Arab Club Champions Cup

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Arab Club Champions Cup
Arab Club Champions Cup logo.png
Founded1981; 37 years ago (1981)
RegionArab world (UAFA)
Number of teams40
Current championsTunisia Espérance ST (3rd title)
Most successful club(s)Iraq Al-Rasheed
Tunisia Espérance ST
(3 titles each)
2018–19 Arab Club Champions Cup

The Arab Club Champions Cup (Arabic: كأس العرب للأندية الأبطال‎, French: Ligue des Champions Arabe)[1] is an annual regional club football competition organised by the Union of Arab Football Associations (UAFA) and contested by elite clubs from the Arab world. The tournament is contested by a total of 40 teams – 20 from the Asian Football Confederation and 20 from the Confederation of African Football.

Founded in 1981, the tournament was held alongside the Arab Cup Winners' Cup and the Arab Super Cup throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, until the Cup Winners' Cup and Super Cup were merged with the Champions Cup in 2002. The tournament's first ever champions were Iraqi giants Al-Shorta, who defeated Lebanese side Al-Nejmeh in the final over two legs in 1982.[2]

Saudi Arabian clubs have accumulated the most victories, with eight wins. The title has been won by 18 different clubs, seven of which have the title more than once. Since the tournament was merged with the Cup Winners' Cup, only ES Sétif of Algeria have managed consecutive wins, successfully defending their title in 2008. The reigning champions are Espérance de Tunis of Tunisia, who won the 2017 edition to became the joint-most successful club in the tournament's history alongside now-dissolved Iraqi club Al-Rasheed.


The tournament was founded in 1981 as the Arab Club Champions Cup, seven years after the foundation of the Union of Arab Football Associations (UAFA), as an annual competition for the champions of Arab countries. The first edition saw three domestic champions participating in a knockout format, with Iraqi club Al-Shorta becoming the first ever champions, winning a two-legged final against Al-Nejmeh. The following three editions were decided by a round-robin format instead, until 1987 where a new format consisting of both a group stage and a knockout stage (culminating in a single-leg final) was introduced.

In 1989, UAFA founded a new annual competition that would be held alongside the Arab Club Champions Cup. It was called the Arab Cup Winners' Cup and was a competition for the cup winners of Arab countries, with a similar format to that of the Champions Cup. In 1992, UAFA introduced the Arab Super Cup which was an annual round-robin competition between the winners and runners-up of the Champions Cup and Cup Winners' Cup. In 2002, UAFA made a decision that changed the face of Arab continental football. They decided to merge the Cup Winners' Cup and Super Cup with the Champions Cup to form the Arab Unified Club Championship. Two editions of the tournament were played under this name, until UAFA changed the name of the tournament to the Arab Champions League so that its name was similar to other elite continental tournaments such as the UEFA Champions League, CAF Champions League, AFC Champions League and OFC Champions League. From the 2004–05 edition onwards, UAFA reintroduced two-legged finals, which had not been used since the very first edition of the tournament won by Al-Shorta.

The tournament ran smoothly up to an including 2008–09, but UAFA ran into organisational problems after this due to issues with the tournament's sponsor. This prevented the tournament from being held for four years until it resurfaced in 2012–13 under the new name of UAFA Club Cup. However, UAFA ran into the same problems as before after that season which led to another four-year hiatus. The competition was held again in 2017 under the name of Arab Club Championship with 20 teams, with the entirety of the group stage and knockout stage being held in Egypt and the final being held as a single leg. The number of teams doubled to 40 for the 2018–19 season where the competition has returned to its first name of Arab Club Champions Cup and has changed its format to become a knockout competition from the Round of 32 onwards.

Previous logos[edit]

Records and statistics[edit]


