Al-Karkh SC

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Al-Karkh SC
Al-Karkh SC (logo).png
Full name Al-Karkh Sports Club
Nickname(s) Canary or Al-Ghawassa Al-Safraa
Founded 1963; 54 years ago (1963)
Ground Al Karkh Stadium, Baghdad, Iraq
Ground Capacity 6,000
Owner Ministry of Education
President Sharar Haider
Manager Kareem Hussein
League Iraq Division One
2016–17 Iraqi Premier League, 19th
Website Club website

Al-Karkh Sports Club (Arabic: نادي الكرخ الرياضي‎) is an Iraqi sports club based in Karkh, Baghdad. Its professional football team plays in the Iraq Division One, the second tier of the Iraqi football. The club's home stadium is Al Karkh Stadium.

Founded in 1963, Al-Karkh wasn't successful in reaching the top division of Iraqi football until they were chosen to replace Al-Rasheed in the league when Al-Rasheed was dissolved in 1990.


In the late-1940s a basketball club was established under the name of Al-Mansour Club, where a lot of national basketball players started. The team won the 1958 Adhamiya Tournament with thousands of people either celebrating in the court or crowding outside of it. In the early-1960s, the club was dissolved and its administrative board was transferred to the new Al-Karkh Sports Club which is considered as Al-Mansour's spiritual successor.[1]

Since it was founded in 1963, Al-Karkh were unsuccessful to get promoted to the Iraqi Premier League. For 27 years, they had been languishing in the lower divisions.

Taking the Al Karkh Stadium as his club's, on 23 November 1983, Uday Hussein founded a new sports club named Al-Rasheed. Al-Rasheed soon became the biggest club in Iraq, winning the lower division in their first season followed by three top division league titles, two FA Cups, three continental trophies and a runners-up spot at the AFC Champions League, all between 1983 and 1990.

On 18 August 1990, the Iraqi Olympic Committee decided to dissolve Al-Rasheed Sports Club and transfer all of its properties to Al-Karkh Sports Club and replacing Al-Rasheed with Al-Karkh in the Iraqi Premier League.[2]

When Al-Karkh replaced Al-Rasheed's place in the Iraqi Premier League, the team for the first time in their history played in the top tier of Iraqi football. Most of the Iraq national team players left, retiring, like Adnan Dirjal, Haris Mohammed, and Samir Shaker, or transferring to other teams, like Ahmed Radhi, Laith Hussein, and Habib Jafar. In their first season in the senior division, 1990–91, they finished in 4th place at 38 points.[3]

Being coached by Adnan Dirjal, Al-Karkh, on Dirjal's first season as a coach, finished in the furthest place they have ever been in the league, which is 3rd place in the 1991–92 season, three points away from the leaders. Dirjal received the best Iraqi coach award for the team's performance through the season, while Saad Qais Noaman received the best player award. Al-Karkh also finished in 4th place in the 1991 Umm Al-Ma'arik Cup.[4]

In the seasons of 1992–93, 1993–94, 1994–95 and 1995–96, Al-Karkh managed to keep an average of 9th place in the league, where Ammo Baba, in the 1994–95 season, made the team reach the lowest he had ever reached with an Iraqi team through his entire managing career, which was 7th place.[5] The Iraq FA Cup editions from 1992 to 1996 didn't witness Al-Karkh succeeding in passing the round of 16, while in the Umm Al Ma'arik Cup, Al-Karkh reached 4th place in 1993.

In 1996, they participated in the 102nd edition of the IFA Shield, a competition in India. They finished as runners-up, losing 1–0 after extra time to JCT Mills. In the 1996–97 season, Al-Karkh finished in the relegation zone's 14th place at 27 points from 30 matches. The team was relegated to the Iraq Division One for the first time since they have replaced Al-Rasheed in 1990.[6] They were promoted back to the Iraqi Premier League in the 1997–98 season.[7] They maintained an average of 7th place throughout the five seasons after promotion. In the 1999–00 Iraq FA Cup, Al-Karkh reached the semifinals after beating Al-Talaba, Samarra FC, and beating Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya 1–0 in the first leg but they were beaten via a penalty shootout after the match ended in a 0–1 loss for Al-Karkh. The team also reached the semifinals in the 1999 Umm Al-Ma'arik Cup, where they were beaten by Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya. They won the third place match.[8] A season after, Al-Karkh achieved the Umm Al-Ma'arik 3rd place again.[9]

