (captain)
4 DF   LBN Anas Abu Saleh
5 DF   LBN Nassar Nassar
6 MF   LBN Jihad Ayoub
7 FW   LBN Hassan Maatouk
8 MF   LBN Ghazi Honeine
9 FW   LBN Karim Darwiche
10 MF   LBN Abbas Ali Atwi
11 MF   PLE Mohamad Hbous
16 DF   LBN Hassan "Shibriko" Chaito
17 FW   LBN Alaa Al Baba
19 MF   LBN Nader Matar
No. Pos. Nation Player
20 MF   LBN Hassan "Moni" Chaito
21 DF   LBN Khaled Ali
22 FW   LBN Mahmoud Kojok
24 FW   LBN Hassan Kaafarani
27 DF   LBN Hussein Eldor
30 DF   LBN Hassan Bitar
69 MF   LBN Bilal Najdi
77 DF   LBN Youssef Anbar
88 FW   LBN Nasser Mostafa
91 GK   LBN Nazih Assaad
93 FW   LBN Hassan Chehade
96 GK   LBN Hadi Mortada
99 FW   LBN Ahmad Hijazi

Notable playersEdit

Players in international competitions
Competition Player National team
1996 CONCACAF Gold Cup David Nakhid   Trinidad and Tobago
2000 AFC Asian Cup Jadir   Lebanon
Newton   Lebanon
Jamal Taha   Lebanon
2007 AFC Asian Cup Ahmad Mnajed   Iraq
Salih Sadir   Iraq
2019 AFC Asian Cup Hassan "Moni" Chaito   Lebanon
Hassan "Shibriko" Chaito   Lebanon
Adnan Haidar   Lebanon
Mootaz Jounaidi   Lebanon

HonoursEdit

LeagueEdit

CupEdit

Asian recordEdit

AFC Champions League: 11 appearances

1988–89: Qualifying stage
1989–90: Qualifying stage
1991: Qualifying stage
1993–94: Quarter-finals
1994–95: Quarter-finals
1995: Second round
1997–98: Quarter-finals
1998–99: Second round
1999–2000: Second round
2000–01: First round
2002–03: Qualifying stage

AFC Cup: 7 appearances

2007: Group stage
2008: Group stage
2011: Group stage
2013: Group stage
2018: Group stage
2020: Cancelled
2021: TBD

Asian Cup Winners' Cup: 2 appearances

1991–92: First round
1996–97: First round

Chairmen historyEdit

  •   Mustafa El-Shami (1948–1950)
  •   Ameen Itani (1950–1954)
  •   Fouad Rustom (1954–1956)
  •   Abdul Jalil Al-Sabra (1956–1963)
  •   Jamil Hasbeeny (1963–1965)
  •   Abed El-Jamil Ramadan (1965–1967)
  •   Khaled Kabbani (1967–1975)
  •   Said Wanid (1975–1977)
  •   Salim Diab (1977–2008)
  •   Karim Diab (2008–2012)
  •   Nabil Badr (2012–present)

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Only used as a training ground.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "الأنصار يواصل البحث عن النجمة 14... الاتحاد والتحكيم ضربا الزعيم الأخضر؟". An-Nahar. 16 April 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  2. ^ Montague, James (24 October 2007). "In Lebanon, even soccer is tainted by sectarian strife". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 October 2010.
  3. ^ Alami, Mona (1 September 2009). "Religious about football". Archived from the original on 19 April 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2010.
  4. ^ "Lebanon's national teams fly above entrenched sectarianism among supporters". The National. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  5. ^ "مدير الانصار ليوروسبورت: هذه أسباب إستقالة نبيل بدر وهذه المقترحات!". arabia.eurosport.com. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d "The Birth, Death and Re-Birth of Lebanese Football | Ahdaaf". Archived from the original on 2 April 2019. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Lebanon's national teams fly above entrenched sectarianism among supporters". The National. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  8. ^ البداية من "المدينة" والختام فيها. الأخبار (in Arabic). Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  9. ^ "Great Asian Derbies – Al Ansar SC vs Nejmeh SC (Beirut)". GhanaSoccernet. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  10. ^ "The Hezbollah Club". BabaGol. Retrieved 24 May 2019.
  11. ^ "Al Ansar FC". FA Lebanon. Retrieved 1 October 2020.

External linksEdit