|Full name||Al-Merrikh Sporting Club|
|Nickname(s)||Al-Zaeem (The Leader)
The Red Devils
|Founded||Initially as Al-Masalam in 1908 – November 14, 1927|
|League||Sudan Premier League|
|Website||Club home page|
Al-Merrikh Sporting Club (Arabic: نادي المريخ الرياضي) is a Sudanese football club based in Omdurman, Sudan. Their home stadium is Al-Merrikh Stadium. Which is locally known as The Red Castle. Al-Merrikh is one of the oldest football clubs in Africa. El-Merrikh have won the Sudanese Premier League title 18 times.
- 1 Club history
- 2 Name and meaning
- 3 Leagues
- 4 Al-Merreikh Stadium
- 5 Crest
- 6 Al-Merrikh daily sports newspaper
- 7 Achievements
- 8 Performance in CAF competitions
- 9 Current squad (2014)
- 10 Staff
- 11 Club previous managers
- 12 Notable former players
- 13 Presidential history
- 14 Famous matches
- 15 References
- 16 External links
Al-Merrikh was founded as Sport Club of Al-Masalma in late 1908 by pupils from Al-Masalam district in Omdurman and was then renamed as Al-Merrikh Football Club in 1927. The club was the winner of the first Sudanese football championship in 1934, Al-Merrikh wears their original red and yellow kit although the original one had some black. There is a historical rivalry between the two strongest clubs in Sudan, Al-Merrikh and Al-Hilal. Both clubs are based in Omdurman, the old national capital of Sudan with Al-Hilal with the most wins in the Sudan Premier League of the two teams and Al-Merrikh won the most Sudan Cups out of the two teams. The first match between Al-Merrikh and Al-Hilal was in 1934 when Al-Merrikh defeated Al-Hilal 2–0. The two goals scored in the match were scored by Al-Zain Haiba, the Al-Merrikh striker. The match is known historically as The Match of the Green Grass Market, since there were no stadiums at that time and the match was held in the famous square of Omdurman, the national capital of Sudan. During day time the square was used by green grass sellers and football matches were played in the afternoons. Today, the match is still very famous and it was the actual start of rivalry between the two very famous Sudanese football clubs
Name and meaning
Al-Merrikh is the Arabic word for planet Mars. They were the first club to have this name in Sudan and Arab world.
Primarily, Al-Merrikh competes in the Sudanese Premier league, Sudan's top football league. Based on the club's end-of-season standing, it competes in the African CAF tournaments including African Champions League and/or African Confederation Cup.
Al-Merreikh Stadium Works on the stadium first started under the club's chairman Mr. Fahmy Suliman who appointed a young engineer Mr Abdelmonim Mustafa to structure a map to build a modern stadium. The engineer who is a known Merrikh supporter handed a piece of art inspired by Moscow stadium in Russia and he did the whole job for free.
The stadium was opened over 2 stages. The first stage was opened in 1962 before the construction work finished to host some governmental celebrations and that was by match between Al-Mourada and Al-Hilal won by the former.
The second stage was completed 2 years later and the stadium was officially opened by the Sudanese Prime Minister Sir El-Khatim Al-Khalifa on Monday 30 November 1964 to be the first club with own stadium in Africa.
In 2003, Al-Merrikh chairman Mr. Jamal Al-Wali and his board decided to upgrade the stadium and increase its capacity to the current 42,000 seats with costs of more than 10 million dollars and when opened in 2009 the stadium became one of the best in the African continent and is now the home stadium of Sudan national team.
Upgrades are still taking place and an Olympic swimming pool is currently under construction next to the stadium with a view of building a full sports city.
Al-Merrikh SC had some crests in its history.
Al-Merrikh daily sports newspaper
Al-Merrikh SC daily newspaper was first published in 1965 in Khartoum. As of today, it is the oldest sport newspaper in Sudan.
Al-Merrikh was the winner of the first official cup in Sudan (1934)
- Champions (19): 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974 (2nd Half), 1975, 1977, 1978, 1982, 1985, 1990, 1993, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2008, 2011, 2013
- Winners (24): 1954, 1959, 1962, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013
- Champions (20): 1953–54, 1955–56, 1961–62, 1965–66, 1967–68, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1978–79, 1980–81, 1982–83, 1984–85, 1985–86, 1990–91, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1995–96, 1996–97
- Runner-up (1): 2007
- Winners (1): 1989
- Winners (2): 1986, 1994
- Runners-up (3): 1987, 1988, 2009
- Winners (1): 1987
Performance in CAF competitions
Participated 31 times in all CAF championships
(2 times withdrew – 7 times First Round – 7 times Second Round – 1 time Quarter-Finals – 1 time Group Stage)
- CAF Confederation Cup: 7 appearances
(1 time as Finalist – 1 time Quarter-Finals – 1 time Intermediate Round – 1 time Preliminary Round)
- CAF Cup: 1 appearance
(1 time First Round)
- 1993 – First Round
- African Cup Winners' Cup: 10 appearances
(1 time Winner – 2 times semi-finals – 1 time Quarter-Finals – 3 times Second Round – 3 times First Round)
Current squad (2014)
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Football sector Administrator
- Otto Pfister
- Ibrahim Hussein
Club previous managers
Notable former players
Al-Merrikh have had numerous presidents over the course of history, none of them was owner of the club, although the land on which the current stadium was owned by Abdularahman Shakhour, some of the presidents have been honorary players. Currently Gamal Alwali is the chairman. Here is a complete list of Al-Merrikh club presidents from 1927 until the present day.
- First Derby : Al-Merrikh 2–0 Al-Hilal – 1934 – The Match of the Green Grass Market (Soog Algash) – Omdurman
- Al-Merreikh 6–2 Al-Hilal – 1948 – Education day cup – Omdurman
- Al-Merreikh 7–0 Al-Hilal – 3/09/1955 – Friendly – Khartoum
- Al-Merreikh 3–5 Honvéd – 1956 – Friendly Match – Omdurman
- Al-Merreikh 3–1 Asante Kotoko – 1962 – Friendly – Khartoum
- Al-Merreikh 14–1 Alamir – 1966 – Khartoum League – Omdurman
- Al-Merreikh 0–0 Egypt national football team – 1979 – Friendly – Khartoum
- Al-Merreikh 2–0 Nigeria national football team – 1988 – Friendly – Khartoum
- Al-Merreikh 2–0 Asante Kotoko – 2007 – Friendly – Khartoum
- Al-Merreikh 0-2 FC Bayern Munich - 2014 - Friendly - Doha (Qatar)
- (Arabic) Al-Merrikh Official website