Abha Club

Abha Club
Abha1.png
Full nameAbha Football Club
Nickname(s)Za'eem Al-Janoub (The Leaders of the South)
Founded1966; 57 years ago (1966), as Al-Farouk
1972; 51 years ago (1972), as Al-Wadiea
1999; 24 years ago (1999), as Abha[1]
GroundPrince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Stadium
Abha, Saudi Arabia
Capacity25,000[2]
ChairmanAhmed Al-Hodithy[3]
ManagerRoel Coumans
LeaguePro League
2021–22Pro League, 9th of 16
Current season

Abha Football Club (Arabic: نادي أبها السعودي) is a professional Saudi Arabian association football club based in Abha that is currently playing in the Saudi Professional League, the highest tier of Saudi football.[4] Their home stadium is Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Stadium.

They were first promoted to the top flight in 2005 when they finished as runners up in the First Division. However, they were relegated after just one season. They achieved their second promotion in 2008 when they also finished as runners up. During the 2018–19 season Abha won their first First Division title as well as promotion to the Pro League for the third in the club's history.[5] Abha have won the Saudi Third Division once, during the 1998–99 season and the Saudi Second Division once, during the 1999–2000 season.

The club play their home games at Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Stadium (also known as Al-Mahalah) in Abha. They share the stadium with rivals Damac, with whom they contest the Asir derby.[6]

History

The idea of establishing a sports club in Abha started with the personal initiative of Abdullah Al-Muallami in 1947. His reasons for establishing a sports club was so that the youth of Abha had a place to practice and play football. The youth of Abha continued practicing without an official sports club until the year of 1960. Then the idea of establishing a sports club was put in motion. The aim of establishing a sports club wasn't only a sport-related one; it was also aimed to be an educational and sociable club. A meeting was held on this topic, and the attendees agreed to establish a sports club in Abha. However, a problem arose in the meeting which caused a split between the attendees. The cause of the split was the naming of the club. One half wanted the club's name to be Al-Ahli Club in Asir the other half wanted the name to be Ittihad Shabab Asir. An agreement was not reached and eventually, two clubs were established in Abha.[7] And in the year 1966, the club was officially registered with the GSA under the name of Al-Farouk Sports Club in Abha. The club's first official president was Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al-Nuaami who changed the club's name from Al-Ahli Sports Club to Al-Farouk Sports Club.[8]

During the same time, Al-Ittihad Sports Club in Abha was formed and the first official president was Aziz bin Mustafa. Under directives from the GSA, Al-Ittihad Sports Club changed their name to Abha Sports Club in 1962.[9] This was due to a club already named Al-Ittihad Sports Club in Jeddah. And in the year of 1968, Abha Sports Club once again changed their name but this time to Al-Siddiq Sports Club, in commemoration to Abu Bakr, first of the Rashidun Caliphates. In early 1969, the GSA decided to merge both clubs, Al-Farouk and Al-Siddiq, to form one club under the name of Al-Farouk Sports Club. Sheikh Suleiman bin Ahmed Mimish was the first president of the newly merged club.[10]

In 1972, Al-Farouk Sports Club held a ceremony in honor of Prince Khalid bin Faisal Al Saud on the occasion of his appointment as the governor of Asir. The ceremony was held at the club's headquarters and a number of matters which concern the club were discussed. One of the matters that were discussed was a name change proposed by the Prince to members of the club's board. It was unanimously agreed by members of the board and fans of the club to change the club's name to Al-Wadiea Sports Club. Al-Wadiea achieved promotion to the Saudi First Division for the first time in 1977. They spent two seasons in the First Division before being relegated to the regional leagues. In 1983, the club once again achieved promotion to the First Division and spent two seasons before being relegated at the end of the 1984–85 season. Al-Wadiea were once again promoted in 1994 before being relegated after a season. In 1999, the club changed their name from Al-Wadiea Sports Club to Abha Sports Club.[11] That same year, the club was promoted to the Second Division under the guidance of Saad Saleh Al-Bishri as manager. A year later the club achieved promotion once again but this time to the First Division with the Algerian, Elias Bou Zaid, as manager. In 2005, Abha were promoted to the Pro League, the top tier of Saudi football, for the first time after finishing second in the 2004–05 season.[12] The club were relegated after just a season in the top tier. Abha once again reached the Pro League after finishing second in the 2007–08 season. They were relegated after a season following their loss to Al-Raed in the relegation play-offs.[13] Abha then spent six consecutive seasons in the Saudi First Division before getting relegated to the Second Division for the first time since 2000.[14] On 4 May 2018, Abha defeated Al-Watani 2–1 on aggregate in the promotion play-offs to earn promotion to the second tier.[15] On 30 April 2019, Abha were promoted to the top flight for the third time after a 2–2 draw away to Al-Nojoom.[16] This was their second promotion in two seasons, becoming the sixth Saudi team to achieve this feat. On 11 May 2019, Abha won their first MS League title despite losing to Al-Qaisumah.[17] The 2019–20 season was Abha's most successful season in the Pro League. They achieved their highest finish in the top flight after finishing ninth. The club also reached the semi-finals of the King Cup for the first time.[18]

