Definitions

Al-Ahly

Al-Ahly

This article is about the Egyptian football club. For other uses, see Al-Ahly (disambiguation)

Al-Ahly (النادي الأهلي) is an Egyptian football club based in Cairo. Founded by Englishman Mitchell Ince in April 1907, is arguably Africa's most successful club.

Al-Ahly, which means "national" in Arabic, is the most crowned club in Egypt ,designed to keep the majority content, having won the Egyptian League thirty-three times and the Egyptian Cup thirty-five times. Moreover, Al-Ahly was named in the year 2000 by the CAF as Africa's club of the twentieth century.

Al-Ahly began to dominate the Egyptian game in the 40s due to its popularity among people and rulers of Egypt at that period. But it was not until the 80s that the Red Devils truly emerged to the African level, winning the top club competition in 1982 and 1987. They triumphed again in 2001,2005 and 2006 under the coaching of the Portuguese Manuel Jose making them the most crowned team in Africa with 5 Champions Leagues, 4 Cup-Winners Cups, 3 African Super Cups and 1 Afro-Asian Cup.

Furthermore Al-Ahly was the first club in the world to reach the FIFA Club World Cup two times following two consecutive appearances in 2005 and 2006 winning the Bronze Medal in the latter.

Al-Ahly has a fierce rivalry with local rivals El Zamalek (akin to the Old Firm rivalry in Scotland, these clubs have never been relegated from the Egyptian top flight); the derby matches are so intense, that foreign referees are brought in to officiate the game.

History

Al-Ahly was founded in April 1907, when the first ever board meeting was held on the 24th of the same month. Egypt at the time was ruled by Khedive Abbas Helmi II, and occupied by the British regime, and as a result sparked nationwide tension.

Al-Ahly club was established a couple of years after the High School Students Club was set up in 1905. Ahly Club was initially the idea of Omar Bey Lotfi, who went on to induce the idea to his friends. The 8th of April 1924 witnessed the first meeting that assembled a number of individuals who were impressed by the idea and unsurprisingly Omar Lotfi Bey. They set up an organisation responsible for collecting the necessary funds to establish the club on the outskirts of Cairo. The decision was to set up the club in the southern part of the Zamalek Island (Nile). The initial cost was thought to be 5000 L.E., which was divided over 1000 shares, 5 L.E. per share.

On 24 April 1907, the founders committee held the first official meeting for board members, 5.30pm at Mr Michel Anas's house and hosted a few other leading personalities like Omar Lotfi Bey.

The first board meeting concluded that the first Chairman would be Mr Michel Anas, who remained in his position until 2 April 1908 when the board accepted his resignation because he wanted to return to his home country. His replacement was Aziz Ezzat Pasha who succeeded Mr Michel Anas to become the second president in the club's history.

On 18 July 1907, the members committee met and decided to appoint Saad Zaghlool as the committee's first chairman. No body can forget Zaghlool's stance at that time when he was the Education Minister. Mukhtar El-Titch had to choose between his academic qualification and travelling with the team to take part in the Olympics. Saad Zaghlool said at the time; I have been appointed as the first president for Al-Ahly Sports Club, and I want our young to practice sport, for it nourishes the mind, body and spirit. Hence, we cannot afford to deprive the student from his academic achievements, nor can we deny him the right to practice sport. For this I give permission for Mukhtar to travel with the team to Paris, and his examination papers will be sent so that he could take his exams abroad.

Ahly's red outfit is derived from Egypt's flag, at the time was the Ottoman flag which is completely red with a crescent and star in the middle. The jerseys were red and white vertical stripes at first, and then modified to jerseys that were half red and half white. The club's logo was decorated with the King's crown at the top, Al-Ahly's name at the bottom, and the flying eagle in the middle. After the 1952 revolution, the King's crown was taken of the logo.

The founders chose the name Al-Ahly because the club aroused as an Egyptian nationalistic club. It is a name which carries family sentiment, social sentiment and patriotic sentiment. There was dispute about whether to translate the name to English making it National but it was thought that the English name does not carry the same meaning as the Arabic name. Al-Ahly club opened the doors for membership right from the beginning. It cost 3 L.E. per annum for government employees to sign up for a membership, and 5 L.E. for other people. Students received special treatment as the club was initially established for them. The membership for a student was 6 piastres per month, 15 for a graduate. On the 17th of December, it was decided that the club inauguration will be on the first of January 1909. Application forms were distributed in the High School Student's Club, another confirmation of Al-Ahly's strong relationship with students since its early days.

The club started accepting memberships in 1909, and a sluggish turn up saw 80 members join. The number of members kept creeping up, gradually reaching 310 members in 1930, then reduced to 140 the following year due to the demolition of Qasr el Nile bridge which was the only mean of travelling between the river banks.

On 8 January 1929, Al-Ahly club was sponsored by King Foad. The chairman Gaafar Wali Pasha received a letter from an official stating that the club will be sponsored by the King.

Over the years, there has been a saying that Al-Ahly is a national fort in the minds of people and in the fans and across the different generations.

