Salam Zgharta FC

Salam Zgharta Football Club (Arabic: نادي السلام الرياضي زغرتا, lit.'Zgharta Peace Sporting Club'), known as Salam Zgharta or simply Salam, is a football club based in Zgharta, Lebanon, that competes in the Lebanese Premier League.

Salam Zgharta
Logo salam zgharta.png
Full nameSalam Zgharta Football Club
Short nameSalam
Founded1933; 90 years ago (1933), as Salam Achrafieh SC
15 August 1971; 51 years ago (15 August 1971), as Salam Zgharta FC
GroundZgharta Sports Complex
Capacity5,500
ChairmanEstephan Frangieh
ManagerRicardo Cerqueira
LeagueLebanese Premier League
2021–22Lebanese Second Division, 2nd of 12 (promoted)
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Founded in 1933 as Salam Achrafieh, the club was renamed Salam Zgharta in 1971; their supporters are mainly from the Zgharta region and other districts in North Lebanon. The club's traditional kit colours are red and black.[1] In 2014 they won the Lebanese FA Cup, their only major trophy to date.[2]

HistoryEdit

Salam Achrafieh (1933–1971)Edit

Salam Achrafieh was a club established in Ashrafieh, a district in the northern Beirut.[citation needed] This club is considered one of the founders of the Lebanese Football Association, as Georges Slim represented the club in the first general assembly of the association on 22 March 1933.[citation needed]

In May 1933, Salam Achrafieh hosted a game against Arax and fielded a player called Spiro who wasn't living in Achrafieh.[citation needed] This was considered illegal at the time and the LFA disqualified Salam from the match.[citation needed] This decision was not welcomed by Slim, who was a well-known media personality, and tried to change the executive committee, but ended up failing as Al Nahda SC, the dominating team at the time, didn't approve of the change.[citation needed]

Salam Achrafieh played in the first ever Lebanese Second Division season and ended up winning the trophy after winning 2–0 against Ararad in the final game.[citation needed]

In 1937, Salam Achrafieh became the first ever two-times Second Division winners.[citation needed]

Early history (1971–1990)Edit

Salam Zgharta was founded in 1971, after a group of football enthusiasts bought the licence of former club Salam Achrafieh (Arabic: نادي السلام الأشرفية), based in the Achrafieh district of Beirut.[3] The club's first board of administrators was elected on 15 August 1971, with Father Semaan Douaihy as the club's honorary president, and Youssef Zeidan as the executive president.[citation needed]

The club remained in Achrafieh until 1974, when they moved to Zgharta, in North Lebanon.[citation needed] They competed in the Lebanese Premier League, with Sassine Ghazale funding the club after the move.[citation needed] During the 1974–75 season, Antoine "Al Shakra" Fenianos was the club's first manager.[citation needed] Salam Zgharta's first game was at the Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium against Nejmeh, in which Salam Zgharta lost 5–2.[citation needed] In their first season, the club got demoted to the second division with Riyada Wal Adab, after the early finish of the season due to start of the Lebanese Civil War.[4]

While football in Lebanon was affected by the Civil War, the Lebanese Football Association (LFA) split into two entities, with each organizing its own competitions in the latter stage of the war.[citation needed] Salam Zgharta joined the Eastern Federation and won the Lebanese FA Cup on 12 April 1987, after beating Homentmen in the final (0–0, and 1–0 in the replay).[citation needed] However, following the war, the two federations re-merged and the FA Cup win was voided.[citation needed] During the war, Salam Zgharta played against numerous clubs from Syria, Cyprus, and Romania.[citation needed]

Post-war period (1990–2006)Edit

Following the end of the Civil War, Salam Zgharta were one of the best teams in the league, with a core of players such as Fawzi Yammine and Elias Bou Nassif.[citation needed] The start of the 1990s was positive for the Northern club, finishing third in the 1990–91 season with 35 points.[5] Following the expansion of the Premier League to 20 teams divided into two groups, Salam Zgharta finished the 1991–92 season as second of their group and fourth in the league standing after securing 23 points in 20 games.[5]

In 1992, Kabalan Yammine became Salam Zgharta's president.[citation needed] The club was not able to replicate past success; they stayed the following two seasons in the top flight but then struggled to maintain its position in the Lebanese Premier League for financial reasons. Therefore, the club regularly played in the Lebanese Second Division.[citation needed] In the 1999–2000 season, Salam Zgharta finished fifth in the Lebanese Premier League, their best result under the presidency of Kabalan Yammine.[citation needed] In 1996, Youssef Jabbour got elected vice president.[6] In the mid-2000s, Kabalan lost interest in the club; an election took place in October 2006, three games after the start of the 2006–07 season, and Estephan Frangieh became the president.[3]

