Al Shorta SC

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Al Shorta
Al-Shorta Football Club Logo.png
Full name Al Shorta Sports Club
Nickname(s) Al Qeetharah Al Khadra (The Green Harps) - القيثارة الخضراء
Founded 14 November 1882; 132 years ago (1882) as Montakhab Al Shorta
Ground Al Shorta Stadium,
Rusafa, Baghdad
Ground Capacity 7,000
Chairman Iraq Ayad Binyan
Manager Brazil Lorival Santos
League Iraqi Premier League
2012–13 Iraqi Premier League, 1st
Home colours
Away colours
Current season

Al Shorta Sports Club (Police Sports Club, Arabic: نادي الشرطة الرياضي‎) is an Iraqi football club based in Rusafa District, East Districts of the Tigris River, Baghdad. They are widely regarded as Iraq's best team and they are one of only two Iraqi teams to ever win any major competition outside of Iraq (the other being Al-Rasheed). They are currently the reigning champions of the Iraqi Premier League and the Brotherhood, Love and Peace Cup.


Al Shorta were founded on 14 November 1882, and are the third-oldest team in Iraq. They were founded under the name 'Montakhab Al Shorta' (Police XI) and this name lasted until 1962. In Montakhab Al Shorta's early years, the squad was formed of policemen in Iraq who were chosen to represent the Iraqi Police force in football tournaments. The first three tournaments that they competed in were the 1932-33, 1933–34 and 1934–35 editions of the Prince Ghazi Cup, but they failed to win any of them.

Al Shorta have won 22 trophies since their foundation. The first of them came in 1938, when Montakhab Al Shorta won the Taha Hashemi Cup after defeating Al Quwa Al Jawiya 1–0. Montakhab Al Shorta then defeated Al Quwa Al Jawiya again a year later, this time it was 2–0. This game was the final of the Al Quwa Al Jawiya Cup, a tournament created by themselves. In the same year, Montakhab Al Shorta crushed Al Karkh 5–1 in the final of the Olympic Club Cup to secure their third piece of silverware in two years.

In 1962, Montakhab Al Shorta became Aliyat Al Shorta (Police Machinery) and they were organised under the Police Games Directorate (up until the formation of the club as a sports club in 1974). It was during their time as Aliyat Al Shorta that the club were most successful, winning six League of the Institutes titles in the space of ten years. The first came in the 1962-63 season, with the sixth coming in the 1971-72 season. In 1971, Aliyat Al Shorta reached the final of the Asian Champions Cup and were set to face Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv. However, Aliyat Al Shorta refused to play the Israeli side for political reasons and therefore automatically lost the game.

In 1974, Aliyat Al Shorta merged with the other two Police teams in Iraq (Shorta Al Najda and Kuliya Al Shorta) to form the sports club of Al Shorta, the only club representing the Iraqi Police force today. The first trophy Al Shorta won since the change was in 1976 when they won the 1976 Arab Police Quartet Championship in what was their first title outside of Iraq. 1978 saw them win it again but the tournament was under the new name of 'Arab Police Championship Cup'. Al Shorta won the tournament for the third and final time in 1985. A year later, they competed in the Saddam International Tournament but disappointingly failed to advance past the group stages.

In between the two Arab Police Championship Cup triumphs was an even bigger one. Al Shorta had reached the final of one of the biggest tournaments in Asia, the Arab Champions League in 1982, against Al Nejmeh, and defeated them 4-2 on aggregate over the two legs. Al Shorta are one of only two Iraqi sides to win this tournament. The next year saw Al Shorta win another tournament outside of Iraq, the President's Gold Cup, in which they defeated Malaysia 2-0 in the final. After this triumph, the club changed its name from 'Al Shorta' to 'Quwat Al Emen Al Dakhili' (Internal Security Forces). However, this name only lasted until 1984 when the name was changed back to Al Shorta.