On 17 January 1956, president Gamal Abdel Nasser announced his acceptance to become the honorary club president in recognition of his national role in the revolution.

During the 1967 war, all sporting activities came to a halt, especially after the bitterness of defeat overshadowed a nation which had never surrendered before. The club members began military training on 5 August 1957.

Ahly's role to support war-torn Egypt On October 11, 1967, Ahly's sense of duty towards Egypt was clearly shown through the following decisions, where were taken by the club's board:

-The club's sporting members are obliged to endure military training as well as taking part in the national resistance against Israeli occupation. Anyone who doesn't follow Ahly instructions will be banned. -It is necessary that women from 20 to 40 years take nursing responsibilities in such crisis. -Donations will be collected from the club members to support the army. The club will contact Egyptian government officials to arrange the process.

As usual, Ahly fulfilled their national duty during the sixth of October war in 1973, calling for blood donation. Their demand was never turned down as in the space of 24 hours, 8,000 persons were ready to give blood.

On October 14, Ahly board held a meeting in which they took the following decisions:

-Sending a supportive letter to Egypt president Mohamed Anwar Al-Sadat and the defense minister. -Constructing a committee to supervise the mission of volunteers and everything related to the war.

Ahly's huge popularity definitely came from football as the Red Devils' teams were always successful throughout the club's 100-year history. Ahly's first football team was formed in 1911, four years after the club's establishment. The 11 players who represented this team were Hussein Fawzi, Ibrahim Othman, Mohamed Bakri, Soliman Faeq, Hassan Mohamed, Hussein Hegazi, Ahmed Foad, Hussein Mansour, Ibrahim Fahmi, Foad Darwish and Abdul-Fattah Taher.

The beginning was in the 1920s, and then the golden era arose 20 years later when Ahly won the Egyptian League for nine successive years, a unique record for the Cairo giants.

They were the first club in Egypt to go to Europe and play friendly matches there, beginning their trip on 17 June 1929 and returning home on September sixth.

In Turkey, Ahly thrashed Fenerbahce 6-2, lost to Galatasary and the country's national team 1-0 and 2-1 respectively. In Germany, Ahly drew 2-2 with Leipzig, defeated Munich 1860 4-3 and tied Tennis Borussia Berlin 2-2 before being handed a 5-3 defeat to the same team.

In Bulgaria, Ahly held Levski Sofia to a 1-1 draw and lost 4-1 against Slavia Sofia.

Ahly have also enjoyed a glorious reign during the 1970s, under the guidance of Hungary great Nandor Hidegkuti.

Ahly's African domination began in the 1980s as they won the Champions League twice in 1982 and 1987 as well as claiming the Cup Winners Cup three successive times in 1985, 1986 and 1987. The team won the competition again in 1993 to preserve the trophy for life.

After a rebuilding process in the early 1990s that saw several stars like Hani Ramzi, Hossam Hassan, Ibrahim Hassan and Magdi Abdul-Ghani leave Ahly to have a new adventure in Europe, the team suffered dire consequences. They missed out on their favorite league title for three successive seasons as the new players lacked experience to compete at the highest levels.

Ahly bounced back in the late 1990s to win the league for seven seasons in a row and start a new era of complete domination.

The team's huge achievements can't be compared to any club in Egypt. Ahly holds the domestic records as they won the Egyptian League 33 times and the Egyptian Cup 35 times.

They also share the African Champions League record with arch-rivals Zamalek as both won it five times.

Ahly legend Saleh Selim was the team's most prominent player in the 1950s and 1960s, to the extent that fans used to call him one of Egypt's rulers along with infamous singer Om Kolthoum and president Gamal Abdul-Nasser. He was one of the few players to play abroad at that time, joining Austrian club Graz AK and making a memorable impact. Selim returned home but soon ended his playing career following the 1967 war, which led to football being frosted. However, his popularity was never affected because he proved a huge success in the field of management. He was promoted until he reached the chairman's seat, with the mission of maintaining the club's Code of Ethics.

After stamping his name in Ahly's history, Selim died in May 2002 at the age of 72.

Colours

Al-Ahly derived its color from the early 20th century Flag of Egypt. Story of the color goes back to year 1911 when the jersey was linear striped in red and white.

Then, it was changed to a half red-a half white linear jersey, until it rests at the red color only as it was the color of the Egyptian flag in the reign period of Abbas Helmy the second at that time.