In the 2003–04 season, after Sharar Haider was appointed as the new president of the club, Al-Karkh didn't qualify for the second phase while in the season after, the team only qualified to the second phase.[10] They participated in the Arab Istiqlal Championship in 2005 but were knocked out at the group stage. In the 2005–06 season, Al-Karkh finished in the relegation zone with 12 points out of 12 matches, one point away from Diyala FC that had 13 points, being relegated for the second time to the Iraq Division One.[11] The team stayed in the Division One until the 2009–10 season, where they were among the six clubs that were elected to play the last two Iraqi Premier League places playoff. Under the management of Nasrat Nassir,[12] Al-Karkh won promotion and returned to the Premier League.[13] After two seasons, Al-Karkh was relegated again before returning once again to the Premier League after winning Division One in the 2012–13 season.[14]


Al Karkh Stadium at night in 2014

At first, Al-Mansour club took an old building that oversees the Tigris in Al-Karkh and turned it into a basketball court and a place to manage the club. In the late-1960s, the building started to collapse which was the main reason for the club being banished. In 1963, a new club with the same administrative board was formed in Mansour neighbourhood, Mansour district, Karkh after Al Karkh Stadium was built.[1]

In 1984, Al-Rasheed took over the stadium and turned it into theirs after renovating it and allowing shops to be opened around it. In the dissolving of Al-Rasheed, the stadium returned to its old name as the stadium of Al-Karkh SC.[2] The stadium's latest renovations were in 2004 along with most of the sports facilities after it was damaged by the U.S. Air Force in the Battle of Baghdad (2003).


Recent seasons[edit]

The season-by-season performance of the club over the recent years:

best win : 7-0 ( against Al Naft)

worst lose: 6-0 (against A Sad D.C.)

Season League Rank P W D L F A GD Pts Cup
2000–01 Iraqi Elite League 7 30 14 8 8 48 33 15 50
2001–02 Iraqi Elite League 8 38 15 9 14 52 42 10 54 QF
2002–03 Iraqi First Division 8 19 6 8 5 23 15 8 26 3R
2003–04 Iraqi Premier League(1) 3 – Group 2 8 4 1 3 12 11 1 13
2004–05 Iraqi Premier League 3 – Group 2 19 8 4 7 20 14 6 28
2005–06 Iraqi Premier League 6 – Group 3 12 3 3 6 9 14 −5 12
2006–07 Iraq Division One
2007–08 Iraq Division One
2008–09 Iraq Division One 1 – Promotion Round 5 4 1 0 7 2 5 13
2009–10 Iraqi Premier League 11 – Group B 34 9 14 10 31 35 −4 41
2010–11 Iraqi Premier League 5 – Group A 26 10 11 5 35 27 8 41
2011–12 Iraqi Premier League 17 38 8 10 20 32 49 −17 34
2012–13 Iraq Division One 1 16 9 6 1 30 15 15 33 3R(2)
2013–14 Iraqi Premier League 12 22 7 4 11 20 25 −5 25
2014–15 Iraqi Premier League 5 – Group 1 18 7 5 6 20 18 2 26

As of 4 May 2015.[15] Rank = Rank in the league; P = Played; W = Win; D = Draw; L = Loss; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points; Cup = Iraq FA Cup.
in = Still in competition; — = Not attended; 1R = 1st round; 2R = 2nd round; 3R = 3rd round; R16 = Round of sixteen; QF = Quarterfinals; SF = Semifinals.

1 This Iraqi Premier League season was not completed.
2 Al-Karkh were knocked out in the third round of the 2012–13 Iraq FA Cup, but the tournament ended up being abandoned later on.