Recent seasons

Season Pos. Pl. W D L GS GA P King Cup Crown Prince Cup Federation Cup Notes
2001–02 2D 5th 18 8 4 6 27 25 28 Round of 16 Group stage
2002–03 2D 5th 22 9 8 5 38 34 35 Round of 16 Group stage
2003–04 2D 6th 22 7 7 8 34 27 28 3rd qualifying round Winners
2004–05 2D 2nd 26 13 8 5 54 31 47 1st qualifying round Semi-finals Promoted
2005–06 1D 11th 22 3 4 15 24 57 13 Round of 16 Semi-finals Relegated
2006–07 2D 10th 26 8 7 11 35 46 31 2nd qualifying round Quarter-finals
2007–08 2D 2nd 26 13 6 7 47 37 45 2nd qualifying round Semi-finals Promoted
2008–09 1D 11th 22 4 7 11 19 40 19 Round of 16 Group stage Relegated
2009–10 2D 4th 26 12 5 9 39 36 41 2nd qualifying round Quarter-finals
2010–11 2D 4th 30 13 12 5 59 43 51 3rd qualifying round
2011–12 2D 4th 30 14 7 9 36 28 49 1st qualifying round
2012–13 2D 8th 30 11 8 11 41 45 41 Play-off round
2013–14 2D 10th 30 9 12 9 41 40 39 Round of 16 Round of 32
2014–15 2D 15th 30 5 10 15 36 56 25 Round of 16 Round of 32 Relegated
2015–16 3D 7th 18 4 8 6 19 24 20 Round of 32
2016–17 3D 7th 18 4 8 6 14 15 20 1st qualifying round
2017–18 3D 4th 18 7 6 5 20 22 27 1st qualifying round Promoted
2018–19 2D 1st 38 19 12 7 52 38 69 Round of 16 Promoted
2019–20 1D 9th 30 11 5 14 41 52 38 Semi-finals
2020–21 1D 13th 30 10 6 14 42 50 36 Round of 16
2021–22 1D 9th 30 9 8 13 27 43 35 Round of 16

Honours

Saudi First Division

  • Winners (8): 2018–19
  • Runners-up (2): 2004–05, 2007–08

Saudi Second Division

  • Winners (2): 1993–94, 1999–2000
  • Runners-up (2): 1981–82, 1982–83

Saudi Third Division

  • Winners (1): 1998–1999

Prince Faisal bin Fahd Cup for Division 1 and 2 Teams

  • Winners (1): 2003–04

Current squad

As of 7 February 2021:[19][20]

