Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya

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Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
القوة الجوية
Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya Crest.png
Full name Air Force Athletic Club[1]
Nickname(s) Al-Soqoor (The Falcons)
Al-Areeq (The Deep-Rooted)
Founded 22 April 1931; 87 years ago (1931) as Gipsy Moth
Ground Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya Stadium
Ground Capacity 10,000
Owner Ministry of Defence
Chairman Anwar Hamad Ameen
Manager Radhi Shenaishil
League Iraqi Premier League
2017–18 Iraqi Premier League, 2nd

Nadi Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya Al-Riyadhi (Arabic: نادي القوة الجوية الرياضي‎, lit. 'Air Force Athletic Club') is an Iraqi football club based in Rusafa District, Baghdad that competes in the Iraqi Premier League, the top-flight of Iraqi football. Founded in 1931, it is the oldest existing football club in Iraq.[2]

It is also one of Iraq's most successful clubs, having won six Iraqi Premier League titles, the most recent being in the 2016–17 season. The club has won four Iraq FA Cups as well as a joint-record three Iraqi Elite Cups and two Iraqi Super Cups, adding to the five Iraqi Central Leagues and one Iraqi Central FA Cup that it won before 1974 when domestic competitions were played at a regional level. It is also the first of only two clubs to win all four of the aforementioned national trophies (League, FA Cup, Elite Cup, Super Cup) in the same season (the 1996–97 season).

On the continental level, Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya has won two second-tier competitions (the 2016 and 2017 AFC Cups) but are yet to match rivals Al-Shorta's achievement of winning a top-tier competition. The Falcons have participated in the AFC Champions League three times since its foundation in 2002, but failed to advance past the group stage each time, and the furthest they have reached in the Arab Club Champions Cup is the quarter-final in the 2012–13 edition.

History[edit]

Early years and trophies (1931–1956)[edit]

The Iraqi Air Force itself was founded on 22 April 1931, and 74 days later (on 4 July) at the British Royal Air Force station of RAF Hinaidi, the club was founded by a group of Iraqi flight policemen making them the oldest existing football club in Iraq, hence one of their nicknames is Al-Areeq (The Deep-Rooted). The club was named Gipsy Moth after the model of the first fleet of the Iraqi Air Force, but soon the club was renamed to Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, simply meaning Air Force. They played their very first game a day later against a team from RAF Habbaniya and won the match dressed in army fatigues and short khakis. The win over the British forces helped the club grow in popularity as many Iraqis began supporting the club as its reputation spread across the nation.[3]

As the British forces and its leaders saw that the club's activities had broadened and its members and followers had multiplied which was clearly seen in the matches they played in, the British wanted to get rid of some of its leaders, but King Ghazi, who took over as ruler of Iraq in 1933, had a strong relationship with the Iraqi flight policemen and he invited the members to have talks to solve the problem. It was not long before a solution for the development of the club had been decided on and they became under the control of another branch of the Iraqi Air Force, which opened a number of doors for the club around areas in Iraq. They won their first trophy on 19 May 1933, defeating Al-Lasilki 1–0 after extra time in the final of the Prince Ghazi Cup, thanks to a goal by Nasser Hussein. They played against Montakhab Al-Shorta (now known as Al-Shorta) earlier on in that tournament, which was their first ever game against them, and won 1–0; the two clubs have enjoyed a fierce rivalry ever since. That same year they also won the Casuals Cup for the first time, with the trophy being donated by the British club.[4]

With the Kingdom of Iraq gaining independence from Britain, Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya renamed to Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya Al-Malikiya (Royal Air Force), and returned to the name of Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya when Iraq became a republic in 1958. On 2 March 1934, Jawiya beat Madrasat Al-Harbia 1–0 to retain the Casuals Cup, and also retained the Prince Ghazi Cup in April of that year with a 2–1 extra time win against Al-Lasilki. 1935 saw Jawiya once again win both tournaments, defeating Al-Lasilki 1–0 in the Casuals Cup final on 20 April and also defeating Al-Lasilki, this time 2–1, in the Prince Ghazi Cup final. By winning three consecutive Casuals Cups, Jawiya were allowed to keep the trophy on a permanent basis. Jawiya reached the final of the Casuals Cup for the fourth successive time in 1936 where they were set to play Madrasat Al-Harbia, but the result of the game was never recorded and it remains unknown which team won the tournament, which turned out to be the final edition of the competition.[5]