Al Shorta have reached the final of the Iraq FA Cup on 5 occasions, however have lost every one. Al Shorta's first defeat was at the hands of Al Quwa Al Jawiya in 1977–78, and in 1995–96 Al Shorta lost the final to Al Zawraa. Another defeat to Al Quwa Al Jawiya followed the next season, and two consecutive 1–0 losses to Al Talaba in the 2001–02 and 2002–03 seasons then occurred.

Since the League of the Institutes was changed to the Iraqi Premier League, Al Shorta have won three league titles, coming in the 1979–80, 1997–98 and 2012–13 seasons. Furthermore, they were top of the league in the 2002–03 season but the competition was cancelled near the end due to the war in Iraq, preventing Al Shorta from adding another league title to their long list of honours. By winning the Iraqi League of 1997–98, Al Shorta qualified for the Al Muthabara Cup (Super Cup). Here they would play Iraq FA Cup champions Al Zawraa, however Al Shorta lost 1–0. By winning the 2012–13 Iraqi League, Al Shorta qualified for the 2014 AFC Cup, and they also entered the 2014 AFC Champions League qualifiers, but lost 1-0 to Al Kuwait S.C. in the first qualifying round.

Three domestic cups would soon follow the league triumph of '98 as Al Shorta won the Umm Al Ma’arak (mother of all battles) Cup three times in a row (after losing the final in 1997). The first win came in 2000, when Amer Mushraf's goal led Al Shorta to a 1–0 win over Al Zawraa. Maher Habeeb's late goal in extra-time led Al Shorta to a win in the 2001–02 season over Al Talaba and Al Talaba would lose again to Al Shorta in the next edition of the tournament thanks to another Amer Mushraf goal.

After the 2002 Umm Al Ma'arak Cup success, Al Shorta competed in the Al-Quds International Championship, and won the tournament by defeating Al Najaf 1–0 in the final from a goal from Ahmed Hussein Adan. Al Shorta won yet another competition in 2013, which was called the Brotherhood, Love and Peace Cup, by defeating Al Zawraa 1-0 in the final due to Hussein Karim's goal.

Al Shorta have performed respectively in continental competitions of recent years, including coming in 4th place in the Algomhuria International Cup in 2004. They qualified to the AFC Champions League in both 2004 and 2005, but failed to get past the group stage in both tournaments, and they failed to qualify for the 2014 AFC Champions League, losing their only qualifying match 1-0 to Al Kuwait S.C. They also failed to get out of group stages in both the Asian Club Championship in 1999–00 and the Arab Champions League (Prince Faisal bin Fahd Tournament for Arab Clubs) in 2003. Al Shorta competed in the 1997–98 Asian Cup Winners' Cup and reached the quarter-finals of the tournament.

Old Logo

After starting the 2006–07 season brilliantly by being the only team to win all their games in the first group, including two victories over Al Quwa Al Jawiya, Al Shorta were eventually knocked out in the final (elite) stage of the competition.

In 2007–08 they topped their first group but finished 3rd in the final (elite) stage, one place away from the next round.

In 2008–09 they failed to get through Group A with a disappointing 8th place finish.

In 2009–10, Al Shorta were very close to the semi-finals. They were 2–0 up to Al Najaf knowing that a win would qualify them, but they drew the game 2–2 and Al Talaba qualified one point ahead of them. In this season they also managed to beat Arbil away from home 1–0; Al Talaba were the only other team who managed to do this.

In 2010–11, Al Shorta finished 8th in North Group, one place ahead of the relegation zone.

In the 2011–12 season, Al Shorta were on course for a top-four finish but a run of 6 losses in a row led them to 7th place in the Iraqi League.

Al Shorta had a fantastic 2012–13 season, winning the Iraqi Premier League for the first time since 1998 and losing just two games in the entire season. They clinched the league title on the final day of the season by beating Al Talaba 3-0, sparking wild celebrations in the national stadium. They also defeated Al Zawraa 1-0 to win the Brotherhood, Love and Peace Cup 2013. As league champions, Al Shorta are competing in the AFC Cup this season.


