History - Overview

Al Shorta were founded on 14 November 1932, and are the third-oldest existing team in Iraq. They were founded under the name 'Montakhab Al Shorta' (Police Select XI). In Montakhab Al Shorta's early years, the squad was formed of policemen in Iraq who were chosen to represent the Iraqi Police force in football tournaments. The first three tournaments that they competed in were the 1932-33, 1933-34 and 1934-35 editions of the Prince Ghazi Cup, but they failed to win any of them. Their first four recorded matches in history were a 1-1 draw with Al Lasilki, a 1-1 draw with Al Jadeed, a 3-2 win over Al Ashbal and a 1-0 loss to Al Quwa Al Jawiya, all in the 1932-33 Prince Ghazi Cup.


The first trophy the club ever won came in 1938, when Montakhab Al Shorta won the Taha Hashemi Cup after defeating Al Quwa Al Jawiya 1-0 thanks to Harbi Shabaa’s goal (pictured left is the team with the trophy). Montakhab Al Shorta then defeated Al Quwa Al Jawiya again a year later, this time it was 2-0, in the final of the Al Quwa Al Jawiya Cup, a tournament created by the runners-up themselves. In the same year, Montakhab Al Shorta crushed Ittihad Al Karkh 5-1 in the final of the Olympic Club Cup to secure their third piece of silverware in two years. Montakhab Al Shorta continued to participate in various tournaments until the Iraqi Football Association (IFA) founded the Iraqi Central League (most commonly known as the League of the Institutes) in 1956, a regional championship for teams in central Iraq (i.e. the capital city of Baghdad), the champions of which were considered to be the Iraqi champions. Montakhab Al Shorta reached the final of the 1957-58 edition but finished as runners-up after withdrawing from the replay of the final against rivals Al Quwa Al Jawiya Al Malikiya (now known simply as Al Quwa Al Jawiya) as they were missing many players with the IFA refusing to move the game to another date.

Montakhab Al Shorta in 1937

In 1960, the Police Games Committee, later known as Police Games Directorate (PGD), was founded to take control of Police-representative sports in Iraq, and thus they took control of Montakhab Al Shorta. In 1962, they renamed the team to Madrasa Al Shorta (Police School), and, in time for the 1961-62 season, also founded three reserve teams for the club: Aliyat Al Shorta (Police Machinery), Kuliya Al Shorta (Police Academy) and Shorta Al Najda (Police Debuties). At the time, reserve teams played in the same league system as the senior team, rather than in a reserve team league (similar to the system used in Spain today).


The first round-robin season that Madrasa Al Shorta participated in was the 1962-63 season, and, coached by Fahmi Al-Qaimaqchi, they won the title in that season. However, after just two seasons, Madrasa Al Shorta were relegated to the second division after finishing bottom of the league. One of their reserve teams, Aliyat Al Shorta, won the Iraqi Central Third Division in 1962, and were promoted to the Iraqi Central League after winning the Iraqi Central Second Division in 1963 by defeating Al Omma 2-0 in the final game. Aliyat Al Shorta thus became the senior team, and Madrasa Al Shorta disbanded. Under the management of Mohammed Najib Kaban, they impressed in their first season in the top flight in 1963-64, finishing in third place, before a second-place finish in 1965. They were on course to win their first title in the 1966-67 season, but the competition was cancelled due to the Six-Day War in 1967 with Aliyat Al Shorta on top of the league.

The next few years would bring great success to Aliyat Al Shorta. They became the first team to achieve the Central League title three times in a row, storming to the 1967-68, 1968-69 and 1969-70 titles. They also won the Repblics Cup twice in a row in 1968 and 1969, after losing the 1966 final 2-1 to Maslaha Naqil Al Rakab. In this tournament, players from their reserve sides (Kuliya Al Shorta and Shorta Al Najda) often participated alongside players of the senior side Aliyat Al Shorta, hence the team was often referred to as Montakhab Al Shorta when competing in this tournament. In 1971, Aliyat Al Shorta became the first Iraqi team to participate in what is now known as the AFC Champions League, in Bangkok. They changed their name from Aliyat Al Shorta to Al Shorta for this tournament, and changed it back after the tournament was over. The Police beat the defending Asian champions Taj Tehran 3-2 in the preliminary round, allowing them to have an easier draw for the group stage where they defeated Thai and Indian opposition to advance. Their decisive game saw them up against Taj Tehran, the winners of the other group, once more and the Police completed their mission of conquering Asia by beating them again, this time by a more comfortable scoreline of 2-0. Al Shorta refused to face Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv on two separate occasions during the tournament (Israel were subsequently expelled from the AFC) and they received heroes' welcome on their return to Baghdad for achieving a feat that will forever be remembered as the greatest in Iraqi club history.