After losing both the finals of the 1938 Taha Al-Hashimi Cup and the 1939 Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya Cup to Montakhab Al-Shorta (1–0 and 2–0 respectively), Jawiya went on a winning spree, claiming six trophies in the space of three years (the Taha Al-Hashimi Cup in 1939, the Al-Wasi Cup in 1940, the Amanat Al-Asima Cup in 1941, the Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya Cup in 1941 and 1942, and the Palestine Cup in 1942). The next decade-and-a-half saw Jawiya and Haris Al-Maliki (meaning Royal Guards) becoming close rivals with the two teams competing for local honours, before Haris Al-Maliki were dissolved in 1957.[6]

Continued domestic success (1956–1978)[edit]

In 1956, the Iraq Football Association founded the Iraqi Central League, a tournament for teams in central Iraq (i.e. the capital city of Baghdad). This league competition continued all the way until 1974 when the Central League and other regional leagues were replaced by the Iraqi National League. Jawiya were one of the six teams to compete in the double-elimination tournament in 1956–57, but failed to win the competition. In 1957, Jawiya completed the signing of Ammo Baba, arguably the most legendary player in Iraqi football history, and won their first ever league title in Ammo's first season at the club in 1957–58, after Montakhab Al-Shorta withdrew from the replay of the final. The following two seasons both saw Jawiya reach the final of the league again, but they lost both finals to Amanat Al-Asima (now Amanat Baghdad) and Al-Athori respectively.[7]

In 1959, Jawiya won the Army Cup Championship, and they secured their second league title in the 1961–62 season, the first season to be held in a round-robin format. This qualified them for the 1962 Al-Athar Cup which they won by defeating league runners-up Al-Kuliya Al-Askariya 4–2. The 1962–63 season saw Jawiya finish as runners-up behind Madrasat Al-Shorta (now Al-Shorta), but Jawiya won the league title again in 1963–64 and also won the Al-Athar Cup and the Army Cup Championship again that year.

They were once managed by Scotsman Frank Hill in the fifties, a player at Arsenal and manager at Notts County and Charlton Athletic – attempting on two separate occasions to sign Jawiya’s star inside forward Ammo Baba. They had another British link as the team featured former Bristol Rovers reserve Youra Eshaya who went on to become one of the longest-serving players at the club from 1955 to 1971.[8][9]

Jawiya had to wait nine more years for their next league title, finishing second twice and third once in those years, until they finally claimed their fourth title in 1972–73; this title was extra special as Jawiya won the league with a 100% win record (seven wins from seven games).

They retained the Central League title for the first time ever in the 1973–74 season, which included some teams from outside central Iraq unlike the previous seasons, despite a heavy defeat in their first game of the season to eventual runners-up Aliyat Al-Shorta (now Al-Shorta). That season, Jawiya also competed in the first (and last) edition of the Iraqi Central FA Cup, a knockout tournament played between 20 teams from central Iraq, and Jawiya reached the final by defeating Quwat Salahaddin B, Al-Najda and Quwat Salahaddin (now Al-Jaish). In the final on 27 April 1974, they faced Al-Sikak Al-Hadeed and won 2–1 to claim the trophy, thus becoming the first and only team to complete the Central League and Central FA Cup double. They also won the Army First Division League that season to top off a successful campaign.