No Position Player Nation
1 GK Abdullah Al-Shammeri  Saudi Arabia
3 DF Abdullah Al-Zori  Saudi Arabia
4 DF Saad Natiq  Iraq
6 MF Abdulrahman Al-Barakah  Saudi Arabia
7 MF Saleh Al-Amri  Saudi Arabia
8 MF Uroš Matić  Serbia
9 FW Abdulfattah Adam (on loan from Al-Nassr)  Saudi Arabia
10 MF Saad Bguir  Tunisia
11 MF Luís Miquissone (on loan from Al-Ahly Cairo)  Mozambique
13 DF Mohammed Al-Kunaydiri  Saudi Arabia
14 MF Fahad Al-Jumayah  Saudi Arabia
15 MF Mutair Al-Zahrani  Saudi Arabia
16 GK Devis Epassy  Cameroon
17 FW Tayeb Meziani  Algeria
18 MF Nawaf Al-Sadi  Saudi Arabia
19 DF Amine Atouchi  Morocco
20 FW Felipe Caicedo  Ecuador
21 MF Zakaria Sami  Saudi Arabia
26 MF Musab Habkor  Saudi Arabia
27 MF Hassan Al-Qayd  Saudi Arabia
31 DF Sari Amr  Saudi Arabia
32 FW Sulaiman Asiri  Saudi Arabia
33 GK Mansour Jawhar  Saudi Arabia
39 DF Saeed Al Hamsal  Saudi Arabia
77 DF Ahmed Al-Habib  Saudi Arabia
80 MF Tariq Al-Shahrani  Saudi Arabia
88 MF Saad Al-Selouli  Saudi Arabia
89 MF Riyadh Sharahili  Saudi Arabia

Out on loan

No Position Player Nation
90 FW Omar Al-Ruwaili (on loan to Al-Riyadh)  Saudi Arabia

Managerial history

  • Sudan Hassan Khairi (1971 – 1972)
  • Egypt Hosni Matar (1982 – 1985)
  • Tunisia Wajdi Essid (1997 – 1998)
  • Saudi Arabia Saad Al-Beshri (1998 – 1999)
  • Algeria Elias Bou Zaid (1999 – 2000)
  • Saudi Arabia Saad Al-Beshri (2000 – 2001)
  • Romania Constantin Pascal (October 11, 2001 – January 5, 2002)
  • Algeria Boualem Laroum (January 5, 2002 – May 30, 2002)
  • Brazil João Alves (July 1, 2002 – May 30, 2004)
  • Saudi Arabia Saad Al-Beshri (August 1, 2004 – February 18, 2005)
  • Tunisia Yousef Al Suryati (February 18, 2005 – October 15, 2005)
  • Saudi Arabia Saad Al-Beshri (October 15, 2005 – December 2, 2005)
  • Brazil José Kleber (December 2, 2005 – March 24, 2006)
  • Saudi Arabia Saad Al-Beshri (March 24, 2006 – April 30, 2006)
  • Brazil Carlos Dante (May 24, 2006 – January 16, 2007)
  • Tunisia Mourad Okbi (January 21, 2007 – May 30, 2007)
  • Morocco Abdelkader Youmir (August 22, 2007 – October 18, 2008)
  • Saudi Arabia Saad Al-Beshri (October 18, 2008 – November 1, 2008)
  • Morocco Idris Obeis (November 1, 2008 – November 22, 2009)
  • Tunisia Nasser Nefzi (November 18, 2009 – April 27, 2010)
  • Czech Republic Otakar Dolejš (July 1, 2010 – October 1, 2011)
  • Tunisia Zuhair Al Louti (October 1, 2011 – May 28, 2012)
  • Egypt Emad Soliman (May 28, 2012 – November 17, 2012)
  • Portugal José Rachão (November 24, 2012 – March 23, 2013)
  • Saudi Arabia Ibrahim Al-Aasmi (March 23, 2013 – June 1, 2013)
  • Czech Republic Otakar Dolejš (July 1, 2013 – September 14, 2014)
  • Italy Riccardo De Vivo (September 26, 2014 – March 25, 2015)
  • Tunisia Jamal Belhadi (February 19, 2015 – March 25, 2015)
  • Saudi Arabia Ibrahim Al-Aasmi (March 25, 2015 – May 1, 2015)
  • Tunisia Yousri bin Kahla (August 1, 2015 – November 15, 2015)
  • Tunisia Karim Dalhoum (November 26, 2015 – March 1, 2016)
  • Tunisia Lotfi El Hashmi (June 29, 2016 – January 14, 2017)
  • Saudi Arabia Ibrahim Al-Aasmi (January 14, 2017 – May 1, 2017)
  • Tunisia Mounir Hariz (April 16, 2017 – December 18, 2017)
  • Saudi Arabia Ibrahim Al-Aasmi (December 18, 2017 – January 28, 2018)
  • Saudi Arabia Ahmed Mehrez (January 28, 2018 – May 10, 2018)
  • Tunisia Abderrazek Chebbi (June 14, 2018 – June 1, 2021)
  • Slovakia Martin Ševela (July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022)
  • Belgium Sven Vandenbroeck (July 16, 2022 – October 8, 2022)
  • Poland Mateusz Lajczak (caretaker) (October 8, 2022 – October 30, 2022)
  • Netherlands Roel Coumans (October 30, 2022 – )