Club colours[edit]

Green White


The home kit is all green with light blue and white trimmings and light blue sleeves. The away kit is all white with grey hoops and green sleeves whilst the third kit consists of dark purple and light purple hoops. The kits are manufactured by Nike and are sponsored by Royal Arena Sport.[2]

Past Kits[edit]

Ultras Green Harp[edit]

In 2012, Al Shorta supporters founded a group known as Ultras Green Harp. The supporters group has become well-known throughout Iraqi football as the most passionate group of football fans in Iraq and the group's banners and logos can be seen in any stadium that their club play in. The number of group members is slowly increasing as the club is slowly becoming more and more famous throughout Asia. The foundation of this group has significantly increased both the number of Al Shorta fans in stadiums and their presence in matches.

Baghdad Derbies[edit]

Al Shorta are one of the top four clubs in Baghdad. The club compete in Baghdad derbies with the other three big clubs in Baghdad, Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, Al Zawraa, and Al Talaba.

Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya are the club situated closest to Al Shorta.

Current squad[edit]

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

No. Position Player
2 Iraq DF Waleed Salem
3 Iraq DF Dhirgham Ismail
4 Syria DF Hamdi Al Masri
5 Iraq MF Hussein Abdul-Wahed (vice-captain)
6 Iraq DF Kassim Zidan
7 Iraq FW Sherko Kareem
8 Burkina Faso DF Paul Koulibaly
9 Iraq FW Mustafa Karim
10 Iraq MF Mahdi Kamel
12 Iraq GK Mohammed Gassid
14 Iraq FW Amjad Kalaf (captain)
16 Iraq MF Hamza Hassan
17 Iraq FW Ammar Abdul-Hussein
18 Iraq MF Mahdi Karim
No. Position Player
19 Iraq MF Ahmad Ayad
22 Cameroon DF Innocent Awoa
23 Iraq GK Mohammed Hameed
24 Iraq MF Qusay Munir
26 Iraq FW Muhanned Ali
27 Iraq FW Karrar Hameed
28 Iraq MF Haider Muthanna
29 Iraq DF Ahmed Hassan
30 Brazil FW Cristiano
31 Iraq GK Nebras Salman
33 Iraq DF Ali Bahjat
35 Iraq MF Ahmad Fadhel
Iraq GK Amjed Salem
Iraq MF Mohammed Hadi

Out on loan[edit]

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

No. Position Player
Iraq MF Husain Abdullah (at Al Zawraa until the end of the 2013-14 season)
Iraq MF Haider Salim (at Al Masafi until the end of the 2013-14 season)

Backroom staff and club officials[edit]

Name Position
Brazil Lorival Santos Manager
Brazil Anderson Nicolau Assistant Manager/Fitness Coach
Iraq Walid Juma Fitness Coach
Brazil Marquinhos Domingues Goalkeeping Coach
Iraq Hashim Ridha Administrative Director
Iraq Sirwan Raouf Administrative Assistant
Iraq Bilal Hussein Administrator
Iraq Abdulrahman Ali Technical Processor
Iraq Haider Abdul-Zahra Assistant Technical Processor

Boardroom positions[edit]

Position Name Nationality
Chairman: Ayad Binyan Iraq
Vice-chairman: Adnan Jafar Iraq
Member of the Board: Ghazi Faisal Iraq
Member of the Board: Salam Faraj Iraq
Member of the Board: Ali Abdul-Zahra Iraq


Recent history[edit]