In 1974, the Iraq Football Association decided to abandon the Iraqi Central League and Iraqi Central FA Cup and the other regional competitions in Basra, Kirkuk and Mosul, replacing them with the Iraqi Premier League (then known as the Iraqi National League) and Iraq FA Cup. The new National League was only open to football clubs rather than institute-representative teams, and allowed entry from clubs across the nation rather than from a specific region. As Jawiya was already a football club, they were barely affected by the new system, although they did decide to change their name from Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya to Al-Tayaran (meaning Airlines). The first ever edition of the Iraqi Premier League in the 1974–75 season saw Al-Tayaran claim the title, finishing just a single point above runners-up Al-Naqil, meaning they had won three league titles in a row (two Central League and one National League). All three titles were won under the management of Abdelilah Mohammed Hassan. The 1975–76 season saw them finish as runners-up largely thanks to 11 goals by Kadhim Waal, however the two seasons after that saw them disappointingly finish eighth and seventh respectively. However, Al-Tayaran did make up for their poor league performances by winning their first ever Iraq FA Cup title by beating Al-Shorta 5–3 on penalties in the 1978 final after a 1–1 draw, with Nadhum Shaker scoring the winning penalty.

Twelve years without a major trophy (1978–1989)[edit]

The 12 years after their FA Cup triumph were difficult for the club as they failed to land a single major trophy, although some minor trophies helped soften the blow. They finished fifth in the 1978–79 Iraqi National League, ninth in 1979–80, third in 1980–81 and second in 1981–82. In 1982, they won the Stafford Cup, a tournament hosted in Bangalore, India, winning all four of their games and scoring 12 goals, conceding only one. The next two seasons of the National League both saw Al-Tayaran finish third, and in 1984 they won the Al-Wehdat Arabian Championship. They played four games in the tournament, drawing 0–0 with MAS Fez and 1–1 with Al-Ramtha before 3–1 and 2–0 victories over CS Sfaxien and Al-Wehdat propelled them up to first place. The 1984–85 Iraqi National League was abandoned with no champions declared, but Al-Tayaran did still manage to claim a cup that year when they beat Al-Rasheed 1–0 in the final of the Al-Meelad Cup.

In the 1985–86 season, Al-Tayaran finished third but were only three points off the champion, Al-Talaba, with whom they share a great rivalry. At the end of the season, the Iraq FA organised a friendly tournament called the Wadaa Al-Dawri Cup ('Farewell League' Cup) which Al-Tayaran won by beating their biggest rivals Al-Zawraa 2–1. Al-Tayaran finished fourth and third respectively in the next two seasons of the league but claimed yet another minor trophy with the 1988 Al-Intisar Cup, where they drew 0–0 with Al-Talaba and won against Al-Zawraa (1–0), Al-Jaish (1–0) and Al-Najaf (6–0). The 1988–89 Iraqi National League was played in a group stage format rather than a round-robin format, and Al-Tayaran managed to qualify to the Elite Stage by finishing in the top four of the Baghdad Group. In the Elite Stage they surprisingly topped Group 2 finishing ahead of title favourites Al-Rasheed to reach the semi-finals. There, they faced Group 1 runners-up Al-Talaba but were knocked out via a penalty shootout. They thrashed rivals Al-Zawraa 4–1 in the third place match, but could not repeat that feat in the final of the 1988–89 Iraq FA Cup, being comfortably beaten 3–0 by Al-Zawraa in that game, and thus Al-Tayaran fans continued to dream of their first major trophy for 12 years and their first league for 15 years.

First Double for the club (1989–1996)[edit]

In the 1989–90 season, Al-Tayaran finally managed to get their second Premier League title, known as the National League at the time. They finished four points ahead of defending champions Al-Rasheed, which was a surprise considering Al-Rasheed had won the last three editions of the league with nearly all of the national team's star players in their squad. 12 goals from Natiq Hashim were crucial in winning Amer Jamil's Al-Tayaran the title. Despite winning the league, the Iraq Football Association admitted runners-up Al-Rasheed into the 1990–91 Asian Club Championship; Al-Rasheed and the Iraq Football Association were both run by Uday Hussein at the time. The 1990–91 season was a strange one for the club. Midway through the season, on 20 April 1991, the Ministry of Interior decided to dissolve all the clubs that were under its control including Al-Bahri (Navy Club), Al-Jaish (Army Club) and Al-Tayaran. However, after immense pressure from supporters of the club, Al-Tayaran returned to action on 12 May 1991, but returned to their old name of Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya. That season, Jawiya finished in a disappointing sixth place.