Presidential history

As of 1 January 2021.[21]

No Name From To
1 Saudi Arabia Mohammed Al-Nuaami 1966 1968
2 Saudi Arabia Ahmed Mottain 1968 1968
3 Saudi Arabia Suleiman Habtar 1969 1970
4 Saudi Arabia Aziz bin Mustafa Aziz 1970 1972
5 Saudi Arabia Suleiman Mimish 1972 1973
6 Saudi Arabia Dhafer Al-Obaidi 1973 1974
7 Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Rashed Salamah 1977 1977
8 Saudi Arabia Khaled Mohammed Sheikho 1978 1978
9 Saudi Arabia Mohammed Al-Fawaz 1979 1979
10 Saudi Arabia Abdulrahman Abo Melha 1981 1984
11 Saudi Arabia Hani Abu Ghazaleh 1985 1987
12 Saudi Arabia Saleh Qadeh 1988 1990
13 Saudi Arabia Mustafa bin Abdullah Aziz 1991 1993
14 Saudi Arabia Hamad Shabib Al-Dossari 1993 1996
15 Saudi Arabia Abdulwahab Al Mojathel 1997 2002
16 Saudi Arabia Hamad Shabib Al-Dossari 2002 2005
17 Saudi Arabia Abdulwahab Al Mojathel 2005 2006
18 Saudi Arabia Meshafi Al-Maqrafi 2006 2006
19 Saudi Arabia Ali Al-Shehri 2006 2006
20 Saudi Arabia Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Faisal 2006 2008
21 Saudi Arabia Saad Al-Ahmari 2008 2008
22 Saudi Arabia Abdulwahab Al Mojathel 2009 2009
23 Saudi Arabia Saad Al-Ahmari 2010 2013
24 Saudi Arabia Ahmed Al-Hodithy 2013

External links

  • Official website
  • Abha at SPL

References

  1. ^ "الأندية الرياضية".
  2. ^ "Prince Sultan Sport City Stadium (Mahalah)".
  3. ^ "مجلس الإدارة".
  4. ^ "نبذه عن النادي".
  5. ^ "بعد غياب 12 عاماً.. أبها يصعد إلى دوري المحترفين".
  6. ^ "ديربي عسير التاريخي بين زعيم وفارس".
  7. ^ "من هو نادي أبها".
  8. ^ "تاريخ النادي".
  9. ^ "حكاية نادي .. أبها فارس عسير والنادي الأول في المنطقة الجنوبية".
  10. ^ ""ميمش" أول رؤساء أبها.. و"ابن مجثل" حقق الحلم".
  11. ^ "الأمير خالد الفيصل يبارك تغيير مسمى الوديعة الى أبها".
  12. ^ "لجنة الحكام تهنئ الأندية بمناسبة الصعود".
  13. ^ ""رائد التحدي" يعلن البقاء في دوري الأضواء".
  14. ^ "نائب رئيس أبها السابق: 14 سببا عرقلت النادي".
  15. ^ "رياضي / فريق أبها يصعد لدوري الأمير محمد بن سلمان لأندية الدرجة الأولى بفوزه على الوطني".
  16. ^ "أبها يعود إلى دوري المحترفين بعد غياب 10 أعوام".
  17. ^ "أبها بطلا لدوري الأمير محمد بن سلمان للدرجة الأولى".
  18. ^ "ابها يحجز مقعده في نصف نهائي كاس الملك على حساب الفتح".
  19. ^ "Abha Club squad".
  20. ^ "Abha Squad".
  21. ^ "رؤوساء النادي في تاريخه".
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