Nejmeh SC

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Nejmeh
Nejmeh Club Beirut.png
Full name Nejmeh Sporting Club
Nickname(s) The Stars
Short name NEJ, NSC
Founded 1945; 74 years ago (1945)
Ground Various
Chairman Asaad Saccal
Manager Moussa Hojeij
League Lebanese Football League
2017–18 2nd
Website Club website

Nejmeh Sporting Club (Arabic: نادي النجمة الرياضي‎, lit. 'Star Sporting Club') is a Lebanese football club based in the Manara district of Ras Beirut, Beirut. The club was established in Beirut in 1945, and received its license on 28 April 1947. The club promoted gradually along the different divisions, and finally reached the first division in 1951. Nejmeh are considered one of the most popular football teams in Lebanon. They play their home games at the Rafic El-Hariri Stadium.

Historically, the club is second only to their cross-city rivals Ansar in the Lebanese Football League: Ansar have won 13 titles while Nejmeh have won eight. Nejmeh are also second to their rivals in amount of Lebanese Cups won over the years, with a total of six cups compared to Ansar's 14. Nejmeh however do lead in amount of Elite Cup wins, with a total of 11 championships, as well as in the number of Lebanese Super Cup wins, having won it six times whereas Ansar have won it four times.

In Asia, Nejmeh were runners-up in the 2005 AFC Cup, where they lost to Al-Faisaly of Jordan. Other than that, they won an Arab tournament known as the Al-Adha Cup four times, last time being in 1991.

History

1945–1951: Establishment of the club

Nejmeh's lineup in 1945.

The club was founded in 1945 as an association football club. The first provisional committee of Nejmeh Club was formed in 1945 and included:[1]

  • Anis Radwan (President)
  • Yahia Daroub (Vice-President)
  • Noureddine Hamedeh (General Secretary)
  • Amin Monzer
  • Hamzah Daroub
  • Salah Sinno

This committee applied for a license at the Lebanese Government in 1945, which was issued on 28 April 1947.[1] The club qualified for the Lebanese First Division in 1951.

The choice of the name of the club came on 11 October 1945, when a night meeting was held at Anis Radwan’s house to discuss the affairs of the team. Looking at the sky's stars, Radwan decided to call the team Al-Nejmeh (The Star).[1]

1970–1987: The golden era

The major breakthrough came in 1970 with the rise of the golden team at Nejmeh Club that included the best players in Lebanon. Mohammad Hatoum, Hassan Shatila, Mahmoud Shatila, Habib Kammouneh, Zein Hashem, Jamal El Khatib, Youssef El Ghoul, to mention a few, with the rest of their teammates. This golden team led the way to a decade of glory for Nejmeh.

The period of the 1970s was the best in the club history. Nejmeh dominated the Lebanese scene and, after becoming known worldwide, many famous players, such as Pele[2][3][4][5] and Bebeto,[6][7][8] played matches with Nejmeh as honour guests.

In the late 1970s and the 1980s, the Lebanese Civil War prevailed the Lebanese scene. The Lebanese championship was suspended for 12 years (1975–1987).

1997–2005: The second golden era

The Arab world witnessed the second golden era of Nejmeh from 1997 till 2004, where they had the longest winning streak in the Arab history with players such as: Moussa Hojeij, Abbas Ahmed Atwi, Mohammed Ghaddar, Ali Nasseredine, Bilal Najjarin, Khaled Hamieh, Akram Moghrabi, Errol McFarlane, Abbas Shahrour, Mohammad Kassas, Hussein Dokmak, Faisal Antar, Mohammed Halaweh and Haitham Zein. The club won the 1999–2000 Lebanese Football League title.

In 2003, a new administration of the club was elected after more than 30 years under the presidency of Omar Ghandour (1969–2003). The new president was Mohammad Fanj. In 2005, the administration resigned, and a new election took place with a new administration, headed by Mr. Mohammad Amin Daouk, being elected.

2014–present: Recent history

Since 2014, Nejmeh have won the League and FA Cup once, in 2014, the Super Cup twice, in 2014 and 2016, and the Elite Cup three times in a row, in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Colours and badge

Ever since the club's foundation, the traditional and primary colors of Nejmeh have been burgundy red and white.[9] The club's badge is composed of a white star in the center, in reference to the club's name which, in Arabic, means "Star".[1] The two cedars on the side of the logo recall Lebanon's national symbol.