The 1991–92 season saw Jawiya win their first ever Double and goes down as one of the most successful seasons in the club's history. Managed by Adil Yousef, Jawiya lost just two of their 38 league games, finishing two points ahead of their fiercest rivals Al-Zawraa. They claimed the title on the very last day of the season, defeating Al-Zawraa 1–0 in their last game thanks to an early goal by their top scorer Akram Emmanuel to overtake their opponents and claim the trophy. The game was controversial as Al-Zawraa scored a goal through Laith Hussein that was ruled out for offside; had the goal counted, Al-Zawraa would have retained their title. Jawiya coupled their league success with their second FA Cup win, defeating Al-Khutoot (who were ironically named Al-Tayaran at that time) 2–1 in the cup final. This double-winning side is still fondly remembered by supporters as the first team to have achieved the feat for the club. That season also saw the foundation of the Iraqi Elite Cup, a new major cup competition played at the start of the season between the top-finishing teams of the previous season. Jawiya reached the final of the first edition of the cup in 1991 but lost 3–1 after extra time to Al-Zawraa.

Jawiya reached the final of the next edition of the Elite Cup too in 1992, but fell to another extra time loss, this time a 1–0 defeat at the hands of Al-Talaba. The 1992–93 Iraqi National League saw each team in the league play a huge 69 games, and Jawiya claimed third place that season. They improved in the following season to finish second in the league, and once again reached the final of the Elite Cup, but they lost once more; this time Al-Talaba beat them 2–1. After losing three successive Elite Cup finals (and losing the final of the Calcutta Championship 1–0 to Indian opposition on 10 November 1993), Jawiya finally ended the curse in 1994, winning their first Elite Cup title with a penalty shootout win over Al-Talaba after the game ended goalless. They maintained their position of second place in the league that year, but dropped all the way down to eighth in the 1995–96 season in one of the most disappointing seasons in the club's history. It turned out to be a one-off though, as Jawiya enjoyed their most successful season ever the following campaign.

First ever domestic Quadruple in Iraq (1996–1997)[edit]

Jawiya, under the leadership of Ayoub Odisho, started the 1996–97 season with the 1996 Iraqi Elite Cup. They only just qualified for the tournament, as the cup was played between the top eight teams of the previous season's league, where Jawiya had finished eighth. They topped their group ahead of Al-Najaf, Al-Naft and Al-Ramadi, beating the latter two 3–1 and 4–1 respectively but losing 2–0 to Al-Najaf. In the semi-final, they comfortably disposed of Al-Shorta with a 3–0 scoreline, before winning the cup thanks to a 1–0 win over the reigning league champions Al-Zawraa.

Jawiya managed to win the Iraqi Premier League with 22 wins from 30 games with their top scorer being Sabah Jeayer. They finished two points ahead of Al-Zawraa, but the gap was only closed due to Al-Zawraa beating Jawiya on the final day once Jawiya had already clinched the title, which they did with a 1–0 win over Al-Minaa in round 29. Four days before clinching the league title, Jawiya won their third Iraq FA Cup in front of 50,000 spectators at Al-Shaab Stadium. They were given a run for their money by Al-Shorta as the game ended 1–1, but Jawiya prevailed with a score of 7–6 in the penalty shootout.

Jawiya had secured the domestic treble but the job was not done as the Iraq FA announced that the first ever edition of the Iraqi Super Cup would be played at the end of the 1996–97 season to bring a close to the domestic campaign. The game was meant to be played between the league and cup winners, but as Jawiya had won both tournaments, league runners-up Al-Zawraa participated. Jawiya became the history-makers by winning the game 3–1 and thus becoming the first team in Iraqi football history to win all four major domestic trophies in a single season, sparking jubilant scenes at the Al-Shaab Stadium. The feat was only achieved once since then (by Al-Zawraa in the 1999–2000 season) and is no longer attainable since the Iraqi Elite Cup was discontinued after 2003. Unfortunately for Jawiya, they weren't able to achieve a Quintuple as they were knocked out of the 1996–97 Asian Cup Winners' Cup on away goals in the very first round by Navbahor Namangan of Uzbekistan.

