Al-Minaa SC

Al-Mina'a Sport Club (Arabic: نادي الميناء الرياضي, lit. 'Port Sports Club') is an Iraqi multi-sport club based in Al-Maqal, Basra that participates in the Iraqi Premier League, the top-flight of Iraqi football. They are one of the most popular clubs in Iraq, particularly in the south, and were the first club from outside Baghdad to win the Iraqi Premier League.

Al-Mina'a
Full nameAl-Mina'a Sport Club
Nickname(s)Al-Safana (The Sailors)
Founded22 November 1931 (1931)
GroundBasra Sports City[1]
Capacity65,227
OwnerMinistry of Transport
ChairmanMohammad Jaber Hassan
ManagerValeriu Tița
LeagueIraqi Premier League
2018–19Iraqi Premier League, 17th
WebsiteClub website
Active departments of Al-Mina'a SC
Football Football Youth[2][3] Futsal[2][3]
Basketball[4] Athletics[2] Taekwondo[2]
Karate[4] Wrestling[2][3] Weightlifting[3]
Boxing[4][3] Bodybuilding[3]

Al-Mina'a was founded on November 22, 1931, in Al-Maqal. In 1974, the club was merged with another club called Al-Bareed to form a single club called Al-Muwasalat, and it was a strange situation because the Al-Bareed team were based in Baghdad while Al-Mina'a were based in Basra and the two teams met in Baghdad on the day of the match only, so after just one season the club was dissolved and Al-Mina'a returned in their place. In the 1978, the team won the league title for the first time. After a lean period in the post-war years, the team finished second in the league in the 2004–05 season, and therefore qualified for the 2006 AFC Champions League, becoming the first Iraqi club from outside Baghdad to play in this tournament.

For a long time, the club was considered to be one of the Iraqi football clubs that had its own style of play, and the team practiced only under the supervision and training of coaches who graduated from the club, until the beginning of 2011, when the club started to depend on foreign coaches.

History

Foundation and early years (1931–1951)

Al-Mina'a Sports Club was formed by some of the British sailors and workers serving in the Marine Transportation Company in Basra on the banks of the Shatt Al-Arab after Mandatory Iraq, where Colonel Sir John Ward was the director of company in the 1920s. When they were forming gatherings, sports were practiced and football was the most important.[5] After the founding of Al-Maqal City and establishment the General Company for Ports on March 1, 1931, by Colonel Sir Ward under the auspices of King Faisal, and the transfer of employees in the company to Al-Maqal, the club coordinated with the company's management to make the green squares in the park located there to be a playing field for them,[6] and after a few months, the company announced the establishment of the club officially, and Mr. C. F. Neikell was chosen as the first president of the club. The first football team consisted of Markar Avadician, Dehjat Ohaness, Liu Steven, Samuel Akesh, Aziz Hormuz, Rashad Al-Mufti, Khudair Abbas and others.[7] Al-Mina'a participated in the first ever national football league in Iraq, the 1948–49 Iraq Championship, but were knocked out in the group stage.[8]

In 1950, Al-Mina'a played its first match outside the country as the first Iraqi team to play outside Iraq, they played against Shahin at the Amjadiyeh Stadium in Tahran and the result was 2–2, The team was composed of these players: Mustafa Hameed, Karim Allawi, Noori Lafta, Jassim Bader, Karim Jaber, Djali Najeeb, Subhi Mohammed Zaki, Alwan Hussein, Michael Stanley, Salih Mohammed and Sabeeh Darwish.[8] And the team played several friendly matches with other Iranian clubs. They played against Arteshe and the game ended in a 2–1 victory for Al-Mina'a, and they played against Taj Ahvaz and won that match 5–1. They also played against Khorramshahr and won 3–1, and they faced Abadan F.C. and won that game too.[8] The team benefited greatly from those matches. In 1951, the team won the Hanna Al-Sheikh Cup, which was organized for Basra-based teams.[9] And in the same year, the first Iraqi national football team was established. Coach Dhia Habib invited three players from the Al-Minaa club to join them – Percy Lynsdale, Saeed Easho and Karim Allawi – to play against Turkey in Turkey. Before traveling, and on Wednesday 2 May 1951 Al-Minaa played – with adding a player from Sharikat Naft Al-Basra club; Shaker Ismail – against Iraq in Basra, and ended the match a draw 1–1, Tariq Khalil scored for Al-Minaa.[10][11][12]

Matches with foreign teams (1952–1972)

The 1950s and 1960s were periods of preparation for Al-Mina'a, and the team played several friendly matches with different teams in this period; some of these clubs were strong European teams, and other were strong Asian teams. These matches helped the club develop the qualities of the players in terms of tactics and technique and other aspects.