Shirt sponsors and manufacturers

The following is a list of kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors worn by Nejmeh from 2000 onwards.[10]

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt Sponsor
2000–03 Adidas LBC
2003–05 A-Line Coca-Cola
2005–06 Adidas None
2006–07 Bankmed
2007–08 None
2008–10 A-Line Bankmed
2010–11 Lotto
2011–12 Joma
2012–13 Lotto
2013–14 Peak
2014–15 Lotto
2015–16 Jako
2016–18 P4
2018– Capelli Nexen Tire
Alfa

Stadium

The club stadium is located in Al Manara area in Beirut, Lebanon.[11] The stadium consists of a football field, and spaces that accommodate around 5,000 spectators, together with a VIP seats area that accommodates around 100 guests, a cafeteria, and a gymnasium.[12]

The old club stadium first consisted of a sand training field over the land number 704 in Ras Beirut area with no facilities or fences.[12] The stadium went through a rehabilitation process, with improvements including implanting the field with grass, increasing the seats spaces to allow more spectators, and enhancing the stadium facilities, walls, and fences. The first phase of the process started in June 2003 and was completed in late March 2004.[12]

On 21 February 2005, the stadium was named "The Martyr Rafic Hariri Stadium" in honour of the late Prime Minister.[12]

Supporters

Founded in February 2018, Nejmeh's “Ultras Supernova” was the first ultras group to be introduced in Lebanon.[13][14][15] The name "Supernova" is a reference to the ethymology of Nejmeh which, in Arabic, means "Star".

Prior to the Arab Club Champions Cup game against Al-Ahly of Egypt, played on 13 August 2018, seven “Ultras Supernova” fans were arrested by the Egyptian national security because of the negative connotations the word “Ultras” has in Egypt.[16] The fans have been returned to Lebanon by request of the Lebanese Ambassador to Cairo.[17]

Club rivalries

The "Beirut Derby" with Ansar has historically been the most anticipated game in Lebanon: both located in Beirut, Nejmeh and Ansar have shared the majority of titles. While Nejmeh has been more successful in Asia, Ansar holds the most league titles and FA Cups.[9] However, in recent years, the most fierce rivalry in Lebanon is between Nejmeh and Ahed. Also based in Beirut, Ahed have won four out of the five league titles since the 2014–15 season, with Nejmeh always finishing in the top three positions. Tensions between the two teams have also forced the federation to change venues multiple times.[18] Most noticeably, in the 2016–17 season, Nejmeh refused to play against Ahed in the league title decider and were sanctioned six points by the federation.[19]

Another rivalry that has developed in recent years is with Salam Zgharta. Since the 2016–17 season, Salam Zgharta and Nejmeh have played various intense games between each other, with some escalating in offensive chants.[19]

Other important matches are with Safa' and Racing, both located in the same city as Nejmeh.

Players

Current squad

As of 1 March 2019[20]

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

No. Position Player
1 Lebanon GK Ali Al Sabeh
4 Lebanon MF Nader Matar
5 Benin MF Mohamad Chamseddine Chaona
6 Lebanon DF Abed AlFattah Ashour (on loan from Ansar)
7 Lebanon FW Hassan Al Mohamed
8 Lebanon FW Bako
10 Lebanon FW Hassan Maatouk
11 Lebanon FW Ali Bazzi
13 Lebanon MF Yehya Al Hindi
14 Lebanon MF Hassan Annan
17 Lebanon MF Mahmoud Siblini
18 Lebanon DF Kassem El Zein
19 Lebanon DF Ali Hamam (captain)
24 Lebanon DF Maher Sabra
No. Position Player
25 Lebanon FW Ali Salman Alaeddine
30 Lebanon DF Hussein Sharafeddine
32 Lebanon GK Abbas Hassan
33 Lebanon DF Andrew Sawaya
38 Senegal DF Idrissa Niang
69 Lebanon FW Mohammed Jaafar (on loan from Safa')
70 Lebanon FW Ali Al Haj
77 Lebanon MF Mahdi Zein
80 Lebanon MF Haidar Khreiss
90 Lebanon MF Omar Zeineddine
93 Lebanon DF Amir Al Hosry
Lebanon GK Mohammad Bechara
Australia DF Ante Bakmaz[a]
Lebanon MF Ahmad Jalloul

Out on loan

As of 8 August 2018.

