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Jordan Football Pro League Round 2 starts Thursday

By Aline Bannayan - Nov 03,2020 - Last updated at Nov 03,2020

AMMAN — Round 2 of the 68th Jordan Professional Football League starts on Thursday after a lacklustre league season that saw many matches postponed as club players and staff were sidelined with COVID-19.

Wihdat head into the next round atop the table after they beat their traditional rival Faisali 2-0, as well as, Sarih 2-1. They are trailed by Jazira, who jumped to second after holding Faisali 1-1 and scoring a 4-0 win over Shabab Urdun, who are now 11th. 

Faisali trail well behind in third place while Ramtha beat Sarih 3-1 to jump to fourth. Hussein are fifth after beating Sahab 1-0 in a postponed match, followed by Salt who beat Ahli 3-0 and are now 6th.

Sarih dropped to seventh after losing to Faisali 1-0 and Ma’an are 8th after holding Ahli 2-2. Sahab are 9th after losing to Hussein followed by Aqaba at 10th. Shabab Urdun are 11th after losing to Jazira while Ahli remained a distant last place and among four teams in the looming bottom two relegation zone.

The league champ will move on to the preliminary round of the Asian Champions League while the second and third teams, instead of the Jordan Cup champ, will play in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup after the Jordan Cup was scrapped for the season.

So far this season, Wihdat defeated Ramtha to win the 33rd Jordan Football Association Shield. It was their 10th Shield title while Ramtha, who have not won a major competition recently, last won the Jordan Cup in 1990-1991 and the Shield in 2001. 

On the other hand, Faisali beat Jazira to win the 37th Jordan Super Cup which has now been won by Faisali a record 17 times out of 25 final appearances, Wihdat have won 13 times, Ramtha and Shabab Urdun twice each while Jazira, Hussein and Ahli won once each.

The season has been hit hard with the interrupted schedule, as well as, issues such as noticeably downsized prize money after the Jordan Football Association’s (JFA) main sponsor, the Manaseer Group, ended its 10-year sponsorship this season. Clubs had already been reeling with lack of sponsors, injuries and lack of momentum after a long break with reigning champs Faisali starting on an impressive form after they lost in the AFC Cup.

That was also compounded with the kickoff delayed for nearly six months for 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup national team qualifiers which have now been postponed until next year. This week, the JFA announced that the national team line-up is set to be announced ahead of a training camp in Dubai November 8-17 where they are slated to play Iraq and Syria in two friendlies as they get ready to resume the three remaining qualifiers.

In the past season, Wihdat beat Jazira to win the 36th Jordan Super Cup while Faisali won their 20th Jordan Cup title, adding it to their record 34th Pro League title, one point ahead of Jazira who had led throughout the competition and settled for runner-up. Titleholders Wihdat were third, Shabab Urdun fourth, Salt fifth and Aqaba sixth. Ramtha, Aqaba and Hussein maintained their spot in the elite group. Ahli, who were relegated last decade but came back to win the Jordan Cup in 2015 and played in the AFC, barely secured their spot as Baqa’a were relegated to the First Division after 18 consecutive seasons in the Pro League. They were joined by That Ras, a former AFC Cup participant and 2012 Jordan Cup champ. Ma’an and Sarih were promoted.

Since the league kicked off in 1944 with only Faisali, Urdun, Ahli and Homenetmen competing, Faisali are 34 time record league winners while Wihdat were crowned champs 16 times since they joined in 1980.

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