On 6 January 1956, Al-Mina'a played with Tehran and lost 3–0,[13] and after a year they played with a number of English sailors teams, who were arriving in Basra in those years.[14] On December 20, 1958, Al-Minaa team traveled to Kuwait, playing against Kuwait national football team in a friendly match in Ahmadi, defeating Kuwait 8–0, scoring goals by Mohammed Manther, Karim Allawi, Nouri Lafta and Waleed Dawood, each with two goals.[15] In 1961, under the leadership of Danish coach Hansen, the team played with a number of Iranian teams, beating Abadan F.C. 4–3 and losing to Shahin 1–0.[16] and in February 1962, the Romanian club; Steaua București visited Iraq and Al-Minaa, under the same coach, played with them and lost 4–1, then, Al-Mina'a played with the Syrian team Damascus and won 2–0.[17] In February 1963, the team under the same coach, played with another Romanian club, Petrolul Ploiești, and lost 2–0 to them.[18] And in November 1965, the team played the Kuwaiti club Al-Qadsia and the match ended in a 3–3 draw.[19] In September 1968, the team traveled to Syria and played with some its teams, and the results were good,[20] and in 1969 the team under the leadership of coach Abdul Salam Saud, played against Bahraini club Al-Nasr and beat them 4–1; they then played against the Soviet club Neftçi and lost 1–0[21]

On January 17, 1970 Al-Mina'a played against Yugoslavian club Sarajevo and lost 3–1,[22] and over a year later on January 29, 1971, they played under the leadership of coach Hadi Hassan Wasfi, with Czechoslovak club Spartak Trnava and won 2–0; Waleed Dawood and Abdul Razzak Ahmed scored.[23] On December 20, 1972, Al-Minaa under the leadership of coach Hamza Qasim, played against the China national football team lost 1–0.[24] These matches had a significant impact in making Al-Mina'a a stronger team.

Golden years and League title (1973–1979)

In 1973–74 season, Al-Mina'a played in the Iraqi Central League under the leadership of coach Hamza Qasim, and finished the season in third place.[7] After this season, in the 1974–75, they were merged with another club called Al-Bareed to form a club called Al-Muwasalat which finished third place in the league.[7] Al-Mina'a began to participate in the Iraqi Premier League as an independent club in the 1975–76 season under the leadership of coach Najem Abdullah, and finished the season in fourth place.[7] The team was not well under coach Faleh Hassan Wasfi in the 1976–77 season, and finished in sixth place.[7] The first match in Iraqi league history was televised, was played this season between Al-Mina'a and Al-Zawra'a at Al-Shaab Stadium on Friday, March 11, 1977, was ended 5–1 for Al-Zawraa.[25]

Farhan
A.Abdullah
Hussein
R.Abdullah

The 1977–78 season was the golden season for the team when they won the league title, and the title moved for the first time from the clubs of the capital, Baghdad, to Basra under coach Jamil Hanoon. The team collected 21 points by winning eight matches and drawing in five matches; they did not lose any matches in this season. The Al-Mina'a player Jalil Hanoon won the top scorer award with 11 goals in the league.[26] The champions' squad included the following players: Sattar Farhan, Sameer Nori, Aziz Abdullah, Sabeeh Abed Ali, Abdul Redha Hussein, Rahim Karim, Khalil Ibrahim, Hadi Ahmed, Alaa Ahmed, Ali Abdul Zahra, Abdul Razzak Ahmed, Jalil Hanoon, Hassan Abdul Hussein, Adnan Saddam, Raad Abdullah and Hadi Jabbar.[7] Before the league start, Al-Mina'a played in a pre-season football friendly tournament in Arbil, and the team played against Arbil and won 0–6, and won against Salahaddin in two matches 7–0 and 8–0.[27] The first match of this league season was on October 1, 1977, and the last match was on March 31, 1978. Al-Mina'a started the first two matches under coach leadership Faleh Hassan Wasfi, who resigned after being drawn against Salahaddin 0–0 and Al-Sinaa 0–0, the team played after that under the leadership of coach Jamil Hanoon, who took over the job, and led the team to a series of successes, began to win against defending champions Al-Zawraa 2–3 in Baghdad.[27] In the final, Al-Mina'a played against Al-Shorta at Al-Mina'a Stadium in Basra, and Al-Mina'a won 1–0, thanks to Jalil Hanoon's goal on 50th minutes. The Al-Mina'a goalkeeper, Sattar Farhan, saved a penalty kick obtained by Al-Shorta in the final minutes of the match.[28]

In 1978–79 season, The team played under the leadership of coaches Sabeeh Abed Ali and Abdul Mahdi Hadi, and finished the season in fourth place, after being equated with second-placed; Al-Shorta and third; Al-Talaba in the number of points (15 points), who applied it on goals difference.[7]