Estephan Frangieh's presidency (2006–present)Edit

 
Salam Zgharta (white) against Nejmeh (red) in 2020

In the first season under Estephan Frangieh's presidency (2006–07), the club was relegated to the Second Division.[citation needed] Following their relegation, Frangieh invested heavily in the club and they were promoted right back into the first division in the 2007–08 season.[citation needed] Their stay in the first division only lasted one season as they were relegated again in the 2008–09 season.[citation needed] In 2009, the Merdeshiyeh Stadium was fully renovated, using donations from the fans, and was renamed Zgharta Sports Complex.[citation needed] Salam Zgharta also established its own academy the same year.[citation needed] The club eventually won the 2012–13 Lebanese Second Division after topping Group A, gaining promotion to the Premier League.[citation needed]

In their return to the Premier League in the 2013–14 season, Salam Zgharta hired Peter Meindertsma as their head coach.[citation needed] While the club struggled to avoid relegation in the league, they won the 2013–14 Lebanese FA Cup, after beating Tripoli 1–0 after extra time in the final.[citation needed] In 2015, Salam Zgharta participated for the first time in the AFC Cup after winning the one-legged qualifying play-off round match against Khayr Vahdat 3–0 at home.[citation needed] They went on to win one match, against Al-Nahda of Oman, in six games in the group stage.[citation needed]

In the 2016–17 season, Salam Zgharta started the campaign with a 5–2 win at home against Ansar, the league's record-title holders.[citation needed] Salam finished runners-up, their best ever finish to date, winning 10 games out of 11 at home.[citation needed] They qualified to the 2018–19 Arab Club Champions Cup for the first time, losing 3–2 on aggregate against Raja Casablanca in the round of 32.[citation needed] In the 2020–21 seasons, after eight consecutive seasons in the top flight, Salam Zgharta were relegated to the Second Division.[7] They were promoted back in 2021–22, after finishing second in the Second Division.[8]

Colors and badgesEdit

Following the move from Achrafieh to Zgharta, Salam Zgharta was known for wearing blue at home and white away.[citation needed] After the re-merging of the LFA in 1990, Salam Zgharta opted to change their home colours to red.[citation needed]

The first ever logo of Salam Zgharta was designed in 1971 by artist Pierre Farchakh.[citation needed] It consisted of a circle with the words "Al Salam Zgharta" (Arabic: السلام زغرتا) written in a calligraphic form to take the shape of a pigeon.[citation needed] The design was then changed in 2010, which conserved the round shape.[citation needed] The logo consisted of a circle on top of a bigger circle: the bigger circle was divided in two halves, the top half black with the word "SALAM" is written in white, while the bottom half red with the word "ZGHARTA" also written in white.[citation needed] The smaller circle was made of a football on top of a pigeon, with red underneath the pigeon.[citation needed] The logo was then re-modernized in 2016 by graphic designer Alberto Nakad.[citation needed]

StadiumEdit

Salam Zgharta owns the Zgharta Sports Complex.[citation needed] The stadium is located in the Merdeshiyeh region in Zgharta and currently it can host almost 5,500 people.[citation needed] The stadium was built by the Maronite endowment next to the Sarkis and Bakhos Church, and it was renovated in 2009 using the donations of the club's fans in Zgharta.[citation needed] The same year, the endowment gave the right of usage of the stadium to Salam Zgharta.[citation needed] Other than the football pitch, the complex contains an outdoor basketball court, futsal court, headquarters of the club, cafeteria, gym and a number of studios for the players coming from outside of Zgharta.[citation needed]

The stadium faced a ban from the federation in 1999, which was lifted in 2009.[citation needed]

SupportersEdit

Salam Zgharta supporters are mainly located in the Zgharta and nearby districts.[citation needed] They were known to cause some troubles during matches in the 1990s and 2000s.[citation needed]

Club rivalriesEdit

Salam Zgharta plays the North derby with Tripoli, as they are both located in the same area.[9] Other minor rivalries take place with clubs like Ansar Howara SC and Egtmaaey but Salam Zgharta don't face them much anymore as they are not regular visitors to the first division.[citation needed] The first derby between Salam Zgharta and Tripoli was played on 18 December 2005, at the Rachid Karame Municipality Stadium.[10] The home team, Salam Zgharta, won the game 1–0 after a goal from Wehbe Douaihy at the 58th minute.[11]

