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Full name Ismaily Sporting Club
Nickname(s) El-Daraweesh, African Brazil, Samba Boys, Mango Boys
Founded 1924
Ground Ismailia Stadium
(Capacity: 16,000)
Chairman Egypt Nasr Abo El-Hassan
Manager Egypt Emad Soliman[1]
League Egyptian Premier League
2008-09 2nd
Home colours
Away colours

Ismaily (Arabic: النادي الإسماعيلي الرياضي‎) is a Sporting club, established in 1924 as Nahda Sporting Club, based in Ismaïlia, Egypt. The club is best known for its football team.

Ismaily won the Egyptian Premier League three times in 1967, 1991 and 2002, as well as the Egyptian Cup in 1997 and 2000. In 1969 the club won the CAF Champions League. The club reached the CAF Champions League final match in 2003, but lost to Nigerian club Enyimba FC in a match that included many controversial incidents.

Ismaily also is well-known for being rich in skillful players and for the enjoyable style of play which is the reason they are known as The Egyptian Samba. However, the club is also known for being usually unsuccessful to translate these abilities into championships.

Ismaily continues to face difficult circumstances in building and maintaining a team in a country where most of the population cheers for one of the two most established clubs Al-Ahly and El Zamalek situated in the capital of Egypt, Cairo. For the same reasons, it has been very difficult along the years for Ismaily club to manage to keep its top players at the club. It has been a repeated incident in the past years when superstar players of Ismaily are transferred to one of the two Egyptian giants, with or against the club's will.



It all started back in 1920, more than 80 years ago, when the idea of starting an Egyptian club in the city of Ismailia was born. In 1921, this dream became reality when the Nahda Sporting Club (now Ismaily) was founded thanks to generous donations and hard work. The Nahda was the first Egyptian club in the Canal zone; all other clubs were strictly foreign.

The club’s location is where the Friday market is today. It wasn’t until 1926 that the club became an official member of the Egyptian Football Federation.

The club is known in Egypt as well as its fans "El-Daraweesh"

They are well known for playing football but never score or achieve any championships, they usually lose in the semi final or Quarter Final or even first rounds of any championship. i.e.: They lost in Egyptian cup 2008 - 2009 from a 2nd division team in the first round.

The club’s initial state was quite modest. Inside the club’s brick wall, there existed only a field of sand, one changing room, and a small hut. Of course, the residents of Ismailia were not satisfied; the hut was removed and replaced by a small building in 1931, and grass was planted on the pitch. Expansion continued in 1943, when the club purchased a 15,000 square-meter piece of land and moved there.

Building the club required money, and a total sum of 6453 L.E. was collected from local families and businesses. Here is a list of the most generous contributors:

  • Contractor Mohamed Ali Ahmed contributed 357 L.E.
  • Dr. Soleiman Eid and Saleh Eid contributed 500 L.E.
  • Hajj Mohamed Mohamed Soliman contributed 100 L.E.
  • Sayed Abu Zeid El Menyawy contributed 100 L.E.
  • Sheikh Ahmed Atta contributed 75 L.E.
  • Hajj Mohamed Sahmoud and Fahmy Michael contributed 30 L.E.
  • Hajj Ahmed Ali El Menyawy contributed 25 L.E.
  • Foreigner Banyooty Fasolis contributed 20 L.E.

The first to game take place in the new pitch was between Ismaily and the English Army Team (Canal). The new club was officially opened on the 11th of April in 1947. A celebration party was organized for this event. A friendly game was played on this day between Ismaily and the Farouk First Club (now Zamalek). Ismaily won the game 3/2.

Ismaily’s lineup was: Yango, Sayed Abu Greisha, Salem Salem, Ali Hegazy, Anoos El Kebir, Mohamed Abdel Salam, Aly Lafy, Ahmed Mansour, Ibrahim Hablos, Sayed Charley, Awad Abdel Rahman.[2]


The First Title

It wasn't until forty-four years after Ismaily was founded that the Daraweesh finally achieved their first title. Ismaily had been slowly climbing to the top after returning to the Premier League, but it all came together in the 66/67 season.

Salah Abu Greisha Like every other League title Ismaily won, a long and hard battle was fought against Ahly , throughout the season. Ismaily secured the title however, after defeating Ahly by Ali Abu Greisha's penalty-spot goal, two weeks before the end of the season.

The 66/67 season had 22 weeks. Ismaily won 15 games, tied 6, and lost one against Ahly . The Daraweesh scored 34 goals and conceded 17. Ali Abu Greisha was the leading scorer with 15 goals; Shehta, Sayed Abdel Razek, and Reeo scored 4 each; Sayed Hamed, El Araby, Tarboush, Mostafa Darwish, and Mohamed Maaty each scored once.

Coach Thompson Salah Abu Greisha coached the team for the first half of the League, but after a few shaky performances, Eng. Osman Ahmed Osman traveled to London, and returned with Ismaily's first ever foreign coach: English Thompson. Thompson worked with Salah Abu Greisha to keep the team in top form.

