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Three teams vie for Jordan Pro League crown

By Aline Bannayan - Nov 02,2022 - Last updated at Nov 02,2022

AMMAN — The Jordan Professional Football League (Pro League) heads into its final week with three teams in contention for the title for the first time.

Faisali lead by a slim one point and have an advantage over Wihdat and Hussein whose chances rest on results of the final week of matches kicking off on Thursday.

The 70th edition of the league also saw a close-fought contest at the other end of the standings with veteran Jazira, a three-time league champ, already relegated, while the second team is yet to be decided.

During the past week, the much-anticipated Faisali-Wihdat match ended in a 1-1 draw, titleholders Ramtha beat Jazira 2-0, Hussein Irbid beat Aqaba 3-1, Salt beat Sahab 3-0, Mugheer Sarhan beat Sarih 2-0 and Shabab Urdun upset Ma’an 2-1.

Four matches will be held simultaneously on Friday as Faisali will be seeking their 35th overall title; Wihdat’s chances of an 18th title rest on the result of the Faisali-Jazira matchup; while Hussein are seeking their first title. The winner will be granted JD60,000 and runner-up JD30,000 and the third team JD15,000.

Faisali will play veteran Jazira with a win guaranteeing them the title regardless of other results. Both Wihdat’s and Hussein’s chances rest on beating Mugheer Sarhan and Sahab respectively while hoping for Faisali’s stumble in a draw or loss. In that case, teams will be equal in head-to-head matches and resort to overall goals, now in Wihdat’s favour, to decide the winner.  In another match Friday, Ma’an play Sarih, the result of which will decide the second relegated team. On Thursday, Shabab Urdun play Salt while Ramtha take on Aqaba.

It was quite a notable week in football for Jordan as the Jordan Football Association (JFA) first had to resort to empty stands in an earlier Wihdat- Faisali match after unsportsmanlike conduct in the previous week’s league matches, before moving the top two team’s league match to Irbid instead of Quweismeh the following week with Wihdat boycotting the match before agreeing to play. Observers and officials were hoping to lessen the heightened tension on social media, while raising concerns over lax regulations and repeated violence outside of the stadia. 

Jazira will be the notable absentee next season. They won the league three times in their history, the last being in 1956. They also won the Super Cup in 1985, the Jordan Cup in 2017, and the Shield twice.  Their relegation will be the fourth – 1977, 1992, 2003, 2022. The club was a frontrunner in the past five years and played in the AFC West Asia Zone final in 2018 and 2019.

“The board of the club had a tough time with financial constraints, and had accumulated player dues which they managed to overcome. However, the board bears part of the responsibility for the form the team had this year, with lots of changes in coaching staff … the team just had a bad year,” Jazira’s spokesman Wael Ja’bari told the media.

Meanwhile, the JFA set December 9 for the last competition of the season — Jordan Cup semis — grouping Wihdat vs Ramtha and Amman FC vs Aqaba. In the quarters, Wihdat eliminated titleholders Faisali 6-5 on penalties; Aqaba ousted Hussein 1-0; Amman FC beat Mugheer Sarhan 2-1 and Ramtha beat Jazira 4-1. 

In two of the 2022 competitions played so far, Faisali won the season opening 35th JFA Shield title when they beat Ramtha who in turn upset Jordan Cup titleholders Faisali 2-0 to win the 39th Jordan Super Cup. 

In the 2021 season, Ramtha won their third league title. Newcomers to the Pro League Jalil overcame Wihdat to win the 34th JFA Shield; Wihdat beat one-time winners Jazira in the 38th Jordan Super Cup, while Faisali beat Salt to win the Jordan Cup.

 

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