Reserve teamEdit

In the 2014–15 season, Salam Zgharta's administration bought a Second Division club called "Al Oummal Tripoli", alongside the contract of Mostafa Matar and Oussama Najjar, for a fee of $120,000.[citation needed] The club was renamed Amal Al Salam Zgharta, and is used as a reserve team in which all academy graduates play to get experience.[citation needed]

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

As of 2 October 2022[12]

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
2 DF   LBN Bilal Beiruti
2   LBN Ahmad El Sayyed
3 DF   LBN Mouhamad Omar Arnaout (captain)
5 MF   LBN Amer Mahfoud (vice-captain)
6 DF   LBN Gescard Bou Daher
7 MF   LBN Imadeddine Karime
7 FW   PLE Ibrahim Abdelwahhab
8 FW   LBN Philippe Ayoub
9 FW   BRA Geronimo Da Silva
10 FW   BRA Vinícius Calamari
11 FW   LBN Abdallah Adra
11 FW   LBN Jason Bayeh
12 DF   LBN Hilal Waride
No. Pos. Nation Player
13 DF   NGA James Innocent
14 MF   LBN Michael Fenianos
16 DF   LBN Patrick Mannah
17 MF   LBN Hicham Naboulsi
20   LBN Anthony Dib
22 DF   LBN Adel Khalil
25 DF   LBN Andrew Farah
25 DF   LBN Joe Khawaja
30 MF   LBN Joseph Yarak
70 DF   LBN Yehya Kahil
89 GK   LBN Mohamad Dakramanji
89 GK   LBN Joseph Bitar
99 GK   LBN Antoine Al Douaihy

Notable playersEdit

Players in international competitions
Competition Player National team
2019 AFC Asian Cup Walid Ismail   Lebanon
Mostafa Matar   Lebanon

Presidential historyEdit

Name Nationality Years
Youssef Zaidan   1971
Sessine Ghazele  
Kabalan Yammine   1992–2006
Estephan Frangieh   2006–present

Managerial historyEdit

Name Nationality Years
Antoine "Al Shakra" Fenianos   1971–????
Thaer Ahmad   1996
Hussein Afeish   2005
Assaf Khalife   2005–????
Ghassan Khawaja[a]   2009
Assaf Khalife   2012–2013
Peter Meindertsma   2013–2015
Louai Abou Karam   2015
Anas Makhlouf   2015–2016
Tarek Jaraya   2016–2017
Maher Sdiri   2017–2018
Tarek Thabet   2018
Ghassan Khawaja   2018–2019
Anis Boujelban[a]   2019
Nouhad Souccar   2019
Ahmad Kadhem   2019
Ghassan Khawaja   2020–2021
Vladimir Vujović   2021–2022
Kazem El Khansa   2022
Andrew Oakley   2022
Ahmed Hafez   2022
Ricardo Cerqueira[13]   2023–present

HonoursEdit

Performance in AFC competitionsEdit

2015: Group stage

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b Caretaker manager
  2. ^ a b As Salam Achrafieh

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Salam Zgharta SC - Lebanon - نادي السلام زغرتا الرياضي - Club Profile, Club History, Club Badge, Results, Fixtures, Historical Logos, Statistics". www.weltfussballarchiv.com. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Summary - Cup - Lebanon - Results, fixtures, tables and news - Soccerway". int.soccerway.com. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b "ممثّل زغرتا: الأشرفية البداية!". الأخبار (in Arabic). Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  4. ^ "وليد شاتيلا الحارس الطائر". 19 August 2020.
  5. ^ a b https://www.abdogedeon.com/volleyball/NOUJOUM/al%20salam.html
  6. ^ shoot 124 10_06-96 page 15 جبور نائبًا لرئيس السلام
  7. ^ Mahfoud, Maroun (31 March 2021). "End of an era". FA Lebanon. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  8. ^ "السلام زغرتا يرافق الشباب الغازية الى الدرجة الأولى". www.akhbaralyawm.com. Retrieved 16 June 2022.
  9. ^ Lebanon, Football. "السلام زغرتا يحسم ديربي الشمال ويضمن البقاء في دوري الأضواء". football-lebanon.com. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  10. ^ "منتديات كووورة". forum.kooora.com. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  11. ^ "Lebanon 2005/06".
  12. ^ "Salam SC Zgharta". Global Sports Archive. Retrieved 2 October 2022.
  13. ^ https://www.kooora.com/?n=1203193

External linksEdit