Will Jordan take advantage of the success of “Al-Nashama” in the Football Asian Cup?

Jordan's historic qualification to the Asian Football Cup finals has opened the door to questions about the impact of the unprecedented achievement on a sporting system that is plagued by mediocre levels of local leagues, and a debt crisis that is worsening for clubs. Is. In addition to the lack of sports facilities for the most basic components of modernization, their revenues declined.

In its fifth participation, “Al-Nashama”, led by its Moroccan coach Hussein Amouta and stars Moussa Al-Tamari (Montpellier, France) and Yazan Al-Naimat (Al-Ahli, Qatar), participated in a tournament. Entered the finals. Its best achievements were quarter-finals in 2004 and 2011.

Samar Nasser, Secretary General of the Jordan Federation, expressed hope that this achievement will move forward the stagnant water. “The private sector started to step in and people's sentiments flared up.” She adds, “We hope they will support the process as a whole, and that support will not be limited to what the team achieves.”

Some institutions and banks offered financial rewards to the players after they qualified for the finals, where they will face hosts and defending champions Qatar in the semi-finals, which won 3-2 over Iran yesterday, Wednesday.

Nasser, a former Olympic swimmer, acknowledges that Jordanian football faces many challenges: “We need the infrastructure and the private sector to unite around the national team.”

Demand for amendment in law

While international observer and Asian lecturer Moneim Fakhoury confirms that reform begins with the formation of a professional league association to manage local tournaments and marketing matters, Nasser points out that “Clubs are also the pillars and mines of champions… . We need support for this” entire system and re-examination of many cases.

Fakhoury believes clubs also need to amend the law. “All clubs in Jordan operate under the umbrella of the Youth Ministry.” But Nasser said qualifying for the World Cup for the first time would breathe new life into the game. “The Asian Cup is a milestone and qualifying for the World Cup is the ultimate goal.”

“We invested in this team because we saw the potential in it, and we believed it would reach the tipping point, and our goals go beyond the Asian Cup,” says Nasser, 46.

But Jordan has won only one point so far from its two matches at the start of joint qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup and 2027 Asian Cup, including a tough tie in Tajikistan and defeat at home to Saudi Arabia.

With the exception of the upcoming qualification, Jordanian football has not seen qualitative football achievements throughout its history, as it was limited to winning gold at the Arab tournaments in Beirut 1997 and Amman 1999, apart from reaching the final qualifying round for the 2014 World Cup. . Cup, when “Al-Nashama” took the field against Uruguay with Egyptian coach Hossam Hassan. While the clubs' achievements were limited to 3 titles in the AFC Cup, with two championships for Al-Faisaly and one championship for Shabab Al-Jordan.
Participation in the AFC Champions League is limited to one seat, which is awarded to the league champion, provided licensing requirements are met, while a second seat is awarded in the Federation Cup.

Club in “non-existent” financial position

But Fakhoury, who also holds the post of general secretary at Al-Jazeera Club, points out “the need for investment for success in the Asian Cup”. “Company owners must be convinced to adopt the clubs.”

He stressed the need for the federation to hold permanent meetings with the clubs as all the focus is on the women's teams. “Whatever support we get from international and continental federations goes towards administrative and operational expenses and is also spent on women's clubs. And teams.”

He further added, “The financial situation of the clubs is non-existent, and the league champion receives only 60,000 dinars (US$85,000) as a reward,” while “for example, a club's monthly expenses are as high as 80,000 dinars.” ,
He adds, “It is not possible to measure the situation of Al-Faisaly or Al-Wahdat with the rest, especially since they depend on fixed resources such as ownership of commercial premises and their large fans, as some clubs fail to pay salaries. Stay for 4 or 5 months.”

16 players of the current national team play professionally in the local league, most of them with Al-Faisaly.

Fakhoury also confirmed that players in Jordan are forced to work in more than one profession besides football because the salaries are very low. “They either work in a security agency or in the Amman Municipality, and that is not healthy for a professional player.”

While the national team's historical goalkeeper, Amer Shafie, considered that Jordan's appearance at this position was “like a miracle” given the low level of the league and the worsening financial situation of the clubs, and Amouta's assistant, coach Abdullah Abu Zam considered That “what has been achieved confirms that the style has changed in the national team, and we will continue to do so.” This pattern.

“Is the government paying attention?”

Al-Ghad newspaper indicated that “demands are growing that the (Jordanian) government should look at this achievement and step it up in support of sports and athletes in the future.”
Under the headline, “An achievement born of pain for Jordanian football… will the government pay attention?” The newspaper further said, “The appeals of the club administration and the Football Association were based on the need for the government to play a role in supporting the game given the social importance of the game in the past and its potential to raise the profile of the nation on various platforms.”

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