Arab Club Champions Cup
Year Home team Score Away team Venue Attendance
Iraq Al-Shorta 2 – 0 Lebanon Al-Nejmeh Al-Shaab Stadium, Baghdad (note)
Lebanon Al-Nejmeh 2 – 2 Iraq Al-Shorta
Al-Shorta won 4 – 2 on aggregate
Year Winner Score Runner-up Venue Attendance
Saudi Arabia Al-Ettifaq n/a Morocco KAC Kenitra Prince Mohamed bin Fahd Stadium, Dammam
Iraq Al-Rasheed n/a Algeria USM El-Harrach Al-Shaab Stadium, Baghdad
Iraq Al-Rasheed n/a Tunisia Espérance de Tunis Stade El Menzah, Tunis
Iraq Al-Rasheed 2 – 1
Saudi Arabia Al-Ittihad Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia Al-Ettifaq 1 – 1
(4 – 2 pen.)
Tunisia Club Africain Sharjah Stadium, Sharjah 27,500
Morocco Wydad Casablanca 3 – 1 Saudi Arabia Al-Hilal Stade El-Harti, Marrakech
Cancelled during preliminary round
Saudi Arabia Al-Shabab 2 – 0
Qatar Al-Arabi Khalifa International Stadium, Doha
Tunisia Espérance de Tunis 3 – 0 Bahrain Al-Muharraq Stade El Menzah, Tunis
Saudi Arabia Al-Hilal 0 – 0
(4 – 3 pen.)
Saudi Arabia Al-Ittihad King Fahd International Stadium, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia Al-Hilal 1 – 0 Tunisia Espérance de Tunis King Fahd International Stadium, Riyadh
Egypt Al-Ahly 3 – 1 Morocco Raja Casablanca Cairo International Stadium, Cairo
Tunisia Club Africain 2 – 1
Egypt Al-Ahly Stade El Menzah, Tunis 45.000
Algeria WA Tlemcen 3 – 1 Saudi Arabia Al-Shabab Prince Abdullah al-Faisal Stadium, Jeddah
Saudi Arabia Al-Shabab 2 – 0 Syria Al-Jaish Cairo International Stadium, Cairo 5,000
Tunisia CS Sfaxien 2 – 1
Syria Al-Jaish Prince Abdullah al-Faisal Stadium, Jeddah
Qatar Al-Sadd 3 – 1 Algeria MC Oran Khalifa International Stadium, Doha 20,000
Arab Unified Club Championship
Saudi Arabia Al-Ahli 1 – 0 Tunisia Club Africain Prince Abdullah al-Faisal Stadium, Jeddah
Egypt Zamalek 2 – 1 Kuwait Al-Kuwait Cairo International Stadium, Cairo
Arab Champions League
Tunisia CS Sfaxien 0 – 0
(4 – 3 pen.)
Egypt Ismaily Camille Chamoun Stadium, Beirut
Year Home team Score Away team Venue Attendance
Tunisia CS Sfaxien 1 – 2 Saudi Arabia Al-Ittihad Stade Taïeb Mhiri, Sfax
Saudi Arabia Al-Ittihad 2 – 0 Tunisia CS Sfaxien Prince Abdullah al-Faisal Stadium, Jeddah 26,000
Al-Ittihad won 4 – 1 on aggregate
Egypt ENPPI 1 – 2 Morocco Raja Casablanca Plastic Stadium, Cairo 20,000
Morocco Raja Casablanca 1 – 0 Egypt ENPPI Stade Mohamed V, Casablanca 85,000
Raja Casablanca won 3 – 1 on aggregate
Algeria ES Sétif 1 – 1 Jordan Al-Faisaly Stade 8 Mai 1945, Setif 30,000
Jordan Al-Faisaly 0 – 1 Algeria ES Sétif King Abdullah Stadium, Amman 20,000
ES Sétif won 2 – 1 on aggregate
Morocco Wydad Casablanca 0 – 1 Algeria ES Sétif Stade Mohamed V, Casablanca 90,000
Algeria ES Sétif 1 – 0 Morocco Wydad Casablanca Stade 8 Mai 1945, Sétif 30,000
ES Sétif won 2 – 0 on aggregate
Morocco Wydad Casablanca 0 – 1 Tunisia Espérance de Tunis Stade Mohamed V, Casablanca 90,000
Tunisia Espérance de Tunis 1 – 1 Morocco Wydad Casablanca Stade Olympique de Radès, Radès
Espérance de Tunis won 2 – 1 on aggregate
UAFA Club Cup
Kuwait Al-Arabi 0 – 0 Algeria USM Alger Sabah Al-Salem Stadium, Kuwait City 23,456
Algeria USM Alger 3 – 2 Kuwait Al-Arabi Stade 5 Juillet 1962, Algiers 50,000
USM Alger won 3 – 2 on aggregate.
Arab Club Championship
Year Winner Score Runner-up Venue Attendance
Tunisia Espérance de Tunis 3 – 2
Jordan Al-Faisaly Alexandria Stadium, Alexandria 7,500
Arab Club Champions Cup
Year Winner Score Runner-up Venue Attendance
Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, Al-Ain

^note Both games were played in Baghdad as it was not safe to play in Lebanon due to the Lebanese Civil War.
^n/a A round-robin tournament determined the final standings.


By team[edit]

Num Club Winners Runners-up Years won Years lost
1 Tunisia Espérance de Tunis 3 2 1993, 2009, 2017 1986, 1995
2 Iraq Al-Rasheed 3 0 1985, 1986, 1987
3 Saudi Arabia Al-Shabab 2 1 1992, 1999 1998
Saudi Arabia Al-Hilal 1994, 1995 1989
Tunisia CS Sfaxien 2000, 2004 2005
6 Algeria ES Sétif 2 0 2007, 2008
Saudi Arabia Al-Ettifaq 1984, 1988
8 Saudi Arabia Al-Ittihad 1 2 2005 1987, 1994
Morocco Wydad Casablanca 1989 2008, 2009
Tunisia Club Africain 1997 1988, 2002
11 Egypt Al-Ahly 1 1 1996 1997
Morocco Raja Casablanca 2006 1996
13 Algeria USM Alger 1 0 2013
Algeria WA Tlemcen 1998
Egypt Zamalek 2003
Iraq Al-Shorta 1982
Saudi Arabia Al-Ahli 2002
Qatar Al-Sadd 2001
19 Jordan Al-Faisaly 0 2
2007, 2017
Syria Al-Jaish 1999, 2000
21 Algeria MC Oran 0 1
Algeria USM El-Harrach 1985
Bahrain Al-Muharraq 1993
Egypt ENPPI Club 2006
Egypt Al-Ismaily 2004
Kuwait Al-Arabi 2013
Kuwait Al-Kuwait 2003
Lebanon Al-Nejmeh 1982
Morocco KAC Kénitra 1984
Qatar Al-Arabi 1992

By country[edit]

Num Nation Winners Runners-up
1 Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia 8 4
2 Tunisia Tunisia 6 5
3 Algeria Algeria 4 2
4 Iraq Iraq 4 0
5 Morocco Morocco 2 4
6 Egypt Egypt 2 3
7 Qatar Qatar 1 1
8 Jordan Jordan 0 2
Kuwait Kuwait
Syria Syria
11 Bahrain Bahrain 0 1
Lebanon Lebanon

By continent[edit]

Num Continent Winners Runners-up
1 Africa 14 14
2 Asia 13 13

See also[edit]


External links[edit]