AMMAN — Ramtha hosts Tunisia’s Etoile Sportive Du Sahel in the return leg of the Arab Club Champions Cup at Al Hassan Stadium in Irbid on Friday.
Ramtha will seek to make up for their 3-1 defeat in Leg 1, although given the team’s status observers think their capabilities are limited. The squad has 4-5 players on the injury list and the two professional players joining them in the league were not cleared to play.
In other regional events, Jazira lost their home match 1-0 to the Iraqi Air Force in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup, which was twice won by Faisali and once by Shabab Urdun.
Ramtha has had a bad start to the season. They have a winless record and are currently last in the league after finishing fourth last year.
The Arab Club Champions Cup is an annual regional club football competition organised by the Union of Arab Football Associations and contested by leading clubs from the Arab world. The tournament is contested by 32 teams from the AFC and the Confederation of African Football.
Founded in 1980, the tournament was held alongside the Arab Cup Winners’ Cup and the Arab Super Cup throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, until the Cup Winners’ Cup and Super Cup were merged with the Champions Cup in 2002.
The tournament’s first ever champions were Iraqi giants Al Shorta, who defeated Lebanon’s Al Nejmeh in 1982.
Saudi Arabian clubs are the record holders for most victories, with eight wins. The title has been won by 18 different clubs, seven of which have won the title more than once. Since the tournament was merged with the Cup Winners’ Cup, only ES Sétif of Algeria have managed consecutive wins, successfully defending their title in 2008. The reigning champions are Tarraji (Espérance) of Tunisia, who won the 2017 edition to become the joint-most successful club in the tournament’s history alongside now-dissolved Iraqi club Al Rasheed.
In 2017, Faisali finished runner-up to Tunisia’s Tarajji after an impressive performance, which included two wins over Egyptian veterans Ahli. Faisali also lost the 2007 final to Algeria’s ES Setif.