Heartbreak before fifth Premier League title (1997–2005)[edit]

The joy of the 1996–97 was immediately followed by the most painful season in Jawiya's history in 1997–98. Jawiya reached the 1998 Iraq FA Cup final and were winning 1–0 against Al-Zawraa heading into injury-time. The referee added six minutes of injury-time to the game, and Al-Zawraa broke Jawiya's hearts by scoring an equalising goal in the 97th minute of the game. There were no goals in extra-time and thus the game went to penalties where Al-Zawraa prevailed by a score of 4–3. Jawiya had the chance to bounce back from that heartbreaking disappointment less than a week later, as they sat on top of the league table heading into the final round of matches. To secure their second league title in a row, all Jawiya had to do was beat Al-Zawraa in their final game. If they drew against Al-Zawraa, they had to hope that Al-Shorta drew or lost in their game against mid-table side Al-Sulaikh that was being played at the same time. A loss for Jawiya would make it impossible to be champions. Jawiya took the lead in the game through Razzaq Farhan, but Adnan Mohammed scored an equalising goal in the second half for Al-Zawraa and the game ended 1–1. This meant that Jawiya had to hope that Al-Shorta did not beat Al-Sulaikh, which was unlikely.

However, to everyone's surprise, Al-Shorta were drawing 2–2 with Al-Sulaikh, having scored an equalising goal in the 84th minute. News spread around Al-Shaab Stadium (the venue of Jawiya's game) that Al-Shorta were drawing. Jawiya's fans and players assumed that Al-Shorta's game was over, and began wild celebrations. The players broke into a lap of honour on the field, waving flags and chanting songs. The manager, Ayoub Odisho, was given the bumps by his delighted players and ran into the crowd to hug the supporters who were chanting and waving flags and banners jubilantly. With Jawiya's players still celebrating on the field, Odisho began an interview that was broadcast live on Iraqi television. During the interview, Odisho explained how proud and happy he was to have won his second league title in a row, finishing ahead of Al-Shorta and Al-Zawraa. Little did anyone in the stadium know, Al-Shorta had scored a 93rd-minute penalty in their game to win 3–2 and thus overtake Jawiya and become champions. Midway through Odisho's interview, the stadium announcer declared that the final score of Al-Shorta's game was 3–2 and that Al-Shorta were officially the champions of Iraq. Odisho stopped talking and stood still with a shocked, distraught expression on his face, as the fans stopped celebrating and the players slumped to the ground in despair and embarrassment. Odisho exclaimed, "Now they have won?" in pure disbelief, all the meanwhile Al-Zawraa fans jeered delightedly at Jawiya's fans and players. Al-Shorta travelled to Al-Shaab Stadium, collecting their gold medals and the shield while Jawiya took the silver medals, putting an end to the most painful season in the history of Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya.

Jawiya put the pain of the previous season behind them and began their 1998 Iraqi Elite Cup campaign by topping their group ahead of Al-Naft, Al-Jaish and Al-Najaf with two wins and a draw. Jawiya thrashed Al-Minaa 4–1 in the semi-final to book their place in the final where they played Al-Naft, who they had already beaten 2–0 earlier in the competition. Jawiya beat them again, this time 3–0, thanks to two goals by Akram Emmanuel and one by Razzaq Farhan to clinch their third Elite Cup title. Jawiya finished third in the 1998–99 Iraqi Premier League, and reached the second round of the 1998–99 Asian Club Championship, losing 3–1 on aggregate to Esteghlal of Iran. The 1999–2000 season was another heartbreaking season for the club as they finished as runners-up to their biggest rivals Al-Zawraa in every competition they played in, losing the final of the Elite Cup 2–0 to them, the final of the FA Cup on penalties to them and finishing four points behind them in the league; Al-Zawraa won the domestic quadruple that season, emanating Jawiya's feat from three years prior.

