Erbil SC

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Erbil SC
Erbil Sports Club Badge.png
Full name Erbil Sports Club
Nickname(s) Yellow Castle
Founded 1968; 50 years ago (1968)
Ground Franso Hariri Stadium
Capacity 40,000
Chairman Abdullah Majid
Manager Ali Wahab
League Iraqi Premier League
2017–18 Iraq Division One, 2nd

Erbil Sport Club (Arabic: نادي أربيل الرياضي‎, Kurdish: یانەی وەرزشیی هەولێر‎) is a sports club based in the city of Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan that plays in the Iraqi Premier League, the first-tier of Iraqi football. The club is also known as Yaney Hewlêr, the Kurdish name for Erbil. For the first time in its history, Erbil became champions of the Iraqi Premier League after beating Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya (1–0) in the final game on Friday, 6 July 2007. On 24 August 2008, Erbil retained their status as Iraqi Premier League champions with a well-deserved win over Baghdad based Al-Zawraa. On 16 July 2009 Erbil became the champion of Iraq's super league for the third consecutive year after beating Najaf FC. They also won the league in 2012 with only one loss.

Erbil Sport Club is the first Iraqi-Kurdish team to qualify for the Asian Champions League and the Arab Champions League. In 2012 and 2014 they reached the AFC Cup final but lost both times. Erbil SC is the first Iraqi Premier League team to get players from outside Iraq.



Erbil SC was founded in 1/11/1968 by the former Kurdistan-Iraq Football Association (الحاج محمد عثمان لك) and spent many years in mid-table obscurity, occasionally challenging the top Iraqi sides.

(2004–) and onwards[edit]

After the turn of the century and the beginning of the Iraq War, Erbil FC has dramatically improved and have become a real powerhouse in Iraqi club football. Top Iraqi international players have begun coming north to ply their trade with nice wages.[clarification needed]

Nadhim Shaker and glory years[edit]

In the summer of 2005, Shaker left rivals Duhok SC to coach Erbil. In the 2005–06 season, Erbil started slow, only just managing to finish third in Group A just ahead of Sirwan FC on goal difference to advance to the second round. Erbil topped their group in the second round to advance to the end of season play-offs where they met southern giants Najaf FC in a two-legged home and away tie. Erbil were beaten by Najaf by a 4–1 scoreline which basically dented all hope of reaching the play-off final for the title. In the home leg, Erbil were winning 1–0 when the match got suspended with a replay taking place five days later with the match resulting in a 1–1 scoreline. This meant Erbil were knocked out of a chance of winning the championship but would instead take part in the third-place play-off match. This match didn't take place as in the other semi-final match between the two Baghdad giants, Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya and Al-Zawra'a. The second match of the leg was cancelled as the Al-Quwa players walked off the pitch, resulting in their disqualification and Erbil getting the automatic third-place finish. All in all, it was a strong first season under Shaker and that summer the team improved personnel ready for the next season.

Franso Hariri Stadium[edit]

Franso Hariri Stadium is the stadium where Erbil Sport Club play their home games. It is a multi-use stadium in Erbil. The stadium holds 40,000, making it the second largest in Iraq after the Al Shaab Stadium in Baghdad. It was built in 1992.

After the assassination of Franso Heriri on 18 February 2001, who actively supported rebuilding the stadium, the Kurdistan Regional Government renamed it in his memory.

In July 2009, Franso Hariri Stadium became Iraq national football team's home venue after the green-light from AFC to host the Iraqi national and clubs teams in Erbil.[1] However, due to technical problems, FIFA abandoned the idea of having more national games being hosted in the stadium.


Erbil SC's main rival is Duhok SC with whom they contest the South Kurdistan derby.


Winners (4): 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2011–12

Performance in AFC competitions[edit]

2008: Group Stage
2009: Quarter-finals
2011: Semi-finals
2012: Runners-up
2013: Round of 16
2014: Runners-up
2015: Group Stage

Individual Honours[edit]

2009 FIFA Confederations Cup

The following players have played in the FIFA Confederations Cup whilst playing for Erbil:


First-team squad

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 Abdulla Hamad
22 Iraq GK Didar Hamid
15 Iraq DF Ahmad Xald
4 Iraq DF Amir Ismail
5 Iraq DF Muhamad Hadi
31 Iraq DF Salam Muhamad
18 Iraq MF Heydar qaraman
27 Iraq MF Talib Raqib
7 Iraq MF Walid Salman
9 Iraq FW Dana Osman
12 Iraq GK Abdullah Hamad
2 Iraq DF Niaz magdid
8 Iraq MF Ivan Khalid
10 Iraq DF Kosarat bayz
No. Position Player
14 Iraq MF Ali salman
20 Iraq GK Dler Hatem
21 Iraq GK Sarhang Muhsin
23 Brazil FW Thiago Amaral
5 Iraq DF Muhamad Hadi
25 Iraq MF Muhamad Mofaq
29 Iraq MF Barzan Sherzad
26 Iraq FW Aras Mustafa
6 Iraq DF Dyar yaxi
11 Iraq FW Jasim Muhamad
17 Iraq FW Younis Shukur
Iraq DF Waleed Bahar

Recent history[edit]

Season Pos. Pl. W D L GS GA P AFC CL AFC Cup Arab CL Notes
2000–01 12 30 6 11 13 24 46 29
2001–02 6 38 20 12 6 61 32 72
2002–03 9 19 6 7 6 30 24 25
2003–04 Abandoned due to war
2004–05 5 20 9 6 5 32 23
2005–06 3 19 6 7 5 18 16
2006–07 1 19 14 3 2 34 11 1st round
2007–08 1 24 15 6 3 33 10 Group Stage
2008–09 1 27 20 5 2 55 17
2009–10 4 42 29 6 7 79 22
2010–11 2 27 17 6 4 54 21 Semi-finals
2011–12 1 38 23 14 1 65 22 83 Finals
2012–13 2 34 21 7 6 67 34 70 Round of 16
2013–14 2 21 12 6 3 29 15 42 Finals
2014–15 11 18 5 10 3 21 17 Group Stage
2015–16 11 17 5 8 4 19 17
2016–17 Withdrew 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
  • From 2004–05 season, the competition changed from League system to various rounds including table and knockout rounds.
  • From 2011–12 season, the competition went back to the single league system.
  • From 2014–15 season, the competition returned to a system with various rounds.
  • From 2016–17 season, the competition went back to the single league system.

Managerial history[edit]

Name Nationality Years
Yahya Alwan Iraq 2004–05
Nadhim Shaker Iraq 2005–07
Akram Salman Iraq 2007–08
Thair Ahmed Iraq 2008–10
Ayoub Odisho Iraq 2010–11
Nizar Mahrous Syria 2012–13
Rodion Gačanin Croatia 2013
Ayoub Odisho Iraq 2013–15
Ahmad Salah Iraq 2015
Thair Ahmed Iraq 2015–17
Ali Wahab Iraq 2017–18

Nationality is indicated by the corresponding FIFA country code(s).

See also[edit]


External links[edit]