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

No. Position Player
Lebanon MF Youssef Al Haj (at Racing Beirut)
Lebanon FW Hassan Mhanna (at Safa')

Honours

Honour No. Years
Lebanese Football League 8 1972–73, 1974–75, 1999–00, 2001–02, 2003–04, 2004–05, 2008–09, 2013–14
Lebanese FA Cup 6 1970–71, 1986–87, 1988–89, 1996–97, 1997–98, 2015–16
Lebanese Super Cup 6 2000, 2002, 2004, 2009, 2014, 2016
Lebanese Elite Cup 11 1996, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018

Performance in AFC competitions

In 1982, Nejmeh reached the Arab Club Champions Cup final but lost to Iraqi club Al-Shorta.[21] In 2005, Nejmeh reached the final of the AFC Cup and lost to Al-Faisaly of Jordan: this was the first time a Lebanese football team had reached the final of any Asian competition.[9]

1996–97: Second Round
2002–03: 1st Round
2004: Quarter-Finals
2005: Final
2006: Semi-Finals
2007: Semi-Finals
2010: Group Stage
2014: Round 16
2015: Group Stage
2017: Group Stage
1990–91: First Round
1997–98: First Round
1998–99: First Round

Managerial history

Footnotes

  1. ^ Only available for the AFC Cup.

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Establishment of the club". NEJMEH SC. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  2. ^ http://forum.kooora.com/?t=5801520 pictures of the visit and details about Pele's Nejmeh experience in Arabic.
  3. ^ http://pelethebest.blogspot.com/2014/11/pele-em-hebraico-significa.html?m=1 Set of pictures of Pele with Nejmeh SC in Lebanon
  4. ^ http://blogbaladi.com/brazilian-football-legend-pele-played-for-lebanese-nejmeh-sc-in-1975/ Picture of Pele with Nejmeh Club prior to the friendly game where he played for the team.
  5. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaO2EyaTSWs video of Pele's visit effect on the Lebanese civil war
  6. ^ http://www.gettyimages.ae/detail/news-photo/former-brazilian-world-cup-winner-bebeto-wearing-a-t-shirt-news-photo/2554235 Bebeto in the Nejmeh Club kit during the game.
  7. ^ http://www.gettyimages.ae/detail/news-photo/famous-brazilian-soccer-player-bebeto-gives-the-thumbs-up-news-photo/2548910 Picture of Bebeto in Beirut with details about the visit.
  8. ^ "O Portal de Notícias do Estado de S. Paulo". Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  9. ^ a b c "Great Asian Derbies – Al Ansar SC vs Nejmeh SC (Beirut)". GhanaSoccernet. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  10. ^ "Timeline Images". NEJMEH SC. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  11. ^ Kabboul, Tamarah. "Discover old Beirut in these 15 amazing photos". www.the961.com. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  12. ^ a b c d "The Stadium". NEJMEH SC. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  13. ^ "المدرجات لا تعترف إلا بالشجعان". lebanonfg.com. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  14. ^ COPA90. "Ultras Supernova: Lebanon's First Ultras Group". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  15. ^ "مباريات قويّة في الجولة العاشرة". الأخبار (in Arabic). Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  16. ^ "قضية مشجعي "النجمة" الموقوفين في مصر... ماذا جرى معهم؟". LBCI Lebanon (in Arabic). Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  17. ^ "Lebanese Nejmeh fans to be deported days after arrest at Borg al-Arab Stadium | MadaMasr". madamasr.com. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  18. ^ "The Hezbollah Club". BabaGol. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  19. ^ a b FaLebanon (23 February 2019). "Salam Zgharta vs Nejmeh Rivalry: The Sequel". falebanon.com. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  20. ^ "Nejmeh Players and Stats". lebanonfg.com. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  21. ^ "Al Shorta SC Website". Al Shorta SC Website. Retrieved 23 February 2019.

External links

  • Official website

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