That season, they finished second in the league; they would have been champions for the fourth straight season had they defeated Al Sikak Al Hadeed, however in the absence of Abid Kadhim who was out injured with a broken foot, Aliyat Al Shorta drew the game 2-2 and therefore handed the title to Maslaha Naqil Al Rakab. Aliyat Al Shorta reclaimed their title the next season though, winning the Central League for the fourth time in their history and for the fifth time in the history of Montakhab Al Shorta's teams (still under the management of Mohammed Najib Kaban). They also won the Chief of Police Cup in 1972 by beating fellow Police side Shorta Al Najda on penalties in the final. Two consecutive second-place finishes in the 1972-73 and 1973-74 leagues followed (they also took part in a special Baghdad League in 1973 where they finished as runners-up behind Al Sikak Al Hadeed after a 3-1 defeat), while none of the three Police teams that participated in the 1973-74 Iraqi Central FA Cup managed to reach the semi-finals. Meanwhile, Kuliya Al Shorta won the Iraqi Central Second Division in the 1973-74 season, adding another trophy to the long list of Al Shorta’s honours.

An Aliyat Al Shorta team photo

In 1974, the Iraqi Football Association decided to replace the Iraqi Central League and the other regional leagues in Basra, Kirkuk and Mosul with the Iraqi National League (now known as Iraqi Premier League), an official league for clubs from all around Iraq in what was a new beginning for Iraqi club football. This also saw a new beginning for the representation of the Iraqi Police force in football. Aliyat Al Shorta were merged with their reserve teams Kuliya Al Shorta and Shorta Al Najda to form Al Shorta who became a sports club. However, the players of the three teams did  not stay on at the sports club. Instead, the PGD refounded the three original teams separately from the sports club to compete in unofficial tournaments such as the Armed Forces League, and the players joined these teams instead.


This was because the PGD were strongly opposed to the new league system and thus wanted to send a weak team to compete in the first season in protest. The squad consisted of unknown, inexperienced, amateur players. Unsurprisingly, the team lost its first game 3-0 against Al Muwasalat, before embarrassingly conceding eleven goals in a humiliating defeat to Al Naqil in the following game. This resulted in an outrage among Al Shorta supporters, and after talks between the IFA and the Police Games Directorate, it was decided that all players from the side would be released. They were replaced by players who were representing Kuliya Al Shorta and Shorta Al Najda in the Armed Forces League (i.e. the club's reserve players in the Central League era). The club managed to bounce back from the terrible start to the season and earned a respectable fifth place finish. The following season saw the return of the players that had been playing in the Armed Forces League for Aliyat Al Shorta (i.e. the club's senior players in the Central League era) including the likes of captain Abid Kadhim and Douglas Aziz; this hugely improved the team and saw them improve on the previous season by earning a third place finish.


Al Shorta won the first ever edition of the Arab Police Championship in 1976, defeating Al Shorta (Syria) and Al Shorta (Sudan) on their way to winning the competition. They repeated the feat two years later, winning the Arab Police Championship for the second time by defeating Al Shorta (Kuwait) 2-0 in the final. 1978 also saw Al Shorta reach the final of the Iraqi FA Cup for the first time, but they were defeated by Al Tayaran (later to be known as Al Quwa Al Jawiya) on penalties in the final. This was to be their first of five FA Cup final defeats.

An Al Shorta team photo from the late 1970s

In the 1979-80 season, legendary player Douglas Aziz became the manager of the club in his first ever managerial job and led the club to their first Iraqi National League title in that season as they leapfrogged Al Zawraa into first place on the final round of the season due to Al Zawraa drawing 1-1 with Al Shabab on the last day. Al Shorta thought they had won the league for the second time in a row in the 1980-81 season as they ended the campaign unbeaten with equal points and goal difference to Al Talaba and more goals scored. However, the IFA decided to change the rules so that the number of wins would be the tiebreaker and Al Talaba had two more wins than Al Shorta, meaning that they were handed the title. This rule had never been used before and has never been used again, and many fans believe that there must have been a conspiracy against Al Shorta for such a decision to be made.