With Al-Zawraa winning both the league and the cup, Jawiya were entered into the 2000 Iraqi Super Cup, but they once again tasted defeat to Al-Zawraa, this time losing 1–0. The 2000–01 edition of the league saw them finish second once again, and they finished second for the third time in a row in the 2001–02 season. Jawiya did manage to win the 2001 Iraqi Super Cup though, getting their revenge on Al-Zawraa with a 1–0 win; they qualified for the Super Cup by virtue of being the league runners-up as the 2000–01 Iraq FA Cup was cancelled. Jawiya also participated in the 2001–02 Asian Cup Winners' Cup that season but, under the management of Al-Zawraa legend Ahmed Radhi, Jawiya suffered an embarrassing first round exit to Al-Aqsa of Palestine, losing the away game 1–0 and conceding three away goals to the Palestinians in their home game. Jawiya also managed to win a minor international competition that season, the Al-Quds International Championship, defeating Al-Wahda (Syria) and Al-Jazeera (Jordan) in the group stage, Al-Wehdat (Jordan) in the semi-final and Al-Karamah (Syria) in the final.

In the 2002–03 season, Jawiya finished in a disappointing fifth place but were chosen by the Iraq FA to participate in the 2004 AFC Champions League where they won one, drew one and lost two games, being knocked out in the group stage. They almost qualified to the 2005 AFC Champions League too, but they lost 4–3 on aggregate to reigning league champions Al-Shorta in the play-offs that were organised by the Iraq FA following the abandonment of the 2003–04 Iraqi Premier League. That season they won a friendly cup called the Al-Mahabbah Championship, beating Al-Kadhimiya 2–0 in the final on 28 September 2003 thanks to goals by Mahir Ogla and Ghanim Khudhair. Jawiya entered the 2004–05 season still in search of a fifth Premier League title, and the season was played in a group stage format with Jawiya being placed in the North Group. They topped that group with 31 points from 16 games to qualify for the Elite Stage, where they finished top of Group 4 on goal difference ahead of Erbil to reach the semi-finals. They overcame Al-Talaba by an aggregate score of 3–2 in the semi-final to qualify for the Iraqi Premier League final, hosted at Al-Shaab Stadium in Baghdad, where they played against Al-Minaa of Basra. Jawiya, coached by Sabah Abdul-Jalil with a starting lineup including the likes of Wissam Gassid, Fareed Majeed, Ali Rehema, Hawar Mulla Mohammed and Luay Salah, won the game 2–0 to make history, clinching their fifth Premier League title, and tenth overall when including their five Central League titles.

Eleven-year trophy drought (2005–2015)[edit]

The eleven years following their fifth Premier League title were frustrating for the club. They were always competing with the top teams each and every season, only finishing outside the top four twice and never finishing lower than sixth, but they were still not able to attain the league title. And with the Iraq FA Cup, Iraqi Elite Cup and Iraqi Super Cup no longer being played, this meant Jawiya were not able to win a major trophy throughout these years. They participated in the 2006 AFC Champions League but suffered a group stage exit, losing four of their six matches, and they finished in fourth position in the 2005–06 Iraqi Premier League. In the 2006–07 season, Jawiya reached the final of the league again but lost it to hosts Erbil by a score of 1–0. Their position as league runners-up qualified them for the 2008 AFC Champions League but they exited at the group stage once more, although they performed well in the tournament compared with other years, finishing second in their group, the joint-highest that any Iraqi team has finished in a group in the AFC Champions League era.

Jawiya clinched a third-place finish in the 2007–08 Iraqi Premier League, beating Duhok 3–0 in the third place match. This qualified them for the 2008–09 Arab Champions League, where they knocked out Hassania Agadir before losing to US Monastir in the round of 16. The newly-named 2008–09 Iraqi Premier Division saw Jawiya finish in a disappointing sixth, while they were only able to do slightly better in 2009–10 where they finished fifth, although they would have qualified to the semi-finals of the league had they beaten Naft Al-Janoob in their last game rather than drawing 0–0. Amjad Radhi scored a huge 31 goals that campaign to take the Golden Boot. The 2010–11 Iraqi Premier Division also saw a slight improvement, this time moving up to fourth, while the 2011–12 season once again saw a slight improvement, moving up to third position with the new round-robin format in action; this qualified them for the 2012–13 UAFA Club Cup where they reached the quarter-finals, losing to Raja Casablanca of Morocco.