Years of war and chaos (1980–2003)

At the beginning of the Iran–Iraq War in 1980, Basra became a battleground, and the eight-year war broke all areas of life in Basra, including the field of sports. Al-Mina'a in particular had many players recruited and transported to the battlefield, and the team lost their playing field, and did not find a training ground. Their financial allocations were significantly reduced, and the stars of the team left to play in the big clubs of Baghdad. In this period, the Iraqi Ba'athist government worked on the separation of the club and GCPI in terms of funding, so the club has become dependent on self-financing, which was very poor, and as a result the team was composed of 11 players only (players without substitutes).[29] In the 1985–86 season, Al-Mina'a were not able to play in Basra, due to the fall of the bombs and the lack of safe stadiums, so their matches were moved to Amarah, and because of these harsh conditions, the team finished in 14th place and were relegated to the Iraq Division One for the first time in its history.[27] But the team was determined to return to play in the Iraqi Premier League, and they managed to win the Iraq Division One title in 1987, and thus were able to return to play in the Premier League again in the 1987–88 season.[27] The club remained unstable after the Second Gulf War, which began in 1991, and Sanctions against Iraq[30] later (1991-2003), which destroyed the sport in the whole of Iraq.[31]

The ruling Ba'ath Party has treated with the club racist treatment for years, including the opening match of Maysan Stadium in 1987 between Al-Minaa and Al-Rasheed (club sponsored by the ruling party in Iraq), which ended in a 0-0 draw attended by the son of president Uday Saddam Hussein, and when he found that the fans cheer for Al-Minaa team said his racist speech: "If this stadium could have been moved to Baghdad, I would have done so (this audience is not worth it)".[32] And one of the manifestations of racism that the Ba'athist government has been working against the club is what happened in the league in 1991–92 season at the Al-Minaa match against Al-Karkh (formerly Al-Rasheed), on Friday, 8 May 1992 at the Al-Minaa Stadium and the attendance of more than 20,000, which ended for Al-Karkh a 3–2. The match was led by international referee Subhi Rahim, who scored an incorrect penalty against Al-Minaa and the most famous red card against Al-Minaa player Asaad Abdul Razzak, which led to the protest of the supporters of the club, then the Al-Karkh coach Adnan Dirjal shot Al-Minaa supporters from his pistol,[33] resulting in serious injuries among supporters of the club. It is strange that the Football Association has punished Al-Minaa players, and because Dirjal was close to the ruling party, and led the Iraq national football team in the 1994 FIFA World Cup qualification, he prevented Al-Minaa players from playing in the national team, including Mohammed Abdul Hussein, who won the title of best player In the league for the 1992–93 season.[34]

Despite all these difficult circumstances, the team managed to reach fourth place in the league in 1998–99 season,[35] and reach the semifinals of the 1999–2000 Iraq FA Cup, where they were came out of the championship after losing from Al-Zawraa, who won the title that season,[36] and in the 2002–03 Iraq FA Cup also reached the semifinals, came out of the championship after losing from Al-Talaba, who won the title that season.[37]

Gradual return and Asian prominence (2004–2006)

With the change that took place after the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the overthrowing of Saddam Hussein, GCPI took care of the club, and started to bring the team back to their natural position slowly, and the 2004–05 season was the distinctive season. Under the leadership of coach Abdul Karim Jassim (Jombi), Al-Mina'a won the Southern Group in the First Stage, and advanced to the Elite Stage where they won Group A. In the semi-finals, they managed to beat Al-Zawraa in Baghdad 1–0 and tied 0–0 with them in Basra to advance to the final, where they played against Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya. The match was played in Baghdad which gave Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya an advantage. Al-Mina'a lost the match 2–0 to take the runner-up title, and the opportunity to represent Iraq in the next AFC Champions League; the team became the first team from outside Baghdad to represent Iraq in the continental championship.[38]

After the return of the Iran–Iraq relations, Al-Mina'a participated in the 2004 Peace and Friendship Cup in Ahvaz, under the leadership of coach Abdul Karim Jassim, has won the tournament, having played against Iranian clubs have won it, in semi-final, the team played against Esteghlal Ahvaz B and won 2–1, Al Minaa’ goals were scored by Nasser Talla'a at the 35th minute and Qais Essa at the 75th minute.[39] in final played against Foolad Khuzestan B and won 1–0, the winning goal was scored by Alaa Aasi at the 44th minute of the game.[40]

The team under the leadership of coach Aqeel Hato did not enter the 2006 AFC Champions League to compete for the title, given the weaknesses of the team (most of them were young and they needed experience in matches like this), but as a chance to play with strong teams and prepare for the Iraqi Premier League.[41][42] But Al-Mina'a embarrassed some of the big teams in Asia and by earning draws against the likes of Mash'al[43] and Al-Hilal.[44]