1982 saw one of the greatest achievements in the club’s great history. Led by Douglas Aziz, Al Shorta won the first ever Arab Champions League, known as the Arab Club Champions Cup at the time. Al Nejmeh of Lebanon defeated Al Ahli of Jordan 2-1 to earn a two-legged tie with Al Shorta to battle it out for the title, with Ali Hussein Mahmoud’s brace winning the first leg 2-0 for Al Shorta before the second leg ended 2-2, meaning that Al Shorta had won 4-2 on aggregate and were crowned champions of the Arab Champions League, something only one other Iraqi team has done since.

An Al Shorta team photo from 1980-1982

Al Shorta won another competition outside of Iraq in 1983 when they won the President’s Gold Cup by defeating the Malaysia national team 2-0 in the final through goals from Nasir Jasem and Adnan Khatom either side of half-time. That same year, the club moved into a new home as the construction of Al Shorta Stadium was completed. The club changed their name to Quwat Al Emen Al Dakhili (Internal Security Forces) for the 1983-84 season while Iraq was at war; that name only lasted for that one season before the club was renamed to Al Shorta and the name has remained the same ever since. In 1985, Al Shorta won the Arab Police Championship for the third time, with Mohammed Khalaf’s goal being enough to defeat Al Shorta (Saudi Arabia) 1-0 in the final and secure the title.


A year later, Al Shorta entered the Saddam International Tournament but failed to advance past the group stages. Al Shorta won the Al Nasr Al Adheem Cup in the 1987-88 season, a tournament for the biggest four clubs in Baghdad, by putting four past Al Zawraa and earning victories over Al Quwa Al Jawiya (2-1) and Al Talaba. Al Shorta followed this by winning the Arab Police Championship for the fourth time in 1988. This was followed by a loss in the 1992 Al Nasr Wal Salam Cup final 2-0 to Al Najaf, but Al Shorta bounced back by winning the Al Nasr Al Adheem Cup again in 1996 thanks to a 1-0 win over Al Zawraa, a 2-2 draw with Al Quwa Al Jawiya and a 3-1 win over Al Talaba. Al Shorta suffered a lot of heartache in the 1990s, losing the 1996 Iraqi FA Cup final to Al Zawraa, the 1997 Iraqi FA Cup final to Al Quwa Al Jawiya and the 1997 Iraqi Elite Cup final to Al Najaf.

An Al Shorta team photo next to the Arab Police Championship trophy in 1985

Al Shorta ended the streak of disappointment in the 1997-98 season. Managed by Abdelilah Abdel-Hamed, Al Shorta won the Iraqi Premier League for the second time in one of the closest, most exciting endings to a season in the history of football. Al Quwa Al Jawiya, Al Shorta and Al Zawraa were all in the running for the title on the final day. Al Quwa Al Jawiya were top of the league, and played out a 1-1 draw with third-placed Al Zawraa. This point was enough to win them the league provided Al Shorta did not defeat Al Sulaikh in a game that was going on at the same time. With the scores locked at 2-2 going into injury time (Al Shorta had scored an equaliser in the 84th minute), Al Shorta won a penalty and Mahmoud Majeed rolled it home to win the league for Al Shorta in the dying seconds of the season, leaving the celebrating Al Quwa Al Jawiya players and manager distraught and embarrassed. This qualified Al Shorta to the Al Muthabara Cup (now known as Iraqi Super Cup) final where they would play cup winners Al Zawraa but they were defeated 1-0. This season also saw them reach the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup Winners’ Cup, earning wins over Al Seeb and Bargh Shiraz before their quarter-final exit.

Al Shorta players celebrate winning the Iraqi Premier League for the second time in 1998

Al Shorta also reached the quarter-finals of the 1999-2000 Asian Club Championship (later to be known as the AFC Champions League), just missing out on a semi-final spot in what was another respectable tournament for the club. The first few years of the 2000s brought both joy and pain to Al Shorta fans. Al Shorta became the first side to win the Iraqi Elite Cup three times in a row in 2000, 2001 and 2002, but also lost their fourth and fifth Iraqi FA Cup finals in 2002 and 2003, both against Al Talaba. 2002 also saw Al Shorta win two more international club competitions: the Arab Police Championship and the Al Quds International Championship. But the greatest joy of this period came when Al Shorta were crowned champions of the 2002-03 Iraqi Premier League (called the Iraqi First Division in that season); the second stage of the league had to be abandoned midway through due to the war situation at the time but Al Shorta were awarded the title as they were on top of the league after the end of the first stage (i.e. first 19 games). This also meant that Al Shorta had won a major domestic double for the first time as they also lifted their third Elite Cup at the start of that campaign.