2000–01 3 16 10 2 4 27 12 60 Winners
2001–02 3 38 24 8 6 85 35 80 Runners-up Winners
2002–03 27 19 5 3 60 24 Runners-up Winners Group Stage League abandoned due to war, they also won the Al-Quds International Championship in this season
2003–04 6 5 1 0 19 4 Semi-finals Group Stage League abandoned due to war
2004–05 2nd round 18 7 3 8 26 19 Group Stage Al Shorta competed in the Algomhuria International Cup prior to this season and finished 4th in the tournament
2005–06 2nd round 16 10 4 2 29 9
2006–07 2nd round 11 7 1 3 14 8
2007–08 2nd round 28 14 10 4 45 23
2008–09 1st round 26 8 10 8 29 29
2009–10 2nd round 40 19 14 7 54 38
2010–11 1st round 26 8 11 7 28 23
2011–12 7 38 16 11 11 45 37 59
2012–13 1 34 20 12 2 62 29 72 Al Shorta also won the Brotherhood, Love and Peace Cup in this season
  • From the 2004–05 season, the competition changed from the single league system to a system with various rounds including groups and knockout rounds.
  • From the 2011–12 season, the competition went back to the single league system.


Al Shorta Stadium is the name of Al Shorta's home ground. It holds between 7,000 and 10,000 people. The white hall on the side of the field can hold approximately 2,000 people. The stadium has no seats, but instead there are green and white stairs on each side of the playing field and spectators sit or stand on these stairs. It has been home to many great matches for Al Shorta. It was built by volunteers and Al Shorta fans and staff at the club, making the stadium even more special. Abdul-Kadir Zeinal, Al Shorta's manager from 1975 to 1979, was the man who came up with the idea of building the stadium and the supporters approved of the idea and helped to build the stadium. After a few years of construction, the stadium was opened in 1983.

Al Shorta Sports City[edit]

Early in the 2012-13 season, Al Shorta's president Ayad Binyan announced plans to build a new stadium with plastic seats and other sports facilities around it. On 20 December 2013, the chairman of Nordic Sport (the Swedish company who will build the stadium) announced the initiation of construction of Al Shorta Sports City. Rather than being just a stadium, it is a 'sports city' because of the many more sports facilities, sports halls, buildings and entertainment at the venue.

The sports city includes an all-seater stadium with a capacity of over 10,000 as well as other sports facilities and the whole project is expected to take about 810 days from when construction begins in February 2014, which is about two years and three months. However, the construction of the all-seater stadium on its own should take six or seven months to complete, meaning that Al Shorta will be able to use the stadium in the 2014-15 season. The project will cost over 22 million pounds.

The stadium will have four stands with the main stand having a roof over it to protect spectators from the sun or from rain. Next to the stadium will be a training field where players will train every week and this training field will have an athletics track around it. Al Shorta Sports City will also include a swimming pool and a sports hall for basketball, volleyball and handball (other sports that Al Shorta participate in). There will be tennis courts in the city as well, and there will also be places for entertainment including a four-star hotel, a restaurant, a cafeteria, a club shop and beautiful gardens and fountains. Furthermore, there will also be a two-story building for managers, coaches and the board to construct meetings, sign contracts etc., a room for referees and officials and a room for players and coaches to take interviews.[4]

Statistics and records[edit]

Al Shorta's tally of three Iraqi Premier League titles is the fifth highest in history, but their tally of six League of the Institutes titles is the highest in Iraqi football history. Their total of three Umm Al Ma'arak Cups is also the highest, joint with Al Zawraa, Al Talaba and Al Quwa Al Jawiya, and they are the only team to have won the tournament three times in a row.[5] Al Shorta are one of only two Iraqi clubs to have ever won a major competition outside of Iraq when they won the first ever Arab Champions League in 1982. They are also one of two Iraqi clubs to reach the final of the AFC Champions League, however Al Shorta withdrew from the game.

Abid Kadhim holds the record for the most appearances for Al Shorta, and he also managed the club two different times after his playing career. Younis Abid Ali has scored the most goals for Al Shorta in their history, and his tally of 153 Iraqi League goals is the fourth highest in the history of the league. His tally of 36 goals in the 1993–94 season is the highest number of goals that a player has scored in a single Iraqi League season.