Last five years of local dependence (2006–2011)

After the team were knocked out of the AFC Champions League, the experienced players joined other clubs,[45] and thus began a new era for the club under the leadership of young coach Asaad Abdul Razzak[46] for two seasons with and the young players who have grown up in the club. The team entered the 2006–07 season and managed to finish second in their First Stage group behind Al-Najaf to qualify for the Elite Stage,[47] but team was not able to get to the semi-finals as they finished fourth behind Arbil, Al-Talaba and Karbalaa.[48]

Faisal
Abdul-Majeed
Abdul-Kadhim
Abdul-Jabbar
O.Alaa
B.Hadi
Ghazi
Kadhim

In the 2007–08 season, a similar thing repeated under the same coach, where the team finished in 3rd place in their First Stage group behind Karbalaa and Al-Najaf, having won eight matches, drawn six and lost two, but could not go beyond the Elite Stage,[49] where they finished in fourth place in Group A behind Arbil, Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya and Kirkuk.[50]

In the following three seasons, the team was under the leadership of young coach Adel Nasser[51] and these were not good seasons, as they were knocked out in the First Stage in all three seasons. In the 2008–09 season, the team finished in sixth place in their group, where team won ten matches, drew six and lost eight matches,[52] and in the 2009–10 season, the team ended up in seventh place in the group stage where they won 16 matches, drew 11 and lost seven.[53]

In pre-season and under the leadership of coach Adel Nasser, Al-Minaa won 2009 Thaghr Al Iraq Championship title, Al-Minaa qualified for the final game after collecting 7 points by defeating Naft Maysan 3–1, Ghaz Al-Junoob 4–1,[54] and won the Thaghr Al Iraq Championship after beating Naft Al-Junoob in the final game with a score of 2–1. Al Minaa’ goals were scored by Nayef Falah in the 46th minute and Hassan Hadi Ahmad in the 79th minute. On the other hand, the sole goal of Naft Al-Junoob was scored by Muhannad Youssef at the 10th minute of the game. The two teams shared the lead of the game that was led by referee Ahmad Shaker. The referee gave red cards to 3 players: Amjad Hameed, Alaa Nayrouz from Naft Al-Junoob team and Al-Minaa player Ihsan Hadi.[55]

In the third season, 2010–11, the team under the same coach finished in fourth place in their First Stage group with 12 wins, nine draws and five defeats.[56]

Eight coaches in three seasons (2011–2014)

The club was always praised for depending on coaches and players that had graduated from the club itself, but since the 2011–12 season, the club went a different way by contracting with a professional coach of Norwegian nationality (Iraqi origin) called Younis Al Qattan.[57] But the club's management did not settle on one coach during the season, so they changed the coach seven times during these three years. In the 2011–12 season, the team under the leadership of Al-Qattan was not successful with two wins, two losses and six draws, so the manager was changed.[58] The team began playing under the leadership of Rahim Hameed[59] and they ended the Premier League in 11th place, and in the 2012-2013 season, the club returned to the local coach Aqeel Hato[60] but this did not last very long as he was sacked having won four matches, drawn four matches and lost two matches, and the team played under the leadership of the young coach Ghazi Fahad[61] afterwards but this also did not last long as he was fired having won five matches, drawn one match and lost five matches.[62] The club then appointed coach Asaad Abdul Razzak [63][64] who led the team to finish the season in eighth place, having won eight matches and lost six with one draw, and the team began the season relying on foreign players. Al-Mina'a used five foreign professionals from Europe, Africa and Asia in this season.[65]

In the 2013–14 season, the same thing happened as happened in the previous season, where three coaches led the team in a row. They started the season led by coach Jamal Ali[66] and who resigned because the results were not good, especially after the 2–1 loss to Al-Karkh.[67] Ali won two matches as coach, drew four and lost three, so the club turned the leadership of the team to his assistant Ammar Hussein, who also did not remain long; he resigned after the 3–0 loss to Al-Zawra'a, and he won three matches, drew four and lost three.[68] The club then appointed coach Hassan Mawla,[69] who finished the season in 11th place, and he led the team for just four matches, winning one, losing one and drawing two, and he could not continue the rest of the matches because of Iraq Football Association suspended the Premier League and considered it finished on June 18, 2014.[70]

Title challenge under Al-Sayed (2014–2016)