In April 2003, legendary goalkeeper Raad Hammoudi became Al Shorta's club president and saved the club, that was struggling financially during the war, from bankruptcy. Al Shorta participated in the 2003 edition of the Arab Champions League and the 2004 and 2005 editions of the AFC Champions Leagues but failed to win a game in any of the three competitions (apart from two walkover victories in the 2004 AFC Champions League) and were knocked out in the group stages in all three years. However, 2004 did see a better tournament for Al Shorta as they finished fourth in the Algomhuria International Cup, losing the third-place play off on penalties to Egyptian club Al Ittihad Al Sakandary.

An Al Shorta team photo from the 2007-08 season before the derby with Al Zawraa

2005 saw Al Shorta claim victory in the Baghdad Cup that was held in support of the families that had lost loved ones in the Al-Aaimmah bridge stampede, beating Al Quwa Al Jawiya 2-0 with goals from Faris Abdul-Sattar and Mustafa Kareem. Later in the 2000s era, Al Shorta’s domestic results began to falter and by the 2010-11 season, Al Shorta were no longer a real force to be reckoned with in Iraq and under the guidance of legendary striker Younis Abid Ali, Al Shorta were almost relegated, surviving the drop on goal difference thanks to Amjad Kalaf’s heroics on the final day of the season as he scored both goals in a 2-0 win over Al Naft. Former Al Shorta player Basem Qasem took over the club in the 2011-12 season leading them to a seventh place finish (a great improvement on the previous season), and midway through the campaign, Ayad Bunyan became Al Shorta’s president: a man who would change the club significantly in the next few years.


Basem Qasem left the club with Iraqi manager Thair Jassam taking over for the 2012-13 season, and the club immediately began to see improvements in their performances and results. Al Shorta managed to win their first trophy for eight years when they defeated Al Zawraa 1-0 to win the Baghdad Cup in 2013, and just two years after avoiding relegation by the skin of their teeth, Al Shorta sensationally won their fourth ever Iraqi Premier League title to secure the double. Despite being on top of the table for the majority of the season, the 2012-13 title was not secured until the final day when Al Shorta thrashed Al Talaba 3-0 at Al Shaab Stadium to finish two points ahead of Erbil and three ahead of Al Quwa Al Jawiya.

Al Shorta players celebrate winning the Iraqi Premier League in the 2012-13 season

The next season, Al Shorta successfully defended their Iraqi Premier League title for the first time as they pipped Erbil to the title by just a point, and Brazilian Lorival Santos became only the second foreign manager ever to win the Iraqi Premier League (read our exclusive interview with Lorival here); Al Shorta also appeared in the AFC Champions League qualifiers, losing 1-0 to Al Kuwait S.C. This meant that they would play in the AFC Cup but after four goalless draws from six games, Al Shorta failed to reach the knockout stage of the tournament. They managed to get to the knockout stage of that tournament in the next season but were knocked out at the round of 16 stage by Al Kuwait S.C.


Al Shorta’s recent successes are largely down to the influence of Ayad Bunyan who was able to attract both professional foreign players and top Iraqi players to the club. Not only did he help the club to win trophies, but he also changed the club’s logo, proposed an idea for a new stadium which is currently in construction and got Al Shorta both a kit manufacturer in Nike and a kit sponsor in Royal Arena Sport among other achievements and he is now regarded as a true club legend. Ayad Bunyan was replaced as club president by Riyadh Abdul-Abbas during the 2014-15 season, but Riyadh left midway through the 2015-16 campaign with Ayad Abdul-Rahman taking on the role on an interim basis. On 28 May 2016, the elections for club president saw Abdul-Rahman become the president on a permanent basis. However, the Minister of Interior called for new elections on 5 August 2017, and Ayad Bunyan was re-elected as club president, although he eventually resigned in March 2018.