The club almost won the league in the 2012–13 season and were in the running for the title on the last day, but poor results at the start of the season as well as dropped points to relegated sides Al-Sinaa and Al-Sulaymaniyah towards the end saw them finish in third, three points off champions Al-Shorta. That season, the club also played in the 2013 World Men's Military Cup and won the tournament, representing Iraq rather than Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, with Hammadi Ahmad winning the top scorer award and Humam Tariq winning the best player award. They dropped down a place to fourth in the 2013–14, before performing much better in the 2014–15 campaign. This season was played in a group stage format; Jawiya topped Group 1 in the Group Stage to qualify for the Elite Stage, where they topped Group 2 on goal difference ahead of Al-Minaa. This qualified them for the league final where they played newly promoted Naft Al-Wasat, who had shocked the nation by reaching the final. And the Najaf-based club shocked the nation again, defeating Jawiya in a penalty shootout to claim their first ever major trophy and deny Jawiya their sixth Premier League title.

Return of the glory years (2015–)[edit]

Jawiya hoped to win the league in the 2015–16 season but only managed to obtain a fourth-place finish.[10] Nonetheless, the season turned out to be a successful one as they won the 2015–16 Iraq FA Cup,[11] the first completed edition of the cup for 13 years and Jawiya's fourth FA Cup in total. It was also the 20th major honour in the history of Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya. They were almost knocked out of the tournament at the semi-final stage, losing 4–1 away from home in the first leg to Duhok, but a 3–0 home win in the second leg saw them make the final on away goals.[12] In the final, they defeated rivals Al-Zawraa 2–0 and denied their opponents the Double, simultaneously ending their own eleven year trophy drought and sparking scenes of joy in the national stadium.

2016 AFC Cup winning starting line-up.

Now that the trophy drought was over, Jawiya pushed on to win more trophies, and secured the signing of their former star player Amjad Radhi to partner the league's joint top-scorer of 2015–16, Hammadi Ahmad, up front. By finishing as runners-up of the 2014–15 league, Jawiya qualified for the 2016 AFC Cup,[13] Asia's second-tier club tournament (Iraqi clubs did not pass the licensing requirements to participate in the AFC Champions League and thus were transferred to the AFC Cup). They topped their group with five wins and a loss, before knocking out Al-Wehdat (Jordan), Al-Jaish (Syria) and Al-Ahed (Lebanon) to reach the 2016 AFC Cup Final, where a pass from Amjad Radhi led to Hammadi Ahmad scoring the only goal of the game against Indian outfit Bengaluru to become the first Iraqi club to win the AFC Cup and claim their first ever major continental trophy. Jawiya then went on to win the 2016–17 Iraqi Premier League, their sixth Premier League title, with two goals from Hammadi Ahmad in the last game against Al-Hedood securing the trophy under the helm of Basim Qasim.[14] They rounded off the season by winning their second consecutive AFC Cup, this time beating FC Istiklol 1–0 in the final. They began the 2017–18 season under the leadership of Hussam Al Sayed with a defeat in the Iraqi Super Cup to bitter rivals Al-Zawraa on penalties.

Stadium[edit]

Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya's stadium is located in Baghdad, next to Falastin Street, opposite the stadium of their rivals Al-Shorta. It has a capacity of 10,000. The seats are light blue in colour.

Kits[edit]

Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya's home kit is all blue with white trimmings, while their away kit is all white with blue trimmings. The third kit is all purple with white trimmings. In the past, Jawiya have also worn a red and white striped away kit with blue trimmings, and a black third kit with gold trimmings.

Rivalries[edit]

Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya's main rivals are Al-Zawraa, with whom they contest the Iraqi El Clásico. Jawiya also share a fierce rivalry with the other big Baghdad clubs, namely Al-Shorta and Al-Talaba.

