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Busy agendas await football teams

By Aline Bannayan - Jul 16,2015 - Last updated at Jul 16,2015

AMMAN — The Kingdom’s football teams have started to finalise their line-ups as they get ready for the local and regional football agendas. 

On the clubs level, the 33rd Super Cup will see league champs Wihdat play Jordan Cup titleholders Faisali in the opening of the 2015-16 football season on August 21. The Jordan Professional League is set to kick off on September 10 and the preliminary round of the Jordan Cup is set for September 13 for First Division teams from which four teams will join the knockout Round of 16 of the Jordan Cup, which will be played from September 27-30 and the quarters from December 25.

Wihdat, who won their 14th league title as well as 32nd Super Cup last year, are scrambling to boost their line-up and have signed former star Abdullah Theeb as they hope to retain local titles and compete on the Asian scene with Syrian coach Imad Khankan leading the team this season. 

For the first time in years, last season saw Wihdat trailed in runner-up and third place by Jazira and Ramtha. After finishing at a disappointing 7th place in the League, Faisali managed to beat That Ras to win the 35th Jordan Cup title. The league’s top two teams will also represent Jordan in regional events such as the AFC Cup and Asian Champions League.

Last season also witnessed a big battle at the other end of the standings as Ittihad Ramtha were relegated to Division 1 after failing to score a single win, and former champs Shabab Urdun and Faisali could have easily followed suit. It was only in the final week that Baqaa also held on to their post and Manshieh were relegated.

On the Asian club level, Wihdat and Jazira’s impressive run at Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup came to an end in the Round of 16. 

All national teams are busy this season. Jordan lost to Qatar in the final match of the 8th West Asian Football Championship (WAFC) last year and this season the squad has started Group B qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, doubling as part of the qualification for 2019 Asian Cup as well. The Kingdom beat Tajikistan 3-1 in its opening match and will play Kyrgyzstan on September 3.

The women’s team topped Asian Group B qualifiers and moved to Round 2 — the second phase of the qualifying journey to the 2016 Summer Olympics Football tournament.

Jordan’s U-16 boys team has started the final countdown to the 5th West Asian Championship kicking off in Amman on July 29. 

 

“We hope the officials will succeed in securing serious friendlies as they are vital for our upcoming agenda,” U-16 coach Abdullah Qitati was quoted as saying after the team only played two friendlies against Palestine whom they beat 2-0 after losing the first match 3-2. The U-19 team is gearing up for Asian Football Association U-19 qualifiers kicking off October 2 and the U-23 are slated to play the first West Asian Championship kicking off on September 29.

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