An Al Shorta team photo from their title-winning 2013-14 season

FAMOUS PLAYERS AND COACHES


Al Shorta have had many talented and famous Iraqi players play for the club before. One of the most famous players to play for Al Shorta was a man considered by many as one of the greatest ever players to play in the Iraqi Premier League, Hashim Ridha (pictured left), who had four different spells with the club. The striker was the Iraqi Premier League top scorer in the 1998-99 and 2001-02 seasons, scoring many famous and brilliant goals. His tally of 14 goals in the 1998-99 Iraqi FA Cup remains the most goals that a player has ever scored in a single Iraqi FA Cup tournament. He returned to the club for the last time in the 2010-11 season, scoring one goal in his final spell against Al Ramadi in a 2-1 loss. He finally retired in 2013, and had a retirement ceremony before a match between Al Shorta and Al Zawraa (two of his former clubs). The ceremony included a mini-testimonial match, in which Hashim Ridha scored a goal for Al Shorta. In total, Hashim scored 101 Iraqi Premier League goals for Al Shorta as well as many more goals in competitions such as the Iraqi FA Cup, Iraqi Elite Cup and Algomhuria International Cup. Hashim Ridha went on to become manager of Al Shorta, albeit for a very short spell, in May 2016.

Emad Hashim, the goalkeeper who appeared 75 times in the Iraqi national team shirt, played for Al Shorta for 14 years, winning many trophies for the club. Players such as Basem Qasem, Raad Hammoudi, Fatah Nsaief and Shaker Mahmoud played for Iraq in the 1986 FIFA World Cup and are regarded as legends for Al Shorta, along with Saad Qais, who had two different spells with Al Shorta. Younis Abid Ali and Mohammed Tabra, both recent Al Shorta managers, also played for the club. Younis Abid Ali is Al Shorta's all-time top goalscorer and was the league's top scorer in the 1993-94 season with 36 goals, the highest amount of goals a player has ever scored in one league season. He has scored the fourth-most goals in Iraqi Premier League history with a total of 153 league goals. Another legend is late defender and former Iraq captain Abid Kadhim (pictured left). Abid holds the club record for the most ever appearances for Al Shorta, and is one of Iraq's best ever players. He was a leader on the pitch, leading Aliyat Al Shorta to a number of titles in the 1960s and 1970s and winning both the 1966 Arab Nations Cup and the 1972 World Military Cup with Iraq. He also coached Al Shorta to the 1985 Arab Police Championship title, further cementing his place as an Al Shorta legend.

Some more recent famous players to play for Al Shorta are Iraq internationals Samal Saeed and his brother Samer as well as forward Mustafa Kareem, goalkeeper Mohammed Gassid and full-back Mahdi Kareem, the latter two both being AFC Asian Cup winners. However, the most famous recent player to play for the club is Nashat Akram, who joined Al Shorta in 2000 and played 113 times for Iraq. After leaving Al Shorta in 2003, 'The Maestro' rejoined Al Shorta in 2013 and captained the club to a fourth Iraqi Premier League title in his second spell before leaving the club and joining Chinese side Dalian Aerbin. Another brief stint at the club followed before he joined Erbil and retired shortly afterwards. During his three spells at Al Shorta, he scored 20 goals. Former Al Shorta forward Amjad Kalaf is also considered to be a legend by fans, after saving the club from relegation in 2011 and scoring more league goals than any other Al Shorta player in the 2012-13 championship-winning season (pictured left is Nashat lifting the Iraqi Premier League trophy alongside Amjad in 2013).

Al Shorta's most famous manager is Ammo Baba; he managed the club three times (in 1992, 1997 and 2002) in his 32-year managerial career. Al Shorta was the last Iraqi team he managed in his career. Former players such as Abid Kadhim, Basem Qasem, Younis Abid Ali, Mohammed Tabra and Douglas Aziz have returned to manage the club, with the latter achieving both Iraqi Premier League success and Arab Champions League success with Al Shorta. Thair Jassam is also regarded as a true club legend, as he coached Al Shorta to a first league title for ten years in 2013 and returned to manage the club in 2015 where he oversaw the now famous back-to-back 4-1 wins over rivals Al Zawraa. Brazilian manager Lorival Santos was the club's third ever foreign manager and the first ever foreign Al Shorta manager to win the Iraqi Premier League. He is also the second foreign manager to win the Iraqi Premier League in the history of the competition (read our exclusive interview with Lorival here). Ahmed Radhi, Iraq's second top goalscorer of all-time, also managed Al Shorta from 1999 to 2001, winning the Iraqi Elite Cup in 2000 with the club.