Presidents

No Name From

To
1 Mitchel Ince 24 April 1907 01 April 1908
2 Aziz Ezzat Pasha 02 April 1908 09 February 1916
3 Abd El-Khalik PashaTharwat 09 February 1916 14 February 1924
4 Gaafar Pasha Wali 14 February 1924 07 July 1940
5 Mohamed Pasha Taher 07 July 1940 02 Febr 1941
- Jaafar Pasha Wali 03 February 1941 02 Jan 1944
6 Ahmed Pasha Hasanain 03 Jan 1944 19 February 1946
7 Ahmed Pasha Abboud 19 February 1946 19 December 1961
8 Salah Eldine El-Desouky 19 December 1961 15 December 1965
9 Gen. Abd El-Mohsen Mortagy 15 December 1965 13 July 1967
10 Dr. Ibrahim Kamel El-Wakeel 13 July 1967 8 November 1972
- Gen. Abd El-Mohsen Mortagy 08 November 1972 12 December 1980
11 Saleh Selim 12 December 1980 16 December 1988
12 Mohamed Abdou Saleh El-Wahsh 16 December 1988 06 February 1992
- Saleh Selim 06 February 1992 06 May 2002
13 Hassan Hamdy 06 May 2002 Present

Stadiums

Cairo International Stadium

Mukhtar Al-Tetsh Stadium

  • Capacity: 8,000
  • Place: El-Gezira, Cairo
  • Inauguration: 1909

Mukhtar Al-Tetsh Stadium is Al-Ahly's training ground, located in Al-Ahly Club in El-Gezira and used currently as a training ground..

Honours

International

Domestic

  • Egyptian Premier League(33)
    • Champions 1948-49, 1949-50, 1953-54, 1955-56, 1956-57, 1957-58, 1958-59, 1960-61, 1961-62, 1974-75, 1975-76, 1976-77, 1978-79, 1979-80, 1980-81, 1981-82, 1984-85
  • Egypt Cup(35)
    • Winners 1923-24, 1924-25, 1926-27, 1936-37, 1939-40, 1941-42, 1942-43, 1944-45, 1945-46, 1946-47, 1948-49, 1949-50, 1950-51, 1952-53, 1955-56, 1957-58, 1960-61, 1965-66, 1977-78, 1988-89, 1990-91, 2000-01, 2002-03, 2005-06, 2006-07
  • Egyptian Super Cup(5)
    • Winners 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
  • Sultan Hussein Cup(7)
    • Winners 1922-23, 1923-24, 1925-26, 1926-27, 1928-29, 1930-31, 1938-39
  • Cairo League(5)
    • Champions 1938-39, 1941-42, 1942-43, 1947-48, 1949-50
  • United Arab Republic League(2)
    • Champions 1960-1961
  • El-Ittihad el tanshiteya Cup(1)
    • Winners 1989

Current squad

On loan

Ahly Reserves & Academy team

Managers

Current:: Manuel José de Jesus

Past:
*01- Gamil Osman
*02- Mahmoud Mokhtar El-Tetch
*03- Labib Mahmoud
*04- Hussein El-Far
*05- Mohamed El-Guindi
*06- Moustafa Kamel Mansour
*07- Foad Sedki
*08- Ahmed Mekawi
*09- Mohamed Abdou Saleh El-Wahsh
*10- Abdel Aziz Hammami
*11- Foad Shaaban
*12- Both
*13- Freitz
*14- Jitcos
*15- John McBride
*16- Brosicz
*17- Horvatek
*18- Tadicz
*19- Nandor Hidegkuti
*20- Géza Kalocsay
*21- Mahmoud El-Gohary
*22- Don Revie
*23- Mahmoud El-Sayes
*24- Taha Ismail
*25- Jeff Buttler
*26- Anwar Salama
*27- Detrich Waitsa
*28- Michael Evert
*29- Shawky AbdelShafy
*30- Allan Harris
*31- Reiner Hollmann
*32- Rainer Zobel
*33- Hans-Jürgen Dörner
*34- Manuel José de Jesus
*35- Jo Bonfrere
*36- Fathi Mabrouk
*37- António Oliveira

Captains

Current: Shady Mohamed {| Past: |- style="vertical-align: top;" |

*01- Hussein Hegazi
*02- Ali El-Hassany
*03- Mahmoud Mokhtar El-Tetch
*04- Mohamed Ali Rasmi
*05- Ahmed Soliman
*06- Amin Shoa'air
*07- Moustafa Kamel Mansour
*08- Saleh El-Sawwaf
*09- Hussein Madkour
*10- Mohamed El-Guindi
*11- Ahmed Mekawi
*12- Abdel Galil Hemaida
*13- Saleh Selim
*14- Rifaat El-Fanageely
*15- Taha Ismail
*16- Mimi El-Sherbini
*17- Essam Abdel Monem
*18- Hany Moustafa
*19- Anwar Salama
*20- Hassan Hamdy
*21- Moustafa Younis
*22- Moustafa Abdou
*23- Mahmoud El-Khateeb
*24- Thabet El-Batal
*25- Taher Abouzaid
*26- Ahmed Shobair
*27- Osama Orabi
*28- Ibrahim Hassan
*29- Hossam Hassan
*30- Walid Salah El-Din
*31- Hady Khashaba
*32- Sayed Abdel Hafeez
*33- Essam El-Hadary
*34- Shady Mohamed

Other sports

Al Ahly club compete in different other sports. Al Ahly's Handball , Athletics , Volleyball and Basketball teams have won many national, African and Arabic competitions.

See also

References

External links

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