Nejmeh SC

Nejmeh Sporting Club (Arabic: نادي النجمة الرياضي‎, lit. 'The Star Sporting Club') is a Lebanese football club based in the Manara district of Ras Beirut, Beirut. The club was established in Beirut in 1945, and received its license on 28 April 1947. The club promoted gradually along the different divisions, and finally reached the first division in 1951. Nejmeh are considered one of the most popular football teams in Lebanon.

Nejmeh Club Beirut.png
Full nameNejmeh Sporting Club
Nickname(s)القلعة النبيذية‎ (The Burgundy Castle)[1]
Short nameNEJ, NMH, NSC
Founded10 March 1945; 75 years ago (10 March 1945)
GroundRafic Hariri Stadium[a]
ChairmanAsaad Saccal
ManagerMoussa Hojeij
LeagueLebanese Premier League
2019–20Lebanese Premier League (season abandoned)
WebsiteClub website

Historically, the club is second only to their cross-city rivals Ansar in the Lebanese Premier League: Ansar have won 13 titles while Nejmeh have won eight. Nejmeh are also second to their rivals in amount of Lebanese Cups won over the years, with a total of six cups compared to Ansar's 14. Nejmeh however do lead in amount of Elite Cup wins, with a total of 11 championships, as well as in the number of Lebanese Super Cup wins, having won it six times whereas Ansar have won it four times. The rivalry between the two clubs has been dubbed the Beirut derby.

In Asia, Nejmeh were runners-up in the 2005 AFC Cup, where they lost to Al-Faisaly of Jordan. Other than that, they won an Arab tournament known as the Al-Adha Cup four times, last time being in 1991.


1945–1951: Establishment of the clubEdit

Nejmeh's lineup in 1945.

The club was founded in 1945 as an association football club. The first provisional committee of Nejmeh Club was formed in 1945 and included:[2]

  • Anis Radwan (President)
  • Yahia Daroub (Vice-President)
  • Noureddine Hamedeh (General Secretary)
  • Amin Monzer
  • Hamzah Daroub
  • Salah Sinno

This committee applied for a license at the Lebanese Government in 1945, which was issued on 28 April 1947.[2] The club qualified for the Lebanese First Division in 1951.

The choice of the name of the club came on 11 October 1945, when a night meeting was held at Anis Radwan's house to discuss the affairs of the team. Looking at the sky's stars, Radwan decided to call the team Al-Nejmeh (The Star).[2]

In 1951, Papken Poyajian was the president of the club.

1970–1987: The golden eraEdit

The major breakthrough came in 1970 with the rise of the golden team at Nejmeh Club that included the best players in Lebanon. Mohammad Hatoum, Hassan Shatila, Mahmoud Shatila, Habib Kammouneh, Zein Hashem, Jamal El Khatib, Youssef El Ghoul, to mention a few, with the rest of their teammates. This golden team led the way to a decade of glory for Nejmeh.

The period of the 1970s was the best in the club history. Nejmeh dominated the Lebanese scene and, after becoming known worldwide, many famous players, such as Pelé[3][4][5][6] and Bebeto,[7][8][9] played matches with Nejmeh as honour guests.

Nejmeh won the FA Cup for the first time in its history on 31 October 1971, when they won 3–1 against Safa.[10] Hani Abdelfattah scored the first goal for Safa at the 17th minute, and Jamal Al Khatib equalized for Nejmeh in the 25th minute.[10] The second half saw Nejmeh score two goals: Hassan Shatila in the 61th minute, and Mahmoud Chatila in the 78th minute. Sarkis Demerjian refereed the game with Amin Al Fata and Harout Avikian as his assistants.[10] The game was a repeat of the 1964 final, which Safa had won; Adnan Hariri scored the sole goal of the game.[10]

In the late 1970s and the 1980s, the Lebanese Civil War prevailed the Lebanese scene. The Lebanese championship was suspended for 12 years (1975–1987).

1997–2005: The second golden eraEdit

The Arab world witnessed the second golden era of Nejmeh from 1997 till 2004, where they had the longest winning streak in the Arab history with players such as: Moussa Hojeij, Abbas Ahmed Atwi, Mohammed Ghaddar, Ali Nasseredine, Bilal Najjarin, Khaled Hamieh, Akram Moghrabi, Errol McFarlane, Abbas Shahrour, Mohammad Kassas, Hussein Dokmak, Faisal Antar, Mohammed Halaweh and Haitham Zein. The club won the 1999–2000 Lebanese Premier League title.

In 2003, a new administration of the club was elected after more than 30 years under the presidency of Omar Ghandour (1969–2003). The new president was Mohammad Fanj. In 2005, the administration resigned, and a new election took place with a new administration, headed by Mr. Mohammad Amin Daouk, being elected.