IRAQI PREMIER LEAGUE HISTORY

This table only shows matches that were part of the final league table(s). Therefore, league qualifying matches, matches that have since been annulled, or matches that were played purely for the purpose of deciding which teams qualified for continental competitions are not counted in the table below.

Season
Position
Played
Won
Drawn
Lost
Goals for
Goals against
1974-75
5th (out of 10 teams)
18
8
3
7
29
33
1975-76
3rd (out of 13 teams)
24
14
5
5
41
16
1976-77
3rd (out of 12 teams)
11
5
4
2
13
7
1977-78
6th (out of 14 teams)
13
5
7
1
11
5
1978-79
2nd (out of 13 teams)
12
5
5
2
19
9
1979-80
1st (out of 12 teams)
22
14
7
1
41
15
1980-81
2nd (out of 12 teams)
11
6
5
0
21
7
1981-82
6th (out of 12 teams)
22
9
5
8
29
23
1982-83
6th (out of 12 teams)
22
7
9
6
19
20
1983-84
8th (out of 13 teams)
24
7
6
11
25
33
1984-85
Season abandoned
-
-
-
-
-
-
1985-86
6th (out of 16 teams)
15
5
8
2
15
12
1986-87
5th (out of 12 teams)
44
15
19
10
40
32
1987-88
9th (out of 16 teams)
30
10
9
11
23
28
1988-89*
11th (out of 29 teams)
20
12
0
8
19
18
1989-90
3rd (out of 14 teams)
26
15
6
5
31
13
1990-91
3rd (out of 17 teams)
28
15
9
4
39
18
1991-92
5th (out of 20 teams)
38
17
12
9
33
21
1992-93
4th (out of 24 teams)
69
33
22
14
102
51
1993-94
5th (out of 26 teams)
50
30
11
9
87
33
1994-95
6th (out of 24 teams)
46
26
12
8
92
49
1995-96
3rd (out of 12 teams)
22
11
4
7
27
17
1996-97
5th (out of 16 teams)
30
12
10
8
48
33
1997-98
1st (out of 16 teams)
30
23
4
3
71
30
1998-99
5th (out of 16 teams)
30
13
10
7
55
40
1999-2000
3rd (out of 26 teams)
50
33
11
6
97
34
2000-01
3rd (out of 16 teams)
30
19
3
8
60
26
2001-02
3rd (out of 20 teams)
38
24
8
6
85
35
2002-03
1st (out of 20 teams)
19
15
3
1
46
12
2003-04
Season abandoned
-
-
-
-
-
-
2004-05*
11th (out of 36 teams)
18
7
3
8
26
19
2005-06*
9th (out of 28 teams)
16
10
4
2
29
9
2006-07*
11th (out of 24 teams)
11
7
1
3
14
8
2007-08*
9th (out of 30 teams)
28
14
10
4
45
23
2008-09*
15th (out of 28 teams)
26
8
10
8
29
29
2009-10*
6th (out of 36 teams)
40
19
14
7
54
38
2010-11*
16th (out of 28 teams)
26
8
11
7
28
23
2011-12
7th (out of 20 teams)
38
16
11
11
45
37
2012-13
1st (out of 18 teams)
34
20
12
2
62
29
2013-14
1st (out of 16 teams)
21
12
7
2
29
13
2014-15
3rd (out of 20 teams)
23
16
5
2
44
12
2015-16
7th (out of 20 teams)
25
10
4
11
26
31
2016-17
3rd (out of 20 teams)
36
21
12
3
55
26
2017-18
4th (out of 20 teams)
38
24
11
3
69
24
TOTAL
-
1174
600
332
242
1773
991

Notes:
1. In seasons marked with an asterisk, the overall position in the league is approximated based on positions in the groups.

2. In the 1983-84 season, Al Shorta were known as 'Quwat Al Emen Al Dakhili' (Internal Security Forces).
3. The wins column includes penalty shootout wins. The losses column includes penalty shootout defeats.