Supporters[edit]

Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya are one of the traditional "Big Four" of Baghdad and thus have a large fanbase, concentrated mainly in Iraq's capital. The supporters call themselves Al-Soqoor, which means The Falcons; this is also the nickname of the club. In 2012, Jawiya fans, inspired by the success of Al-Shorta's ultras group called Ultras Green Harp, decided to form an ultras group under the name Ultras Blue Hawks. The group has grown in number and is now in its thousands. They wave flags and banners at games, play instruments and set off flares and fireworks in order to create a good atmosphere at Jawiya's games; they aim to intimidate the opposition as well as inspire their own team.

Current squad[edit]

As of 18 July 2018

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

No. Position Player
1 Iraq GK Fahad Talib
2 Iraq DF Samal Saeed (captain)
4 Iraq DF Qays Muqdad
5 Iraq MF Ahmed Abdul-Ridha
6 Iraq DF Sameh Saeed
7 Iraq FW Karrar Ali
8 Iraq MF Salih Sadir
9 Iraq FW Emad Mohsin
14 Iraq FW Mohamed Baker Alduraji (On Loan [Foreign])
10 Iraq FW Hammadi Ahmad (vice-captain)
11 Iraq MF Humam Tariq
13 Iraq MF Fahad Kareem
15 Croatia DF Sanin Muminovic
17 Iraq FW Ali Yousif
18 Syria MF Zaher Midani
19 Iraq MF Mohammad Nasser
No. Position Player
20 Iraq MF Taher Hameed
21 Iraq GK Amjad Raheem
22 Iraq GK Hasanain Jabber
23 Iraq FW Shihab Razzaq
24 Iraq FW Alaa Adnan
28 Iraq MF Thamer Barghash
29 Iraq FW Amjad Radhi
30 Iraq MF Mustafa Hussein
33 Iraq DF Ali Bahjat
34 Iraq DF Mustafa Mohammed
35 Iraq FW Adnan Mohammed
36 Croatia DF Sebastijan Antic
39 Iraq MF Ahmad Abdulameer
40 Iraq GK Haider Raad
41 Iraq MF Ahmed Ayad
Iraq DF Saad Natiq

Honours[edit]

Domestic[edit]

National[edit]

Regional[edit]

International[edit]

Friendly[edit]

  • Al-Mahabbah Championship:
    • Winners (1): 2003
  • Al-Quds International Championship:
    • Winners (1): 2001
  • Al-Intisar Cup:
    • Winners (1): 1988
  • Wadaa Al-Dawri Cup:
    • Winners (1): 1986
  • Al-Meelad Cup:
    • Winners (1): 1985
  • Al-Wehdat Championship:
    • Winners (1): 1984
  • Stafford Cup:
    • Winners (1): 1982
  • Iraqi Armed Forces League:
    • Winners (1): 1974–75
  • Army First Division League:
    • Winners (1): 1973–74
  • Mudir Al-Maslaha Cup:
    • Winners (1): 1964
  • Al-Athar Cup:
    • Winners (2): 1962, 1964
  • Army Cup Championship:
    • Winners (2): 1959, 1964
  • Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya Cup:
    • Winners (2): 1941, 1942
  • Palestine Cup:
    • Winners (1): 1942
  • Amanat Al-Asima Cup:
    • Winners (1): 1941
  • Al-Wasi Cup:
    • Winners (1): 1940
  • Taha Al-Hashimi Cup:
    • Winners (1): 1939
  • Casuals Cup:
    • Winners (3 known): 1932–33, 1933–34, 1934–35
  • Prince Ghazi Cup:
    • Winners (3): 1932–33, 1933–34, 1934–35

Statistics[edit]

In international competitions[edit]

As of 15 May 2018
Competition Record
G W D L Win %
AFC Champions League 20 7 4 9 035.00
AFC Cup 31 19 10 2 061.29
Arab Champions League 11 5 3 3 045.45
Asian Cup Winners' Cup 4 2 0 2 050.00
Total 66 33 17 16 050.00

List of Managers[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]