Al-Rayyan Sports Club is a Qatari professional sports club fielding teams in a number of sports such as football, futsal, basketball, volleyball, handball, athletics, table tennis and swimming. It is based at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium in Omm Alafai in the city of Al Rayyan. The club was founded in 1967 after merging the old Rayyan team with Nusoor Club. The official team colours are red and black. The team is nicknamed is 'The Lions' and also 'Al-Raheeb' which means The Fierce.
They have won numerous titles in all sports, including two Asian championships in basketball, the Arab championship in handball, futsal domestic titles, table tennis and volleyball, as well as numerous GCC basketball, handball and volleyball championships. Both the basketball and handball teams have qualified for the world championships. However, the football team gets the most attention from the club officials as well as the media and the fans.
1967–1973: FoundingAl Rayyan's history goes back to the mid-sixties when it was known as Old Al Rayyan. Old Al Rayyan, though an amateur football team, competed in matches arranged throughout the whole country, not being limited to the city in which it was based. Their headquarters was in a two-bedroom house, and they played their matches on a football field in a school based in the New Rayyan area. The club relied on donations from the fans during this period.
In 1967, Al Rayyan began as a combination of two groups called " new Al Rayyan’sons and old al-Rayyan’son". In 1967, Al-Rayyan started its factory. From 1967 until now, Al-Rayyan has accomplished many trophies not only in soccer even in the rest of the games such as handball, basketball and volleyball. The people who contributed to build Al Rayyan knew that this team would not be a regular team, but it will also represent the culture of the city of Al Rayyan outside of Qatar. In 2008, the club established magazine called SOUT AL RAYYAN which is the first magazine that cares about Al Rayyan news, and it is the only team's magazine in Qatar.
They applied to be a member club of the Qatar Football Association, but were rejected with the QFA proposing that they merge with Al Nusoor, a local sports club also based in Al Rayyan. In 1967, after an announcement by the Al Rayyan Sports Committee that Old Al Rayyan would merge with Al Nusoor, Al Rayyan SC was officially founded. A new headquarters was established to accommodate increased size demands as a result of the merger. The first head coach of Al Rayyan was Ashour Salem, a Sudanese national, who, besides working as a local physical education coach, trained the first team and youth team. In the early years, the club branched out to other sports, notably basketball and handball. As a result of donations from the club supporters, Al Rayyan was able to establish their home grounds in Doha Stadium, the largest stadium in Qatar at that time.
1973–1988: Early historyThe club had success in the Qatar Stars League within the first decade of its formation, with the club participating in their first official season in 1972–73. In the 1974–75, after a mass brawl between the fans and players of Al Rayyan and Al Sadd, the QFA relegated Al Rayyan, who were in 2nd place at the time, to the second division. They won back promotion the following season and achieved their first league title 1976. In the 1977 season, the QFA annulled the results of Al Rayyan due to actions which took place in a match against Al Arabi. The perpetrator, who was an Al Arabi player by the name of Yassin Mustafa, was banned permanently from all league matches whereas the two clubs were warned.
In 1983, under the leadership of Mohammed Bin Hammam Al Abdulla, a new club headquarters and home stadium were constructed. They won the league with a negative goal difference in 1983–84, making them one of the only 6 teams in the world and the only Qatari team in history to achieve this feat.
1988–2000: Relegation and return to gloryIn the 1987–88 season, much to the surprise of critics and fans, they got relegated for the first time in league history. The relegation was preceded by a 0–1 loss to Al Sadd, as Hassan Jowhar scored a header goal which would prove to be the final nail in the coffin of Al Rayyan. They won back promotion to the premier league in their first season in the second division.
They would go on to win the league in 1990, the same season they were promoted back to the first division, beating out rivals Al Sadd. They won an additional league title in 1995.
2000–2013: League title droughtThey inaugurated their home ground, Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, in 2003 during the reign of Sheikh Mishaal Al Thani. The first match held on the grounds was the 2003 Emir Cup finals.
The club has not experienced much league success as of late, with the last successful league campaign being in 1994–95; however they finished 3rd in the 2010–11 season under Paulo Autuori. Nonetheless, they faced great success in the Emir's Cup and Heir Apparent Cup winning 8 cups in total in 14 years.
2014–: Return to SuccessIn 2014–15 the club won the Qatargas League and returned to Qatar Stars League. On 28 November 2015 Al-Rayyan Broke the record of most consecutive league matches won to 11.
On March 5, 2016 after 21 years Al-Rayan won the league once again, and became the first ever team to win both leagues in [|2] years.
SupportersThey club is supported throughout the entire Gulf region, as well as other parts of the world due to their high-profile signings. In 2010 they had the highest attendance in the Qatar Stars League. The fan club won the QFA-sanctioned award of "Best fans" in the 2008/09 season, and shared the award with Al Sadd in the 2012/13 season.
HonoursQatar Stars League
Emir of Qatar Cup
Crown Prince Cup
- Champions : 1992, 2000, 2012, 2013, 2018
First team squadAs of Qatar Stars League:
Out on loan
Current technical staffLast update: August 2019.
Notable playersThis list includes players whom have made significant contributions to their national team and to the club. At least 90 caps for the club or 100 caps for their national team is needed to be considered for inclusion.
Al RayyanPresent and past managers of Al-Rayyan from 1967 :