SIX INTERESTING FACTS


1. In 2014, a record number of Al Shorta players were called up for a matchday squad by the Iraq national team. Ten players in total were called up for a friendly with Kuwait; these players were Mohammed Hameed, Salam Shakir, Ali Bahjat, Waleed Salem, Dhurgham Ismail, Mahdi Kareem, Amjad Kalaf, Mahdi Kamil, Alaa Abdul-Zahra and Marwan Hussein. Another record was set when seven Al Shorta players started the game (the joint-most in history) with those seven being the entire back-four (Ali Bahjat, Salam Shakir, Dhurgham Ismail and Mahdi Karim) and three attacking players (Amjad Kalaf, Alaa Abdul-Zahra and Marwan Hussein). Also, Waleed Salem was substituted onto the field during the game, which ended 1-1. The other time that seven players featured in an Iraq starting line-up was on 23 December 2017 when Alaa Mhawi, Ali Faez, Nabeel Sabah, Mahdi Kamil, Alaa Abdul-Zahra, Mohanad Ali and Ayman Hussein took to the field in a 1-1 draw against Bahrain in the 23rd Arabian Gulf Cup.


The record for number of Al Shorta players called up for an Iraq matchday squad was equalled in March 2015 when Mohammed Gassid, Mohammed Hameed, Salam Shakir, Ali Bahjat, Dhurgham Ismail, Hussein Abdul Wahid, Amjad Kalaf, Mahdi Kamil, Alaa Abdul-Zahra and Marwan Hussein made up ten of the 25 players for the squad chosen for two friendlies against DR Congo.


2. Iraq called up nine Al Shorta players for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, setting a new record for the highest number of Al Shorta players ever called up by Iraq for a major competition. These nine players were Mohammed Hameed, Salam Shakir, Ali Bahjat, Waleed Salem, Dhurgham Ismail, Amjad Kalaf, Mahdi Kamil, Alaa Abdul-Zahra and Marwan Hussein. It also made the Police the best represented club in the entire tournament.


3. Al Shorta are one of just two sides to have played in every single Iraqi Premier League season since its inception in 1974 (43 seasons in total); the other team to have done this is Al Quwa Al Jawiya.


4. In the 1979-80 season, Al Shorta became the first team to play 100 games in the Iraqi Premier League (after its creation in 1974) with a 0-0 draw against Al Quwa Al Jawiya. In the 1984-85 season, they became the first team to play 200 games in the Iraqi Premier League with a 1-1 draw against Al Sinaah, and in the 1988-89 season they became the first team to play 300 Iraqi Premier League games, winning their 300th game by one goal to nil against Al Karkh. Al Shorta became the second team to play 1000 Iraqi Premier League games when they drew 0-0 against Al Sinaah in the 2011-12 season; Al Quwa Al Jawiya were the team that had already played 1000 games at the time.


5. Al Shorta were ranked as the 35th best Asian club of the century (1901-2000), and the 154th best Asian club in the last decade (2001-2010) by the IFFHS (International Federation of Football History and Statistics). Al Shorta were also ranked as the 169th best club in the world by IFFHS from 01/08/2001 to 30/07/2002. Meanwhile, the Oosterpark Rankings have placed Al Shorta as the 62nd best Asian club of all-time, the 48th best Arab club of all-time, and the 1044th all-time best club in the world (these three rankings are as of 31/12/2013). The highest Al Shorta have ever placed in the Oosterpark Rankings for best clubs in the world is 740th, which they achieved in 1982, the year that they won the Arab Champions League.


6. Al Shorta are one of six teams to have finished an Iraqi Premier League season without losing a single game; they achieved this in the 1980-81 season. Al Zawraa have done this four times (1976-77, 1978-79, 2005-06 and 2015-16), Al Talaba have done it once (1976-77), Al Minaa have done it once (1977-78), Salahaddin have done it once (1982-83) and Al Jaish have done it once (1983-84). Furthermore, Al Shorta went 31 consecutive league games undefeated across the 1979-80 and 1980-81 seasons before finally tasting defeat against Al Sinaah on the opening day of the 1981-82 season; only Al Quwa Al Jawiya and Al Zawraa have managed longer unbeaten league runs.


