Baghdad Championship

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Not to be confused with Baghdad Cup.
Baghdad Championship
Umm Al-Ma'arik Cup, 1996.jpg
Umm Al-Ma'arik Cup in the 1996 final.
Founded 1991
Abolished 2003
Region Iraq
Number of teams 8 (2003)
Last champions Al-Zawra'a (2003)
Most successful club(s) Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, Al Talaba, Al-Zawra'a & Al Shorta (3 titles)
Television broadcasters Iraq Television
Shabab Television

Baghdad Championship, also known as Iraqi Elite Cup and previously known as Umm Al Ma'arik Cup (Arabic: كأس أم المعارك‎, literally translating to The Mother of All Battles Cup, referring to the name that was called by the Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein on the Gulf War)[1] was an Iraqi football competition. It was played by having a group stage that consists of two groups and then, a knockout (single elimination) stage. Only the top 8 teams in the Iraqi Premier League entered the competition, with the exception of the 1991 and 1993 editions, where the top 6 teams of the league entered.[2]

Although the Umm Al-Ma'arik cup was one of the three major domestic trophies attainable by the Iraqi league teams, it was perceived by larger clubs as a lower priority than the league championship and the Iraq FA Cup. In the first edition, winners received 7k IQD prize money, while the runners-up received 5k IQD.[3] In the second edition and because of the economical changes that accrued on the dinar, the winners were given 150k IQD and the runners-up were given 100k IQD.[4]


The idea of this cup was requested by the administration of Al-Talaba to the Iraq Football Association and it was to put the top 6 teams of the 1990–91 Iraqi League in a single elimination competition, because of the lack of Iraqi competitions, other than the Iraqi Premier League and the Iraq FA Cup. The football association accepted the request, on 24 August 1991, and put up a committee to administrate the competition, which decided to make date of the opening on 2 September.[3] Over 55,000 spectators came to Al-Shaab Stadium, that can only hold 45,000, to watch the cup final between Al-Zawra'a and Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya,[3] where it ended with a 3-1 win for Al-Zawra'a.[5] After the first edition of the cup, that was setup by Al-Talaba, the Iraq Football Association adopted the competition due to its promising reception from the fans.[2]

The Umm Al-Ma'arik cup was criticized for containing only the top 8 teams of the league, because it was thought that the Iraqi football needed another competition that allows clubs from different divisions and popularity rates to participate, other than the Iraq FA Cup. Almost in every single edition of the cup, three of the Baghdad derby clubs (Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, Al-Zawra'a, Al-Talaba, Al-Shorta) finish in the top four, while in the 2002 and 2003 edition all of them were in the top four.[6][7] All of the derby teams have won the cup title three times.

Due to the Battle of Baghdad in April 2003 and the end of the rule of the Former President Saddam Hussein, the Iraq Football Association decided to change the competition's name from Umm Al-Ma'arik Cup to Baghdad Championship due to the former name's resemblance to the Gulf War.[8] It was named the Baghdad Championship, because all of the competition's matches were played in Baghdad, being divided between Al-Shorta Stadium, Al-Karkh Stadium, Al-Zawra Stadium, and Al-Sina'a Stadium. It ended with Al-Zawra'a winning the championship.[7] This was the first and last edition of the Baghdad Championship.

Records and statistics[edit]


Performance in the Baghdad Championship (Umm Al-Ma'arik cup) by club
Team Winners Runners-up Years won Years runner-up
Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya 3 5 1994, 1996, 1998 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1999
Al-Talaba 3 4 1992, 1993, 1995 1994, 2001, 2002, 2003
Al-Zawra'a 3 2 1991, 1999, 2003 1996, 2000
Al-Shorta 3 1 2000, 2001, 2002 1997
Najaf 1 1 1997 1998


Results of the Baghdad Championship (Umm Al-Ma'arik cup) by year
Year Winner Score Runner-up Third Score Fourth
Umm Al-Ma'arik Cup
1991 Al-Zawra'a 3–1 (aet) Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya Al-Talaba 2–2 (p) Al-Karkh
1992 Al-Talaba 1–0 (aet) Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya Al-Zawra'a 4–0 Al-Naft
1993 Al-Talaba 2–1 Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya Al-Zawra'a 1–0 Al-Karkh
1994 Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya 0–0 (p) Al-Talaba Al-Zawra'a 2–1 Najaf
1995 Al-Talaba 1–0 Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya Al-Zawra'a 3–0 Al-Naft
1996 Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya 1–0 Al-Zawra'a Najaf 1–0 Al-Shorta
1997 Najaf 4–0 Al-Shorta Al-Zawra'a 7–0 Al-Talaba
1998 Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya 3–0 Najaf Al-Talaba 3–1 Al-Mina'a
1999 Al-Zawra'a 2–0 Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya Al-Karkh 3–0 Al-Talaba
2000 Al-Shorta 1–0 Al-Zawra'a Al-Karkh 2–1 Al-Talaba
2001 Al-Shorta 1–0 (aet) Al-Talaba Al-Karkh 2–1 Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
2002 Al-Shorta 1–0 Al-Talaba Al-Zawra'a 2–1 Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
Baghdad Championship
2003 Al-Zawra'a 2–2 (p) Al-Talaba Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya n/a[a] Al-Shorta
  1. ^ Cancelled due to the Iraq War

See also[edit]


  1. ^ El-Najjar, Hassan (2001). "Chapter 9, The Mother of All Battles". Gulf War 1991. Amazon Press. 
  2. ^ a b Hashim, Refel; Qayed, Mohammed; Mubarak, Hassanin (December 20, 2007). "Iraq - List of Cup Winners". RSSSF. 
  3. ^ a b c Mahmoud, Shukri (2010). "3". Iraqi Football in 100 years (in Arabic). Baghdad. 
  4. ^ Awad, Mofeed (November 2, 2014). "Al-Talaba wins over Al-Jawiya and hold the second Umm Al-Ma'arik cup 1992". Youtube (in Arabic). 
  5. ^ Hashim, Refel; Mubarak, Hassanin (April 2, 2006). "Iraq 1991/92". RSSSF. 
  6. ^ Mubarak, Hassanin (December 29, 2003). "Iraq 2002/03". RSSSF. 
  7. ^ a b Hashim, Refel; Mubarak, Hassanin (September 25, 2004). "Iraq 2003/04". RSSSF. 
  8. ^ "Iraq Football Association: Baghdad Championship replaces the Umm Al-Ma'arik Cup" (in Arabic). Iraq Center. September 9, 2003.