2014–present: Recent historyEdit

Since 2014, Nejmeh have won the League and FA Cup once, in 2014, the Super Cup twice, in 2014 and 2016, and the Elite Cup three times in a row, in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Colours and badgeEdit

Ever since the club's foundation, the traditional and primary color of Nejmeh has been burgundy red.[11] The club's badge is composed of a star in the center, in reference to the club's name which, in Arabic, means "Star".[2] The two cedars on the side of the logo recall Lebanon's national symbol.

In 2019 the logo underwent various changes: the star changed from white to gold, the cedars from green to burgundy and the text from burgundy to black. Other minor changes have also been made such as the enlargement of the width of the white border, and the shift of the text "Beirut 1945", which moved from the center of the star to underneath it.[12]

Shirt sponsors and manufacturersEdit

The following is a list of kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors worn by Nejmeh from 2000 onwards.[13]

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt Sponsor
2000–2003 Adidas LBC
2003–2005 A-Line Coca-Cola
2005–2006 Adidas None
2006–2007 Bankmed
2007–2008 None
2008–2010 A-Line Bankmed
2010–2011 Lotto
2011–2012 Joma
2012–2013 Lotto
2013–2014 Peak
2014–2015 Lotto
2015–2016 Jako
2016–2018 P4
2018–2019 Capelli Nexen Tire
2019 Jako None
2019– Capelli Nexen Tire


The club stadium is located in Al Manara area in Beirut, Lebanon.[14] The stadium consists of a football field, and spaces that accommodate around 5,000 spectators, together with a VIP seats area that accommodates around 100 guests, a cafeteria, and a gymnasium.[15]

The old club stadium first consisted of a sand training field over the land number 704 in Ras Beirut area with no facilities or fences.[15] The stadium went through a rehabilitation process, with improvements including implanting the field with grass, increasing the seats spaces to allow more spectators, and enhancing the stadium facilities, walls, and fences. The first phase of the process started in June 2003 and was completed in late March 2004.[15]

On 21 February 2005, the stadium was named "The Martyr Rafic Hariri Stadium" in honour of the late Prime Minister.[15]


Founded on 9 February 2018,[16] Nejmeh's "Ultras Supernova" was the first ultras group to be introduced in Lebanon.[17][18][19] The name "Supernova" is a reference to the etymology of Nejmeh which, in Arabic, means "Star".

Prior to the Arab Club Champions Cup game against Al-Ahly of Egypt, played on 13 August 2018, seven "Ultras Supernova" fans were arrested by the Egyptian national security because of the negative connotations the word "Ultras" has in Egypt.[20] The fans have been returned to Lebanon by request of the Lebanese Ambassador to Cairo.[21]

Club rivalriesEdit

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

The Beirut derby with Ansar 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.[11]

In recent years another fierce rivalry has developed, between Nejmeh and Ahed. Also based in Beirut, Ahed have won the majority of league titles since the 2014–15 season. Tensions between the two teams have also forced the federation to change venues multiple times.[22] Most noticeably, in the 2016–17 season, Nejmeh refused to play against Ahed in the league title decider and were sanctioned six points by the federation.[23]

Another rivalry that has developed in recent years is with Salam Zgharta. Since the 2016–17 season, Salam Zgharta and Nejmeh have played various intense games between each other, with some escalating in offensive chants.[24]

Other important matches are with Safa and Racing, both located in the same city as Nejmeh.


Current squadEdit

As of 28 July 2020

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 Ali Sabeh
2 DF   LBN Ali Al Saadi
5 DF   LBN Mostafa Shamaa
9 FW   LBN Ali Salman Alaaeddine
10 FW   LBN Edmond Chehade
11 FW   LBN Khaled Takaji
12 DF   LBN Abdullah Aich
13 MF   LBN Mohamad Salem
14 MF   LBN Hassan Annan
17 MF   LBN Mahmoud Siblini
18 DF   LBN Kassem El Zein
19 DF   LBN Ali Hamam (captain)
20 MF   LBN Haidar Khreiss
21 GK   LBN Ahmad Taktouk
23 DF   LBN Ali Faroukh
No. Pos. Nation Player
24 DF   LBN Maher Sabra
27 MF   LBN Khalil Bader
33 DF   LBN Andrew Sawaya
77 MF   LBN Mehdi El Zein
88 MF   LBN Hassan Fardous
95 GK   LBN Mohamad Abdel Mawla
GK   LBN Mohammad Bechara
MF   LBN Abbas Ahmed Atwi
MF   LBN Mahmoud Kaawar
MF   LBN Omar Zeineddine
MF   LBN Issa Khreiss
MF   LBN Hassan Kourani
MF   LBN Hussein Saadeh
FW   LBN Omar El Kurdi