In the 2014–15 season, the team was under coach Asaad Abdul Razzak[71] and he was sacked after six matches because the results were not satisfactory; he won one match, lost three and drew two, leaving the team in eighth place in their First Stage group. Al-Mina'a contracted with the Syrian professional coach, Hussam Al-Sayed,[72] who led the team through 13 matches until the end of the group without a loss, where the team move into second place in the group behind Al-Shorta, and in the Elite Stage they played against three teams (Duhok, Naft Al-Junoob and Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya). The team was competing to top the group which would have qualified them for the final, but mistakes from assistant referees shattered that dream, where the assistant referee Maitham Khamat allowed an offside goal to stand in favor of Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya against Naft Al-Junoob, while assistant referee Haider Hameed did not count a legitimate goal for Al-Mina'a against Duhok due to offside, which lost them two points.[73] These cases deprived the team from getting to the final, where the team is equal to Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya in the number of points (ten points) but Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya had a better goal difference.[74] In the third place match they were set to play against Al-Shorta but Al-Shorta declared that they pulled out of the match. But strangely, Al-Shorta ended up turning up for the match and Al-Mina'a was not prepared to match them so they withdrew meaning the team finished in fourth place in the Premier League.[75]

In the 2015–16 season, the coach Hussam Al-Sayed led the team to a series of wins against strong teams, defeating the likes Erbil 3–1, Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya 2–1 and Al-Shorta 1–0. Al-Mina'a were in first place in their First Stage group,[76] with six wins, one draw and two losses, but the many mistakes for the referees against the team[77][78] and then a number of problems arose between the club management and some players[79][80] and other reasons[81] which caused a decline in the level of the team, although the team still managed to qualify for the Elite Group. Their performances in the Elite Group were not up-to-scratch, so the team ended the season in sixth place.[82]

Administrative problems (2016–2019)

In the 2016–17 season, Al-Mina'a contracted with the Romanian professional coach, Marin Ion[83][84] and he was sacked after twenty-seven matches because the chaos that appeared in the team due to the weakness of the personality of the coach, and the results were not satisfactory; he won fourteen matches, lost four and drew nine, and lost both Basra Derbies; against Al-Bahri 2–1, Naft Al-Junoob 1–0, leaving the team in fourth place in their First Stage in league,[85] then Al-Mina'a signed local coach Ghazi Fahad,[86][87] who finished the league in sixth place.[88][89] In the 2016–17 Iraq FA Cup, Al-Minaa reached the semi-finals, but could not reach the final after losing from Naft Al-Wasat on penalties, in the match that ended 1-1.[90] Then, the team ended the season without any good results due to several problems within the club.[91] The administrative problems continued within the club, where two departments were formed and each claimed to be the legitimate administration. There was also a conflict between the management of the club and the Ministry of Transport (the owner), which led to a financial crisis, in which the important players migrated to the Baghdad clubs, and change of coaches in the same season was repeated within the club, all of which led to a decline in the level of the team, and ranked last in the ranking of the league teams for more than a season (15th place in the 2017–18 season and 17th place in the 2018–19 season).[92]

Recent history (2019–)

Since the election of a new board members in accordance with the Clubs Act,[93] the new administrative has worked in the club to pay the previous debts and the withdrawal of complaints recorded by some athletes against the club because of financial matters.[94][95][96] The Romanian coach Valeriu Tița was then appointed on July 2, 2019[97] to create a new competitive team in the league for 2019–20 season.[98]

Kit

Al-Minaa's traditional colors are blue and white. The home kit is blue and the away kit is white. For much of Al-Minaa' history, their home colors have been bright blue shirts with white sleeves and white shorts, though this has not always been the case. The shirt was blue, and was worn with blue shorts and white socks in 1977–78 season when won league title for the first time.[99] In some seasons the team used the home kit that was blue and painted in yellow or white, and in the away kit use the white and painted in blue or black or red or some of these colors together. But in the 1998–1999 season only the kit was green, and this was unfamiliar.[100]

Historical kits

Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors

Al-Minaa's shirts have been made by manufacturers including Adidas (from the 1970s until 1982), Puma (1982–1984), Adidas (1984–1989), Uhlsport (2001–2003), Macron (2011–2014), Uhlsport (2014–2016), Adidas (2016–2017) and Jako (2017–2018), Uhlsport (from 2018). Like those of most other Iraqi football clubs, Al-Minaa's shirts have featured sponsors' logos since the 1980s; sponsors include Samsung (2000–2001), Elaph Islamic Bank (2015–2016), Fuchs Petrolub (2016–2017) and GCPI (2017–2018).[101]

Stadium

In the 1960–61 season, lighting was installed in the stadium and the stadium was considered the second best stadium in the Arab world after the Alexandria Stadium in Egypt.[102] Al-Mina'a Stadium was founded in the 1930s and contained an open field with a stand on one side. In the mid-1980s, terraces with three strips were placed around stadium in order to accommodate 4,000 spectators. In 1995, circular strips were built around the ground in order to accommodate 10,000 spectators. The opening match of the new stadium was Al-Minaa match against Samarra, and ended for Al-Minaa 1–0, Adel Nasser scored from a penalty kick.[103]

