Pro League kicks off today

No sign yet that fans will be allowed to attend — JFA

In this undated photo, Al-Ramtha’s Abdulrahman Abul Kass (L) can be seen attempting to steal the ball from Al-Faisaly’s Ibrahim Al-Khub. (Photo: Amjad Al-Tawil/JNews)
AMMAN — The 69th edition of the Jordanian Pro League will kick off today (Thursday) with 12 teams in pursuit of the title.

Shabab Al-Ordon and Al-Salt will play the tournament opener at 5pm today at the Amman International Stadium; followed by a match between Maan and Al-Hussein (Irbid)  at 7:30pm at Zarqa’s Prince Mohammed Stadium.اضافة اعلان

Friday will bring Al-Jazeera and Al-Jalil face to face at 7:30pm at the Amman International Stadium.

The first round of the league will conclude on Saturday with matches between Shabab Al-Aqaba and Al-Ramtha at 5pm at the King Abdullah Stadium and another between Sahab and Al-Faisaly at 7:30pm at the Prince Mohammed Stadium.

Al-Wehdat and Al-Baqa’s round-1 match has been postponed to May 18 due to Al-Wehdat’s engagement with the AFC Champions League.

This year, athletes will likely have to play in empty stadiums, Secretary General of the Jordan Football Association Samar Nassar told Jordan News.

“So far, there has been nothing to indicate that fans will be allowed to attend, even in limited numbers. We have unofficially contacted the National Center For Security and Crisis Management about our plans to allow for the gradual return of audiences — under strict health protocols — but the pandemic’s situation stood in the way,” Nassar said.

She added: “We are hoping for a decline in the COVID-19 curve and the number of cases so that we can gradually bring audiences back into stadiums to liven up the stands.”

Optimistic about his team’s chances this year, Al-Ramtha’s technical manager, Jamal Mahmoud told Jordan News: “On paper, it looks like it might come down between (the usual) Al-Wehdat and Al-Faisaly but we (Al-Ramtha) have a strong time and will fight for the league title till our last breath and with everything we have.  

Since April 1944, Jordan has witnessed 68 annual editions of the Pro League, but was missed in 1948, 1953, 1957, 1958, 1967, 1968, 1969 and 1998.

The league has most often been dominated by Al-Faisaly with a record of 34 titles; exactly half the number of tournaments. Al-Faisaly’s traditional rival has been Al-Wehdat with 17 titles, while the remaining tournaments were won by the following teams: Al-Ahli (8 times), Al-Jazeera (3 times), Al-Ramtha and Shabab Al-Ordon (twice each), and the Jordan, and Amman clubs (once each).