Al Shorta's results from their 'Invincible' 1980-81 season are displayed below:

Round
Opponent
Result
1
Al Adhamiya
4-0 win
2
Al Jaish
1-1 draw
3
Salahaddin
1-1 draw
4
Al Minaa
3-0 win
5
Al Sinaah
1-1 draw
6
Al Talaba
2-1 win
7
Al Amana (now Amanat Baghdad)
3-1 win
8
Al Shabab
1-0 win
9
Al Tijara
1-1 draw
10
Al Tayaran (now Al Quwa Al Jawiya)
1-1 draw
11
Al Zawraa
3-0 win

LIST OF MANAGERS


All of the managers are Iraqi, unless stated otherwise.


(1932-1974):

Mudhafar Ahmed

Dennis Nasrawi (Palestine)

Mohammed Saeed Wasif

Sabir Lateef

Fadhel Al-Samarrai

Fahmi Al-Qaimaqchi

Ahmed Abdul-Razzaq

Fahmi Al-Qaimaqchi

Mohammed Najib Kaban


(1974-present):

Younis Hussein (1974-1975)

Abdul-Kadir Zeinal (1975-1979)

Douglas Aziz (1979-1982)

Rajko Menista (Yugoslavia, 1982-1983)

Abid Kadhim (1983)

Munthir Al Waadh (1983-1984)

Mohammed Tabra (1984)

Thamir Mushin and Wathiq Naji (1984-1985)

Mohammed Tabra (1985)

Abid Kadhim (1985-1987)

Douglas Aziz (1987-1989)
Abdelilah Abdul-Hamed (1988)*

Mohammed Tabra (1989-1990)

Douglas Aziz (1990-1991)

Mohammed Tabra (1991-1992)

Faisal Aziz (1992)

Saad Jamil (1992)

Douglas Aziz (1992)

Ammo Baba (1992)

Mudhafar Nouri (1992-1993)

Basem Qasem and Muwafaq Hussein (1993-1994)

Saad Jamil (1994-1995)

Kadhim Al-Rubaie (1995-1996)

Basem Qasem (1996)

Mudhafar Nouri (1996)

Faisal Aziz (1996-1997)

Adnan Jafar (1997)

Ammo Baba (1997)

Abdelilah Abdul-Hamed and Ayoub Odisho (1997)

Abdelilah Abdul-Hamed (1997-1998)

Faisal Aziz (1998-1999)

Ahmed Radhi (1999-2001)
Najih Humoud (1999-2000)*
Adnan Hamad (2000)*

Yassin Amal (2001-2002)

Ammo Baba (2002)
Nasrat Nassir (2002)*

Basem Qasem (2002)

Abdelilah Abdul-Hamed (2002-2003)

Hassan Farhan (2003)

Basem Qasem (2003)

Younis Abid Ali (2003-2005)

Salih Radhi (2005)

Hamed Salman (2005)

Kadhim Al-Rubaie (2005-2006)

Mohammed Khalaf (2006)

Yahya Alwan (2006)

Shaker Mahmoud (2006-2007)

Kadhim Khalaf (2007)

Karim Farhan (2007)

Thair Ahmed (2007-2008)

Faisal Aziz (2008)

Haitham Mutaab and Muwafaq Hussein (2008-2009)

Rahim Hamid (2009-2010)

Hakim Shaker (2010)

Younis Abid Ali (2010-2011)

Hakim Shaker (2011)

Nabeel Zaki (2011)

Basem Qasem (2011-2012)

Mohammed Tabra (2012)

Thair Jassam (2012-2013)

Lorival Santos (Brazil, 2013-2014)

Mohamed Youssef (Egypt, 2014-2015)
Thair Jassam (2015)
Hakim Shaker (2015)
Qahtan Chathir (2015-2016)
Radhi Shenaishil (2016)

Hashim Ridha (2016)

Mohamed Youssef (Egypt, 2016-2017)

Nadhum Shaker (2017)
Marcos Paquetá (Brazil, 2017-2018)
Ahmed Salah (2018)
Thair Jassam (2018)
Haitham Al-Shaboul (Jordan, 2018-present)


* Abdelilah Abdul-Hamed managed Al Jaish in 1988, and Al Jaish represented Al Shorta at the 1988 Arab Police Championship.

* Najih Humoud was appointed to manage Al Shorta during the 1999-2000 Asian Club Championship only.
* Adnan Hamad was appointed to manage Al Shorta for their last 1999-2000 Asian Club Championship match after the departure of Najih Humoud.

* Nasrat Nassir managed the Iraq youth team in 2002, and the Iraq youth team represented Al Shorta at the 2002 Arab Police Championship.

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