Work has been going on for the construction of New Al-Mina'a Stadium since March 22, 2011[104][105] and it has not been completed yet.[106] The new stadium will accommodate 30,000 spectators, and is being built on an area of 52 acres. Al-Mina'a continues to participate in the Iraqi Premier League even without the presence of a regular training ground.[107]

Al-Minaa played at the Naft Al-Junoob Stadium during the first phase of the 2012–13 season, for the period from 20 October 2012 to 1 March 2013. In the second phase of the same season, the team was played at the Basrah Stadium (Al-Jamhoriya) for the period from 27 April 2014 to 4 September, and they were training at Al-Hawta Stadium in this season. On October 1, 2013, Al-Zubair Olympic Stadium was inaugurated and the team played all home matches at it, during the 2013–14 season and the 2014–15 season, and until May 23, 2015, when the Basra Sports City became a temporary stadium for the team.[108] Since October 2017, Basra Sports City has been officially leased to club.[1]

Supporters

Al-Minaa fans often refer to themselves as "Jamhoor Al-Safana", the name derived from the team's nickname, "Al-Safana". The fanbase is large and generally loyal; in 2014–15 Al-Minaa had the first-highest average League attendance for an Iraqi club (40,000, which was 66.6% of available capacity).[109] Al-Mina'a has the Promoters Association, which was established at the beginning of the club's starting point, and remained supportive of the team in all their matches, and traveled with them wherever they went.[110]

In June 2014, Al-Mina'a supporters founded a group known as "Ultras Safana". The supporters group has become well known throughout Iraqi football as one of the most passionate groups of football fans in Iraq and the group's banners and logos can be seen in any stadium that their club play in. The number of group members is increasing. The foundation of this group has significantly increased both the number of Al-Mina'a fans in stadiums and their presence in matches.[111] Ultras Safana won the title of Best Ultras in the Iraqi league a year after its founding,[112] as well as in the second consecutive year.[113]

The supporters of Al-Minaa are very many, spread throughout the provinces of Iraq, and some live outside Iraq, and was considered to be the best fans in the Iraqi league.[112][114][115]

Rivalries

Al-Minaa contest the Basra Derby with Naft Al-Junoob.[116][117] Since 2005, there have been 27 competitive Basra Derbies. Al-Minaa hold the precedence in these matches, with 9 victories to Naft AlJunoob's 7; there have been 11 draws. The most decisive result in an Al-Minaa–Naft Al-Junoob game is Al-Minaa's 4–1 victory at Al Mina'a Stadium, their home ground, on March 11, 2005. There have been two incidences of 3–1, Al-Minaa have been won in both matches; home in December 2005, and away in January 2006. The competition saw 49 goals scored, 27 for Al-Minaa and 22 for Naft Al-Junoob; the individual player who scored the most goals was Al-Minaa player Ihsan Hadi and Naft Al-Junoob player Bassim Ali, each scored four goals. And there are five players who scored for both teams, they are Alaa Aasi, Nasser Tallaa, Ahmed Hassan, Sajjad Abdul Kadhim and Hussam Malek.[118]

Head-to-head

From 2005–2019.

Head-to-head
Competition P W D L GF GA GD
Iraqi Premier League2681172521+4
Thaghr Al Iraq Championship110021+1
Total2791172722+5

Current squad

First-team squad

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

No. Position Player
1 GK Hussam Mahdi
2 DF Abbas Badie
3 DF Hamza Adnan
5 MF Ahmed Mohsin Ashour (captain)
6 DF Vafa Hakhamaneshi
7 MF Hussein Younis
8 MF Ahmed Farhan
9 MF Sadeq Sami
10 FW Hussam Malek (vice-captain)
11 DF Aqeel Mahdi
12 GK Yassin Karim
14 MF Hassan Ali Flayeh
15 DF Hussein Falah
No. Position Player
17 MF Eissa Adel
18 FW Sheka Fofanah
19 MF Ahmed Zamel
20 GK Mujtaba Mohammed
23 DF Ali Ahmed Radhi
24 DF Ali Qasim
26 DF Firas Finjan
28 MF Abdoul Madjid Moumouni
31 GK Hassanain Mohammed
32 FW Kenneth Ikechukwu
33 MF Abbas Yas
35 DF Ahmed Khalid
55 MF Saif Jassim

Personnel

Current technical staff

Position Name Nationality
Manager:Valeriu Tița
Assistant manager:Ammar Rihawi
Goalkeeping coach:Saddam Salman
Fitness coach:Florin
Administrative director:Jihad Madlool
Club doctor:Sebastian
Under-19s Coach:Mohammed Abdul Hussein
Under-16s Coach:Shaker Shebib
Under-14s Coach:Fadhel Nasser