In 1968, a record number of Al Shorta players were called up to play for the Iraq national team. A total of eight different Al Shorta players were called up to the squad. These players included Abid Kadhim, Douglas Aziz, Tariq Aziz, Mudhafar Nouri, Latif Shandal, Satar Khalaf and Mahmoud Assad. The same number of players were called up to play for Iraq in October 2013, equalling the record. These players were Mohammed Hameed, Ali Bahjat, Dhirgham Ismail, Waleed Salem, Qusay Munir, Mahdi Kamel, Ammar Abdul-Hussein and Amjad Kalaf.

In the 1980–81 season, Al Shorta became only the second club to finish an entire Iraqi Premier League season unbeaten. Al Minaa are the other team to have achieved this when they won the league in 1978. Al Shorta were the first team to play 100 Iraqi League games, the first team to play 200 Iraqi League games, the first team to play 300 Iraqi League games and the second team to play 1000 Iraqi League games. Al Shorta were ranked as the 35th best Asian club of the century (1901-2000),[6] and the 154th best Asian club in the last decade (2001-2010)[7] by the IFFHS (International Federation of Football History & Statistics).

Al Shorta were ranked as the 169th best club in the world by FIFA from 01/09/2001 to 30/08/2002.[8]



Al Shorta Sports Club plays in more than just football, as its name implies. It has teams in basketball, volleyball, handball, weightlifting, swimming and other sports. However, the club invests most of its money into football and is most well known for its footballing achievements.

Below are all of Al Shorta's managers in football since they were founded as a sports club.


Famous players[edit]



(6):1962–63, 1965–66, 1967–68, 1968–69, 1969–70, 1971–72

(3):1979–80, 1997–98, 2012–13 (they were top of the league in the 2002–03 season but the league was cancelled near the end)

(3):2000, 2001, 2002

  • Arab Police Championship Cup:

(3):1976, 1978, 1985


  • Al-Quds International Championship:


  • President's Gold Cup:



  • Olympic Club Cup:


  • Al Quwa Al Jawiya Cup:


  • Taha Hashemi Cup:


International performance[edit]

Arab Police Championship Cup[edit]

(3): 1976, 1978, 1985

Al-Quds International Championship[edit]

(1): 2002

President's Gold Cup[edit]

(1): 1983

Arab Champions League[edit]

(1): 1982

Prince Faisal bin Fahd Tournament for Arab Clubs[edit]

Asian Champions Cup[edit]

Asian Cup Winners' Cup[edit]

AFC Champions League[edit]

  • 2004: Group Stage
  • 2005: Group Stage
  • 2014: First qualifying round

Algomhuria International Cup[edit]

  • 2004: Fourth Place

Saddam International Tournament[edit]

  • 1986: Group Stage

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Al Shorta website. "Al Shorta - History". Al Shorta website. Retrieved 2013-10-23. 
  2. ^ "Al Shorta release new kits for AFC Cup". Al Shorta website. Retrieved 2014-03-17. 
  3. ^ Al Shorta website. "Al Shorta - Players and Staff". Al Shorta website. Retrieved 2013-10-28. 
  4. ^ Al Shorta website. "Al Shorta Sports City". Al Shorta website. Retrieved 2013-12-22. 
  5. ^ Refel Hashim, Hassanin Mubarak and Mohammed Qayed. "Iraq - List of Cup Winners". RSSSF. Retrieved 2013-12-27. 
  6. ^ IFFHS. "Asia's Club of the Century". IFFHS. Retrieved 2013-12-27. 
  7. ^ IFFHS. "Asia's Club of the 1st Decade of the 21st Century". IFFHS. Retrieved 2013-12-27. 
  8. ^ Mohd Fardan. "FIFA Ranking of the Best Clubs (Arabic)". Abu Nawaf. Retrieved 2002-09-19. 
  9. ^ Al Shorta website. "Al Shorta - History". Al Shorta website. Retrieved 2013-10-23. 
  10. ^ Mubarak, Hassanin. "Al-Shurta – Coaches". RSSSF. Retrieved 2013-05-10. 

External links[edit]