Current squad[edit]

As of 17 December 2015[16]

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 Sarmad Rasheed
3 Iraq DF Ahmed Khalid
4 Iraq DF Ali Abid Ali (captain)
5 Iraq DF Nozad Abdul Hameed
7 Iraq MF Nameer Hameed
9 Iraq MF Ahmad Abdul-Jabar
10 Iraq MF Sahil Naeem
11 Iraq FW Ahmed Shirshab
12 Iraq GK Mohammed Saleh
14 Iraq DF Hussein Shanshoul
17 Togo FW Backer Aloenouvo
18 Iraq FW Mustafa Kareem
19 Iraq DF Yasser Mahir
No. Position Player
20 Iraq GK Wisam Adil
22 Iraq MF Haider Jabbar
23 Iraq FW Ali Rasheed (on loan from Al-Talaba)
24 Syria MF Mohammed Faris
26 Nigeria DF Okeme Eleojo
27 Iraq DF Mohammed Saeed
28 Iraq DF Sajjad Hussein
29 Iraq MF Mohammed Saad
33 Iraq MF Rafid Moayad
35 Iraq MF Samir Majid
37 Togo DF Papa Koami (on loan from Al Shorta SC)
Iraq MF Fareed Majeed
Iraq FW Hussein Salih
Iraq FW Saad Fawzi


Current technical staff[edit]

Position Staff
Head coach Kareem Hussein
Assistant manager Haider Mohammed
Assistant manager Hussam Fawzi
Goalkeeping coach Hussein Kamel
Club doctor Basim Rasan

Board members[edit]

Office Name
President Sharar Haider
Vice-president Laith Kahalil Abdul-Razzaq
Members of the administrative board Abdul Kareem Hammadi
Kamil Mughamis Al-Baidhani
Haider Ali Lazim
Abdul Majeed Rasheed
Talib Munshid




Other sports[edit]


  • Iraqi Division I Basketball League:
    • Champions (13): 1980–81, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1996–97, 1997–98, 1998–99, 2001–02, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2007–08, 2015–16 (as Al-Karkh)


  1. ^ a b Zaidan, Ahmed (May 12, 2013). "Al-Karkh, its stars that enlightened the way for the coming generations in sports and its role in supplying Iraqi sports with high quality players". Al-Gardenia (in Arabic). Archived from the original on November 22, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Al-Athari, Munthir. "Al-Karkh and Al-Rasheed, again". Al-Batal (in Arabic). 
  3. ^ Hashim, Refel (January 3, 2008). "Iraq 1990/91". RSSSF. 
  4. ^ Hashim, Refel; Mubarak, Hassanin (April 2, 2006). "Iraq 1991/92". RSSSF. 
  5. ^ Hashim, Refel (August 20, 2002). "Iraq 1994/95". RSSSF. 
  6. ^ Qayed, Mohammed (June 19, 2003). "Iraq 1996/97". RSSSF. 
  7. ^ Qayed, Mohammed (August 30, 2002). "Iraq 1997/98". RSSSF. 
  8. ^ Hashim, Refel; Schöggl, Hans; Qayed, Mohammed; Mubarak, Hassanin (May 8, 2008). "Iraq 1999/2000". RSSSF. 
  9. ^ Mubarak, Hassanin (October 17, 2006). "Iraq 2001/02". RSSSF. 
  10. ^ Hashim, Refel; Mubarak, Hassanin (November 15, 2005). "Iraq 2004/05". RSSSF. 
  11. ^ Hashim, Refel; Mubarak, Hassanin (November 8, 2006). "Iraq 2005/06". RSSSF. 
  12. ^ "In Al-Karkh SC, continues work to return to the crowning stages". Al-Ittihad (in Arabic). 
  13. ^ Mubarak, Hassanin (January 17, 2013). "Iraq 2009/10". RSSSF. 
  14. ^ "Iraqi First Division League 2012–2013". Goalzz. 
  15. ^ Stokkermans, Karel (October 15, 2015). "Iraq 2014/15". RSSSF. 
  16. ^ Al-Zubeidi, Al-Zawra'ai (17 December 2015). "Names of Al-Karkh's players". Al-Karkh Sports Club (in Arabic). Kooora Formus (10). 

External links[edit]