Updated to match played 3 July 2019
Source: fanarnews.org

Board members

Position Name Nationality
President:Mohammad Jaber Hassan
Secretary:Taher Balas
Treasurer:Ali Kadhim Mubarak
Member of the Board:Nazar Taha Humoud
Member of the Board:Jihad Madlool
Member of the Board:Ahmed Hamed Al-Jabery
Member of the Board:Nabeel Abdul Ameer Jamil

Updated to match played 4 November 2019
Source: Alsumaria.tv, ninanews.com

Records

League history

  • Iraqi Premier League (1974–2019)
Season League Position Played Wins Draws Losses Score Points
1974–75 Iraqi National League 3 18 12 3 3 29:13 27
1975–76 Iraqi National League 4 24 12 7 5 29:18 31
1976–77 Iraqi National League 6 11 12
1977–78 Iraqi National League 1 13 8 5 0 27:10 21
1978–79 Iraqi National League 4 12 15
1979–80 Iraqi National League 10 22 7 6 9 26:29 20
1980–81 Iraqi National League 8 11 3 4 4 8:14 10
1981–82 Iraqi National League 9 2 17
1982–83 Iraqi National League 11 22 12
1983–84 Iraqi National League 12 24 5 5 14 23:49 15
1984–85[a] Iraqi National League 16 5 6 5 17:16
1985–86 Iraqi National League ↓ 14 15 3 3 9 12:22 9
1986–87 Iraq Division One 1
1987–88 Iraqi National League 12 30 5 13 12 22:34 23
1988–89 Iraqi National League ↓ 8 14
1989–90 Iraq Division One 1
1990–91 Iraqi National League 8 28 7 9 12 17:24 23
1991–92 Iraqi National League 9 32 12 13 13 39:42 37
1992–93 Iraqi National League 11 69 21 28 20 60:70 70
1993–94 Iraqi National League 17 50 12 21 17 42:58 45
1994–95 Iraqi National League 11 46 16 21 9 54:42 72
1995–96 Iraqi Advanced League 9 22 4 11 7 18:23 23
1996–97 Iraqi Premier League 8 30 9 10 11 22:32 37
1997–98 Iraqi Premier League 7 30 12 3 15 29:40 39
1998–99 Iraqi Premier League 4 30 14 8 8 35:25 50
1999–2000 Iraqi First Division 8 50 20 24 6 56:28 84
2000–01 Iraqi Elite League 9 30 10 10 10 24:26 40
2001–02 Iraqi Elite League 10 38 13 10 15 38:44 49
2002–03 Iraqi First Division 6 27 14 3 10 30:23 45
2003–04[a] Iraqi Premier League 7 3 2 2 3:4
2004–05 Iraqi Premier League 2 21 13 3 5 31:11 42
2005–06 Iraqi Premier League 10 16 9 4 3 26:16 31
2006–07 Iraqi Premier League 7 17 10 4 3 23:11 34
2007–08 Iraqi Premier League 10 24 10 9 5 15:18 39
2008–09 Iraqi Premier Division 11 24 10 6 8 20:24 36
2009–10 Iraqi Premier Division 13 34 16 11 7 36:23 59
2010–11 Iraqi Premier Division 7 26 12 9 5 33:21 45
2011–12 Iraqi Elite League 11 38 13 11 14 40:44 50
2012–13 Iraqi Elite League 8 34 15 7 12 54:48 52
2013–14 Iraqi Premier League 11 23 6 10 7 26:27 28
2014–15 Iraqi Premier League 4 23 9 8 6 28:22 35
2015–16 Iraqi Premier League 6 25 11 7 7 36:30 40
2016–17 Iraqi Premier League 6 36 18 12 6 40:24 66
2017–18 Iraqi Premier League 15 38 8 17 13 34:47 41
2018–19 Iraqi Premier League 17 38 8 16 14 34:42 40

[a] The league was abandoned midway through with no champion declared.