Other players under contractEdit

As of 18 June 2020

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
44 MF   SEN Idrissa Niang

Out on loanEdit

As of 28 July 2020

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
DF   LBN Hussein Sharafeddine (at Safa until 30 June 2021)[25]
MF   LBN Ali Bazzi (at Shabab Bourj until 30 June 2021)
No. Pos. Nation Player
FW   LBN Issa Bazzi (at Shabab Bourj until 30 June 2021)

Notable playersEdit

Players in international competitions
Competition Player National team
2000 AFC Asian Cup Abbas Chahrour   Lebanon
Wahid El Fattal   Lebanon
Mohamed Halawi   Lebanon
Moussa Hojeij   Lebanon
2007 AFC Asian Cup Bassim Abbas   Iraq
2012 Africa Cup of Nations Osama Chtiba   Libya
2017 Africa Cup of Nations Hassan Wasswa   Uganda
2019 AFC Asian Cup Kassem El Zein   Lebanon
Ali Hamam   Lebanon
Hassan Maatouk   Lebanon
Nader Matar   Lebanon






Asian recordEdit

In 1982, Nejmeh reached the Arab Club Champions Cup final but lost to Iraqi club Al-Shorta.[28] In 2005, Nejmeh reached the final of the AFC Cup and lost to Al-Faisaly of Jordan: this was the first time a Lebanese football team had reached the final of any Asian competition.[11]

1996–97: Second round
2002–03: First Round
2004: Quarter-finals
2005: Final
2006: Semi-finals
2007: Semi-finals
2010: Group stage
2014: Round of 16
2015: Group stage
2017: Group stage
2019: Group stage
1990–91: First round
1997–98: First round
1998–99: First round

Managerial historyEdit


  1. ^ Only used as a training ground.


  1. ^ "The Birth, Death and Re-Birth of Lebanese Football | Ahdaaf". Archived from the original on 2 April 2019. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d "Establishment of the club". NEJMEH SC. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  3. ^ pictures of the visit and details about Pelé's Nejmeh experience in Arabic.
  4. ^ Set of pictures of Pelé with Nejmeh SC in Lebanon
  5. ^ Picture of Pelé with Nejmeh Club prior to the friendly game where he played for the team.
  6. ^ video of Pelé's visit effect on the Lebanese civil war
  7. ^ Bebeto in the Nejmeh Club kit during the game.
  8. ^ Picture of Bebeto in Beirut with details about the visit.
  9. ^ "O Portal de Notícias do Estado de S. Paulo". Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  10. ^ a b c d "النجمة بطل كأس لبنان للمرة الأولى عام 1971 - فادي سمعان". نداء الوطن. 14 May 2020. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  11. ^ a b c "Great Asian Derbies – Al Ansar SC vs Nejmeh SC (Beirut)". GhanaSoccernet. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  12. ^ "شعار جديد لنادي النجمة". Elsport News (in Arabic). Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  13. ^ "Timeline Images". NEJMEH SC. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  14. ^ Kabboul, Tamarah (8 February 2019). "Discover old Beirut in these 15 amazing photos". Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  15. ^ a b c d "The Stadium". NEJMEH SC. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  16. ^ Lebanon, Football. "السوبرنوفا في الذكرى الثانية للتأسيس: حلمنا ان نرفع إسم نادينا عالمياً". Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  17. ^ "المدرجات لا تعترف إلا بالشجعان". Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  18. ^ COPA90. "Ultras Supernova: Lebanon's First Ultras Group". Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  19. ^ "مباريات قويّة في الجولة العاشرة". الأخبار (in Arabic). Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  20. ^ "قضية مشجعي "النجمة" الموقوفين في مصر... ماذا جرى معهم؟". LBCI Lebanon (in Arabic). Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  21. ^ "Lebanese Nejmeh fans to be deported days after arrest at Borg al-Arab Stadium | MadaMasr". Archived from the original on 25 February 2019. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  22. ^ "The Hezbollah Club". BabaGol. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  23. ^ FaLebanon (23 February 2019). "Salam Zgharta vs Nejmeh Rivalry: The Sequel". Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  24. ^ Mahfoud, Maroun (23 February 2019). "Salam Zgharta vs Nejmeh Rivalry: The Sequel". FA Lebanon. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  25. ^ Haroun, Ali (17 September 2019). "ميركاتو لبناني كبير استعدادا لموسم 2019-2020". El Maestro Sport (in Arabic). Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  26. ^ "النجمة عميد الأندية اللبنانية... عراقة وتاريخ وإنجازات — Al Laeb Al Arabiاللاعب العربي". Al Laeb Al Arabi (in Arabic). Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  27. ^ "Bazzi '12 Signs Professional Contract With Nejmeh Sporting Club In Lebanon". University of Detroit Mercy Athletics. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  28. ^ "Al Shorta SC Website". Al Shorta SC Website. Retrieved 23 February 2019.

External linksEdit