Al-Arabi SC (Qatar)
|Full name||Al-Arabi Sports Club|
|Nickname(s)||"Fareeg Al-Ahlam" ("The Dream Team")
"The Red Devils"
|Ground||Grand Hamad Stadium
|Chairman||Hitme Bin Ali Al Hitmi|
|League||Qatar Stars League|
|2012/13||Qatar Stars League, 11th|
|Website||Club home page|
Al-Arabi Sports Club (Arabic: النادي العربي الرياضي), also known as Al-Arabi Al-Qatari, is a Qatari professional sports club fielding teams in a number of sports, most notably football which currently competes in the Qatar Stars League. The club is based in Doha, Qatar. They play their home games in the Grand Hamad Stadium. Al-Arabi is known by its different nicknames: "Dream Team", "The Red Devils", "Emperor of Qatari football", and "Century Club". They are known for having one of the largest fan bases in Qatar next to rivals Al Rayyan. In terms of championships won, they are the second most successful club on a local level after Al Sadd.
- 1 History
- 2 Honours
- 3 Stadium
- 4 Crest
- 5 Current squad
- 6 Club staff
- 7 Club officials
- 8 Performance in AFC competitions
- 9 Performance in UAFA competitions
- 10 Other sports
- 11 References
- 12 External links
The club was founded in 1952 under the name "Al-Tahrir", making them the second oldest team in Qatar. In 1957, the club merged with Al-Wehda, a club founded which was founded on that year led by Mohamed Ali Ahmed Al-Ansari, after playing a friendly. They merged under the name of Al-Wehda. Al-Wehda did not play out Qatar or host any foreign clubs due to lack of financial possibilities for the club. In 1972, the club integrated under their current name, Al Arabi. The first president of the club was Ahmed Ali Ahmed Al-Ansari.
Al-Arabi was known for having one of the largest fan bases in all of Qatar, as well as other Gulf states, and was well-known overseas. Their popularity outside of the Middle East was bolstered by their achievements and national team players, until 2003 when it reached its peak with the signing of Argentine legend Gabriel Batistuta.
The club first competed in the Qatari League in 1982. It came in 14th place in International Federation of Football History & Statistics's 1901–2000 Asian Club of the Century, the highest from Qatar.
Golden era (1990–2000)
The 1990s marked the start of a continuous chain of succession for Al-Arabi. The dream team had come to fruition with the likes of Marco Antônio and Richard Owebukeri who were the top scorers in the league at one point. Perhaps the most significant player was Mubarak Mustafa, who is still considered one of the best Qatari footballers in history. The team, impressing many with its versatile squad, took the Qatari league by storm, winning it 5 times out of 10. Not satisfied merely with local success, the team achieved runners-up position in the AFC Champions League in 1995.
They won their first Heir Apparent cup in 1997.
Fall from greatness (2000–2011)
The new century saw a significant slump in Al-Arabi's performance. Factors which impacted this may include the departure of Mubarak Mustafa and the increase of competitiveness from local clubs. In the 2002 season, Al Arabi finished in 7th place, the lowest position since its debut in the Qatar Stars League.
The arrival of Gabriel Batistuta in 2003 saw a glimpse of hope for Al-Arabi as they finished significantly higher in the league than the last 2 previous seasons, however they ended up finished 9th in the league at the end of the 2007 season, a new low. They did not win a single domestic title during this period, and had limited success in international competitions. Furthermore, they suffered their largest-ever defeat against Al Sadd that season when they were beaten 7–0, which resulted in the sacking of their coach Cabralzinho.
The club's fans were dissatisfied with the president of the club, Sheikh Falah. So in 2006, there was an administration change which saw Sheikh Faisal bin Mubarak elected president.
Management crisis (2011–present)
The beginning of the 2011–12 season looked bright for Al Arabi, with the club bagging their first domestic silverware in 13 years by defeating Umm Salal SC in the final of the 2011 Sheikh Jassem Cup. However, a string of bad results in the league resulted in the sacking of their coach, Paulo Silas.
They were also eligible to play in the 2012 AFC Champions League, which they were the first team to be eliminated from. During this period, the club had been in charge of 3 coaches in a span of 3 months. They infamously made history by being the first team since 2007 to lose every match in the group stage, as well as the first Qatari team to achieve this. As a result, the club's Director of Football, Mubarak Mustafa, announced his departure from the club. Furthermore, Dr. Abdullah al-Mal, president of the club, announced his retirement from sports. He was replaced by Hitme Bin Ali Al Hitmi. The fiscal budget of the club was reduced from 15 million riyals to 9 million riyals.
- Domestic competitions
- Winners (7): 1983, 1985, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997
- Winners (8): 1978, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1989, 1990, 1993
- Winners (1): 1997
- Regional competitions
- Ittihad Cup
- Winners (2): 1990, 1997
- As of 1 October 2013.
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
For recent squad changes see: List of Qatari football transfers winter 2013–2014 and List of Qatari football transfers summer 2013.
- Technical and administrative staff
Last updated: 17 April 2013.
Former managers with unknown dates
- Mohammed Atatash
- J. Mustafa
- Atha Al-Shatti
- Hilmi Al-Qut
- Medhat Mohammed
- Flamarion Nunes
- Ahmed Jassim Al-Jassim "Menotti"
- Eid Mubarak
- Salah Daf'allah
|President||Hitme Bin Ali Al Hitmi|
|General Secretary||Nasser Al Hitmi|
|Director General||Ahmed Al Emadi|
Last updated: 8 October 2011
Source: Board of Directors
Performance in AFC competitions
- Asian Club Championship: 5 appearances
- Asian Cup Winners' Cup: 2 appearances
- AFC Champions League: 1 appearance
- 2012: Group Stage
Performance in UAFA competitions
- Gulf Club Champions Cup: 7 appearances
Al-Arabi's volleyball team automatically qualified for the 2009, 2010, and 2011 edition of the FIVB Club World Championship as Qatar were the hosts and Al Arabi were selected participate in the tournament and represent Qatar. They have never advanced past the group stage in all three of their appearances.
Christian Pampel is among the notable volleyball players to have played for Al Arabi Volleyball.
- "QSL - Al Arabi". qsl.com.qa. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
- Alarabi Sports Club – History
- "الدوري القطري تاريخ و نجوم" (in Arabic). Al Jazeera Sports. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
- QFA.com – Al Arabi end Asian campaign on losing note
- "السنياري : لن استمر مع العربي في الموسم المقبل". Retrieved 2012-04-28.
- "العربي يغلق باب الترشح لانتخاباته في الثامنة مساء". Retrieved 2012-05-17.
- "Al Arabi Sports Club holds AGM". Retrieved 2012-06-20.
- "Alarabi Sports Club – Football – First Team" (in Arabic). Retrieved 1 October 2013.
- "Interview" (in Arabic). al-watan.com. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
- "مسابقة كأس سمو الأمير لكرة القدم المباريات النهائية" (in Arabic). alkass.net. Retrieved 8 January 2013.