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Jordan Profesional Football League kicks off

By Aline Bannayan - Aug 02,2023 - Last updated at Aug 02,2023

AMMAN – The 71st edition of the Jordan Professional (Pro) Football League kicks off on Thursday as local football competitions return take centre stage after a long hiatus.

After competitions ended last year, club teams had an exceptionally long break while the national team’s agenda took over. Stadia began to fill up as Wihdat beat Faisali to win the Jordan Super Cup which was played over two-legs in the past week. It was Wihdat’s 15th title while Faisali are a record 17-time champions.

Earlier, reigning Pro League champs Faisali won their 9th Jordan Football Association (JFA) Shield, while the Jordan Cup will start later this month.

Last season, the Pro League saw a close-fought contest at both ends of the standings with veteran Jazira, a three-time league champ, relegated alongside Sarih, while Ahli and Jalil were promoted from the first Division. Jazira’s relegation was the fourth time– 1977, 1992, 2003, 2022 after the club was a frontrunner in the past five years and played in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) West Asia Zone final in 2018 and 2019.

Faisali won the league title one point ahead of Wihdat and Hussein who tied in overall points and finished second and third respectively. They were followed by Shabab Urdun, Aqaba, Ramtha, Ma’an, Salt, Sahab, Mugheer Sarhan, Sarih and Jazira. In 2021, Ramtha won the League crown for the third time in their history after 39 years. 

Last season, three teams split four titles: Faisali were crowned Pro League champs, and also won the 35th JFA Shield title when they beat Ramtha, who in turn upset Faisali to win the 39th Jordan Super Cup. Wihdat defeated Aqaba for their 11th Jordan Cup final. 

Since the league kicked off in 1944 with only Faisali, Ahli, Urdun and Homenetmen competing, Faisali are now 35-time record league champs while Wihdat were champs 17 times since they joined in 1980. Although Faisali are the all-time record titleholders, Wihdat’s record is quite impressive. After four years in the Pro League, they won their first title in 1980 and have gone on to win the majority of titles since then. Ahli won eight times, Ramtha and Jazira three times each, Shabab Urdun twice each, Amman and Urdun clubs once each.


Arab and Asian club championships


This season, Jordanian clubs will be back to Asian competition, with Faisali playing in the AFC Champions League, alongside Wihdat who played in two earlier editions, as well. If Wihdat advance in the AFC Champions League (ACL), Hussein w AFC Champions League AFC Champions League ill play in the AFC Cup instead of them.

In 2022, Wihdat were eliminated in the ACL group stages after they became the first of the Kingdom’s clubs to play in the round robin group stages in 2021. None of the Kingdom’s clubs have ever made it past the ACL preliminary round where Faisali played in 2020 and 2018, Wihdat in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019 and Shabab Urdun in 2014.

In the second-tier Asian club competition — the AFC Cup — last season no Jordanian clubs played citing financial and technical constraints. It was the first time Jordanian teams missed the competition since 2005 when Faisali won two back-to-back titles and Shabab Urdun won once.

Earlier this year, Shabab Urdun played at the preliminary round of the King Salman Clubs Cup (the 2023 Arab Club Champions Cup, where they were eliminated by Mauritania’s FC Nouadhibou. A total of 37 teams participated in the 30th season of the event — the Arab world’s leading club football tournament organised by UAFA — with a total of $10 million of prize money awarded. Morocco’s Raja CA are the defending champions.


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