Performance in AFC competitions

Season Competition Round Club Home Away Aggregate
2006 AFC Champions League Group Stage Al-Ain 1–2 1–2 4th
Al-Hilal 1–1 1–3
Mash'al 0–1 2–2

Against National Teams

DateVenueOpponentResultScorersSource
2 May 1951Basra, Iraq Iraq1–1Tariq Khalil[15]
20 December 1958Ahmadi, Kuwait Kuwait8–0M. Menther (2), K. Allawi (2), N. Lafta (2),
W. Dawood (2)
[15]
27 February 1959Basra, Iraq Algeria2–3Sabeeh Darwish (2)[119]
20 December 1972Basra, Iraq China PR0–1[120]
21 August 2015İzmit, Turkey Bahrain0–0[121]
23 August 2015İzmit, Turkey Libya1–0Ziyad Ahmed[122]
24 March 2017Antalya, Turkey Turkmenistan1–0Ahmed Yasser[123]
25 February 2018Basra, Iraq Iraq0–0[124]

All-time top goalscorers

As of 19 July 2019
# Nat. Name Career Goals
Jalil Hanoon 1969–1989 73
Adel Nasser 1986–2002* 55
Ihsan Hadi 1998–2012* 39
Mohammed Jabbar Shokan 2009–2019* 37
Nazar Abdul Zahra 1980–1993 36
Nasser Tallaa 1999–2013* 33
Hussam Ibrahim 2005–2017* 30
Ali Al-Diwan 1987–2002 29
  • This signal (*) means that the player didn’t stay at the club all this time, but played with other clubs in some periods.
  • Players in bold are still available for selection.

Presidents and managers

List of presidents

This is a list of Al-Minaa SC presidents and chairmen from its foundation in 1931.[125]

List of presidents

Name Nationality Period
C. F. Neikell  United Kingdom 1931–32
Bey Forde  United Kingdom 1932–43
Donald Langdon  United Kingdom 1944–45
Rajab Al-Ni'ma Iraq 1946–47
R. C. Klette  United Kingdom 1947–49
Abdul Ameer Rahmatallah Iraq 1949–58
Mohammed Tariq Al-Katib Iraq 1962–63
Yousef Al-Amer Iraq 1963
Nasser Mohammed Khan Iraq 1964–66
Tariq Wedad Al-Katib Iraq 1966–67
Mohammed Tariq Al-Katib Iraq 1968–69
Adnan Ali Al-Qassab Iraq 1969–80
Mohammed Lafta Ojoom Iraq Feb. 2, 1980–May 29, 1982
Talib Hashim Abbas Iraq 1982–90
Abdul Wahab Al-Na'eb Iraq 1990–92
Talib Hashim Abbas Iraq 1992–2003
Hadi Ahmed  Iraq 2004–07
Rahim Karim  Iraq June 2, 2007–May 30, 2009
Salah Khudhair Abboud  Iraq May 30, 2009–June 1, 2012
Omran Radhi Thani  Iraq June 1, 2012–Mar. 13, 2016
Jalil Hanoon  Iraq Mar. 13, 2016–Feb. 5, 2017
Abdul Razzak Ahmed (interim)  Iraq Feb. 5, 2017–Aug. 22, 2017
Jalil Hanoon  Iraq Aug. 22, 2017–Aug. 29, 2018
Asaad Abdul Razzak (interim)  Iraq Aug. 29, 2018–Dec. 8, 2018
Hadi Ahmed  Iraq Dec. 8, 2018–Sept. 4, 2019
Mohammad Jaber Hassan  Iraq Nov. 3, 2019–present

Managerial history

This list includes the team coaches after the end of World War II and the return of the club to engage in sports activity.

Notable players

For a list of all Al-Minaa players, see Category:Al-Mina'a SC players.

Captains

This list includes the team's captains since the club's participation in the Iraqi League for the first time.

Years Position Captain
1974–1978 Forward Abdul Razzak Ahmed
1978–1979 Defender Rahim Karim
1979–1986 Midfielder Hadi Ahmed
1986–1989 Forward Jalil Hanoon
1989–1993 Forward Aqeel Hato
1993–1995 Forward Abdul Ameer Sabri
1995–1996 Midfielder Ali Al-Diwan
1996–1997 Forward Mohammed Abdul Hussein
1997–2002 Midfielder Ali Al-Diwan
2002–2003 Midfielder Adel Nasser
2003–2005 Forward Ammar Hussein
2005–2008 Defender Emad Aoda
2008–2010 Midfielder Sajjad Abdul Kadhim
2010–2012 Forward Mohammed Nasser
2012–2014 Midfielder Nayef Falah
2014–2015 Midfielder Omar Alaa Ahmad
2015–2017 Goalkeeper Karrar Ibrahim
2017–2018 Defender Mohammed Jabbar Rubat
2018–2019 Forward Sultan Jassim

Honours

Domestic

National

Winners (1) : 1977–78
Runners up (1) : 2004–05
Winners (2) : 1986–87, 1989–90

Friendly

Winners (1) : 2009

International

Friendly

Winners (1) : 2004

Rankings

CWR All-Time Club World Ranking

As of 4 July 2015[126]
RankClubAssociationPoints
2791 Alliance DudelangeUEFA3
2791 Allied Bank LimitedAFC3
2791 Al-Mina'aAFC3
2791 Al-OrubaAFC3
2791 Al-OrubaAFC3

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