Abha Football Club:
Abha Football Club (Arabic: نادي أبها السعودي) is a professional Saudi Arabian association football club based in Abha that is currently playing in the Saudi Professional League, the highest tier of Saudi football.
Their home stadium is Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Stadium.
They were first promoted to the top flight in 2005 when they finished as runners up in the First Division. However, they were relegated after just one season.
They achieved their second promotion in 2008 when they also finished as runners up. During the 2018–19 season Abha won their first First Division title as well as promotion to the Pro League for the third in the club’s history.
Abha have won the Saudi Third Division once, during the 1998–99 season and the Saudi Second Division once, during the 1999–2000 season.
The club play their home games at Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Stadium (also known as Al-Mahalah) in Abha.
They share the stadium with rivals Damac, with whom they contest the Asir derby.
Abha Football Club | History:
The idea of establishing a sports club in Abha started with the personal initiative of Abdullah Al-Muallami in 1947.
His reasons for establishing a sports club was so that the youth of Abha had a place to practice and play football.
The youth of Abha continued practicing without an official sports club until the year of 1960.
Then the idea of establishing a sports club was put in motion. The aim of establishing a sports club wasn’t only a sport-related one; it was also aimed to be an educational and sociable club.
A meeting was held on this topic, and the attendees agreed to establish a sports club in Abha. However, a problem arose in the meeting which caused a split between the attendees.
The cause of the split was the naming of the club. One half wanted the club’s name to be Al-Ahli Club in Asir the other half wanted the name to be Ittihad Shabab Asir.
An agreement was not reached and eventually, two clubs were established in Abha.
And in the year 1966, the club was officially registered with the GSA under the name of Al-Farouk Sports Club in Abha.
The club’s first official president was Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al-Nuaami who changed the club’s name from Al-Ahli Sports Club to Al-Farouk Sports Club.
During the same time, Al-Ittihad Sports Club in Abha was formed and the first official president was Aziz bin Mustafa.
Under directives from the GSA, Al-Ittihad Sports Club changed their name to Abha Sports Club in 1962.
This was due to a club already named Al-Ittihad Sports Club in Jeddah.
And in the year of 1968, Abha Sports Club once again changed their name but this time to Al-Siddiq Sports Club, in commemoration to Abu Bakr, first of the Rashidun Caliphates.
In early 1969, the GSA decided to merge both clubs, Al-Farouk and Al-Siddiq, to form one club under the name of Al-Farouk Sports Club.
Sheikh Suleiman bin Ahmed Mimish was the first president of the newly merged club.
In 1972, Al-Farouk Sports Club held a ceremony in honor of Prince Khalid bin Faisal Al Saud on the occasion of his appointment as the governor of Asir.
The ceremony was held at the club’s headquarters and a number of matters which concern the club were discussed.
One of the matters that were discussed was a name change proposed by the Prince to members of the club’s board.
It was unanimously agreed by members of the board and fans of the club to change the club’s name to Al-Wadiea Sports Club.
Al-Wadiea achieved promotion to the Saudi First Division for the first time in 1977. They spent two seasons in the First Division before being relegated to the regional leagues.
In 1983, the club once again achieved promotion to the First Division and spent two seasons before being relegated at the end of the 1984–85 season.
Al-Wadiea were once again promoted in 1994 before being relegated after a season. In 1999, the club changed their name from Al-Wadiea Sports Club to Abha Sports Club.
That same year, the club was promoted to the Second Division under the guidance of Saad Saleh Al-Bishri as manager.
A year later the club achieved promotion once again but this time to the First Division with the Algerian, Elias Bou Zaid, as manager.
In 2005, Abha were promoted to the Pro League, the top tier of Saudi football, for the first time after finishing second in the 2004–05 season.
The club were relegated after just a season in the top tier. Abha once again reached the Pro League after finishing second in the 2007–08 season.
They were relegated after a season following their loss to Al-Raed in the relegation play-offs.
Abha then spent six consecutive seasons in the Saudi First Division before getting relegated to the Second Division for the first time since 2000.
Abha Football Club | 2018:
On 4 May 2018, Abha defeated Al-Watani 2–1 on aggregate in the promotion play-offs to earn promotion to the second tier.
On 30 April 2019, Abha were promoted to the top flight for the third time after a 2–2 draw away to Al-Nojoom.
This was their second promotion in two seasons, becoming the sixth Saudi team to achieve this feat.
On 11 May 2019, Abha won their first MS League title despite losing to Al-Qaisumah. The 2019–20 season was Abha’s most successful season in the Pro League.
They achieved their highest finish in the top flight after finishing ninth. The club also reached the semi-finals of the King Cup for the first time.