Al-Hilal Club (Omdurman)
Al-Hilal Club (Sudan) - most football club in Sudan
|Full name||Al Hilal Educational Club|
|Nickname(s)||Seed al-balad (The Leader of the Country)
Al-Mawj Al-Azraq (Tha Blue Wave)
|Founded||13 February 1930|
|Chairman||Ashraf Seed Ahmed|
|Head Coach||Nabil Al-Kouki|
|League||Sudan Premier League|
|2014||Sudan Premier League|
Al Hilal Educational Club (Arabic: نادي الهلال للتربية) also known as Al Hilal Omdurman or Al Hilal for a short, is a Sudanese football club founded on 13 February 1930 in the city of Omdurman. The team has been crowned champion of the Sudan Premier League in seven of the past nine seasons, and throughout its history has won the championship 27 times during the league's 45 seasons – thus making it Sudan's most successful football team.
Name and history
During the late 1920s and early 1930s, on the heels of a failed uprising by pro Egyptian elements antagonistic to the Anglo part of the then Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, the British colonial authorities banned many activities and organizations that could potentially disrupt their hold on the region. The only organized activities permitted were sports clubs and Scouting.
In 1930, four graduates from Gordon Memorial College (now the University of Khartoum) – Hamadnallah Ahmed, Yussuf Mustafa Al-Tini, Yusuf Al-Mamoon, and Babikir Mukhtar – decided to establish a sports club as an outlet for their and others' youthful energies. On 13 February 1930, a dozen of yet-to-be the founding fathers of Al-Hilal, mostly graduates from Khartoum Memorial College, met in the house of Hamadnallah Ahmed in Al-shohada Omdurman, to discuss the details of the new sports club.
At that time, sports clubs were named after neighbourhoods, cities and famous figures. Examples included Team Bori (after a Khartoum neighbourhood), Team Abbas (after a famous person) and Hay Alisbtaliya (after an Omdurmanian neighbourhood). The meeting concluded that the new club should have an inclusive name, and not be named after a specific neighbourhood or person.
The story goes that the club founders had been unable to agree upon a name for the proposed club when the meeting was temporarily adjourned at dusk for the evening prayers at a nearby mosque. After prayers and en route back to the meeting house, one of the founders, Adam Rajab, is said to have looked up at the night sky, saw a crescent ("Hilal" in Arabic), and remarking that it was the crescent of the Muslim lunar month of Rajab, asked the others "why not we name it Al-Hilal?". Everyone welcomed the idea, and on 4 March 1930 Al-Hilal became the official name of the club and the first to hold this name in Sudan and the Middle East.
The uniform chosen was dark blue and white – after the white crescent against the dark blue night skies. In light of the aforementioned pro-Egyptian uprising, however, the British colonial authorities initially refused to permit formation of a team whose symbol, a crescent, was reminiscent of the crescent prominently featured on the Egyptian flag of that time. Only after repeated reassurances that the team was simply an athletic outlet for apolitical college students, and that its symbol had no political overtones, did the British authorities relent and allow the team to form.
1930 Squad and Officers
The first squad included many of the founders that were present at the establishing meeting. The following list includes the founding fathers of Al-Hilal and their roles.
First Squad (1930)
(F) = denotes Founder
- Champion (27): 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1974 (1st Half), 1981, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014
- Winner (7): 1977, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2009, 2011
- Runners-up (2): 1987, 1992
- Runners-up (1): 2003
- Semi-finals (2): 1990, 2005
Performance in CAF competitions
- CAF Confederation Cup: 4 appearances
- CAF Cup: 2 appearances
- CAF Cup Winners' Cup: 3 appearances
- 1994 – First round
- 2001 – First round
- 2003 – Second round
The motto for Al-Hilal is Allah – AlWatan – Al-Hilal. It is translated to English as "God – The Nation – Al-Hilal", which establishes a priority love list for Al-Hilal fans.
Rivalry with Al-Merrikh
There is a fierce historical rivalry between the two strongest clubs in Sudan, Al-Hilal and Al-Merrikh. With both clubs based in Omdurman, clubs matches are very intensified and often require high security precautions. In recent years, this rivalry extended to include the press labeling certain sports newspapers and columnists as Al-Hilal Writers vs. Al-Merrikh Writers. Player exchange period is occasionally very competitive and fierce. Prospective players are sometimes hidden and placed in undisclosed locations to ensure that the other club would not extend a higher offer and sign the player.
Although Al-Mourada is considered as the third club that completes the Sudan football triplet, it has struggled financially and administratively to continue that legacy. Al Hilal vs Al Merrikh is one of the strongest and hardest derbies in Africa in Arab football. Sudanese people say it is one of the toughest derbies in East Africa.
Current squad (2014-15)
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
- Only considering Competitive starts. When starts are equal, player with the most recent start is displayed.
Notable players and staff
Throughout history, Al-Hilal players, staff, and administration have achieved notability in sports and other disciplines.
|Ashraf Sid Ahmed||2014||Al-Hilal new president 2014.|
|Tayeb Abdallah||1963–99||Longest serving president and staff member of Al-Hilal.|
|Haitham Mustafa||2001–2012||Most caps in Al-Hilal.|
|Omar Bakheet||2013–2015||Captain 2013|
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