Ismaily's results for the season:

Masry (3-1, 1-0) Zamalek (1-1, 2-1) Tayran (2-0, 1-1) Ittihad (1-0, 2-1) Domyat (2-0, 1-0) Olympic Club (1-0, 3-1) Ahly (1-3[only defeat], 1-0) Suez (1-0, 0-0)

Seka (2-1, 1-0)[3] The African Victory:

In 1969, Ismaily became the first Egyptian and Arab team to become the African Champion with the support of Ahly fans in the game that was held in Cairo Stadium which is considered El-Ahly official Stadium and they borrowed 4 players from El-Ahly team to support them in this championship. After the League victory of 1967, Ismaily entered the African Champions League of 1969, despite gruelling local conditions following the war. Ismaily made it to the top, undefeated, and won the title in Cairo Stadium, which was packed over-capacity. Ali Abu Greisha Ismaily played 8 games, winning 5 of them and tieing three. A total of 22 goals were scored; Ali Abu Greisha scored 8, Sayed "Bazooka" scored 6, Amiro scored 4, Hendawy scored 2, and Anoos and Senary each scored 1. Only 9 goals were scored in Ismaily's goal. Ismaily was being coached by Ali Osman and Salah Abu Greisha at the time. Ismaily also participated in the next African Champions League as defending Champion, and borrowed several players from other Egyptian clubs. Despite this, Ismaily was knocked out in the Semi-Finals by a Ghanaian team. Ismaily then participated in the following tournament (the 7th), but was once again eliminated by the same team. In the eighth tournament, Ismaily was eliminated early by the Ahly of Libya. In the ninth tournament, Ismaily made it to the Quarter Finals but was then forced to withdraw due to the October war. Ismaily would not play any African championships for several years, until participating in the African Cup of Cup Winners. Ismaily was knocked out in the Semi-Finals by Ahly. Amiro Ismaily participated in the Champions League again in 1990, but was eliminated in the Semi-Finals by Al Hilal of Sudan. In 1995, in the Cup of Cup Winners, Ismaily was eliminated by Asec Abidjan after an embarrassing 5-1 loss. In the CAF Cup a few years later, Ismaily achieved second place, after Shabibat Al Kaba'il of Algeria after tieing 1-1 at home and 0-0 away.[4]

The Second Domestic Title:

It took 24 years for Ismaily to win the League a second time. In the 1990/1991 season, Ismaily won their second Egyptian League title. Ismaily defeated Ahly , 2-0 in a decisive match in Mahala Stadium. The competition was between Ahly ,Zamalek, and Ismaily. Ismaily played 35 matched, including the final match against Ahly ,. The team had 53 points, and scored 47 goals. The team won 20 matches: Port Fouad 4-0 Tersana 1-0 Olympic 3-0 Sekka 2-1 and 1-0 Mansoura 3-0 Mahala 2-1 Ittihad 4-0 and 1-0 Mokawiloon 3-0 Al Minya 2-0 Aswan 2-0 and 1-0 Al Kroum 1-0 and 2-0 Suez 3-0 and 1-0 Shibeen 1-0 and 3-0 Ahly (decisive match) 2-0 The team tied 13 matches against: Marreekh, Zamalek, Ahly, Mokawiloon, Mansoura (1-1); Al Minya, Mahala, Port Fouad, Olympic, Masry(0-0). Ismaily lost twice, once to Ahly and once to Tersana, 1-0. Fekry El Sagheer was the top scorer for the daraweesh, scoring a total of 13 goals. Besheer Abdel Samad scored 6, Atef Abdel Aziz scored 4, Yaser Ezzat and Hamza El Gamal scored 3, Ayman Ragab and Mohamed Salah Abu Greisha and Adham El Selehdar scored 2, and each of Shams Hamed, Hamadah Marzouk, Essam Abdel Al and Ahmed Kinawy scored 1.[5]

The First Cup:

Ismaily fans had experienced the League and the African Championship titles, so it was natural to expect a Cup victory soon. Ismaily won its first Cup title in the 1996-1997 season. Ismaily faced several hard matches in the playoff. In the quarter finals, Ismaily faced Zamalek in Ismailia Stadium and barely managed a 4-3 victory, with the last goal being scored in extra time. Ahmed Fekry and Magdy el Sayad each scored two. Ismaily then faced Port Fouad, the Black Horse of the tournament. Ismaily defeated Port Fouad 2-0 in Port Said; Ahmed Fekry scored both. The final game was against Ahly in Cairo Stadium. Almost all Egyptian soccer fans expected a Red victory. Earlier that season, Ahly had crushed Ismaily 6-0 at home, which had resulted in the replacement of the team's Board of Directors. It seemed that Ismaily was not ready to take on Ahly. The match also witnessed the return of star defender Hamza El Gamal, who had been playing in Kuwait for one year. Surprisingly, Ismaily defeated Ahly, by Ahmed Fekry's famous goal: a beautiful shot from outside the 18-yard box. Ismaily was coached by Ali Abu Greisha and Ismail Hefny at the time.[6]

The Second Cup:

Ismaily fans had to wait only three more years for the second Egyptian Cup victory. Ismaily was crowned Egyptian Cup Champion for the second time in history in the 1999-2000 season. It seemed only fair that Ismaily should win at least this competition that season. Ismaily played an excellent season beginning the League’s second half, and ended up second, narrowing the gap between them and Ahly to six points. After that, however, the team was totally dedicated to winning the Cup. In the quarter finals, Ismaily defeated Mansoura 2-0 in Ismailia Stadium. The two goals were African: Mamado Kita scored the first and John Otaka added the second. In the semis, Ismaily faced Ahly in Ismailia in a historical game. Ismaily was fired up to win the Cup; Ahly wanted to avenge a 4-3 loss in the same stadium a few months prior to this game. The match ended 4-2 for Ismaily. Mohamed Barakat and John Otaka each scored two goals. In the finals, Ismaily met Mokawiloon, who had eliminated Zamalek in the semis. However, Mokawiloon was no match for Ismaily’s spirit and talent, and despite playing an excellent match, lost 4-0. John Otaka and Barakat each scored once, and Mohamed Salah Abu Greisha scored two. The following players participated in the Cup that season: Abdel Kader El Brazy, Ibrahim Farag, Mohamed Sobhy, Islam El Shater, Ayman Ramadan, Emad El Nahas, Reda Seka, Mohamed Younis, Sayed Moawwad, Hamam Ibrahim, Mohamed Hommos, Hossam Abdel Al, Saad Abdel Baky, Ahmed Salem, Mohamed Barakat, Ayman El Gamal, Tarek Fahiem, Mamado Kita, John Otaka, Sayed Ghareib, Khaled Bebo, Mohamed Salah Abu Greisha. Mohsen Saleh managed the team, and was assisted by Mahmoud Gaber and Besheer Abdel Samad.[7]

Soccer titles



Performance in CAF competitions

2003 - Finalist
1969: Champion
1970: Semi-Final
1971: Quarter-Final
1972: Second Round
1973: Quarter-Final
1992: Semi-Final
2000 - Finalist
2004 - First Round
2005 - Group Stage
2007 - Group Stage
1986 - Semi-Final
1998 - First Round
2001 - Quarter-Final

Notable Players

Families in Ismaily Sc History

Osman Family

The Osman Ahmed Osman family has played a major role in the development of the club. Five out of the club's six tournaments were won under the leadership of an Osman-family member. The club's first golden era, in which two tournaments were secured (Egyptian League and African Champions League), was established under the leadership of Osman Ahmed Osman, who continued to reside as President of the club for several years after that. Between 1996–2004, the Osman family entered the scene once again. This time, it was the second generation of Osman's leading the club. Osman Ahmed Osman's nephew, Ismail Osman, acted as Club President and Chairman of the Board of Directors, while three of Osman's sons, Ibrahim Osman, Ahmed Osman, and Mahmoud Osman, held seats in the Board. In particular, Ibrahim Osman held the post of Vice President and was given the responsibility of running the club's football team and youth school. During this period, the team effectively doubled its tournament chest by winning three tournaments: the Egyptian Cup twice (1997, 2000) and the Egyptian League once (2002). In addition, the team became a powerful regional/continental force, reaching advanced stages of several African club competitions (2nd place in CAF Cup 2000, semi-finals of CAF Cup Winner's Cup 2001, and the 2nd place in CAF Champions League 2003, as well 2nd place in the first Arab Champions League, 2004). Most of this team's players ended up either abroad or at the two local rivals (Ahly/Zamalek), sometimes after an expired contract and sometimes after a direct sale. The club also fell victim to massive financial problems, prompting the resignation of the Osman family. Fans have debated fiercely about this sequence of events, with some blaming the Osman family for the club's problems, while others defending the administration as a highlight in the club's history. Since no tournaments have been achieved since their departure, many fans currently call for a return of Osman administration.

Greisha Family

  • Ismail Abou Greisha
  • Ahmed Abou Greisha
  • Said Abou Greisha
  • Awad Abou Greisha
  • Dawod Abou Greisha
  • Said Abou Greisha
  • Ibrahim Abou Greisha
  • Ahmed Abou Greisha
  • Mohamed Abou Greisha
  • Yosif Abou Greisha
  • Ali Abou Greisha
  • Atef Abou Greisha
  • Salah Abou Greisha
  • Ali Abou Greisha
  • Adel Abou Greisha
  • Mohamed Salah Abou Greisha
  • Mohamed Mohsen Abou Greisha

Club Records

  • The first Arabic and Egyptian Club to win Continental Title
  • The Youngest Egyptian Football Player {Reda}
  • Aly Abou Grisha took the best player in Africa 1970 for the first time
  • The Youngest Egyptian League Top scorer ever {John Utaka}
  • The Youngest Egyptian Egyptian League Top scorer {Ali Abou Greisha}
  • Champions League Top Scorer by 3 Players {Ali Abou Greisha, Darman Traore, Mohamed Mohsen Abou Greisha}
  • Largest Win of Egyptian Clubs in Africa Club Championships in CAf Cup 2000 against Sudanese Club Hay Al Arab by 8-0
  • The First team to win African Champions league without single Defeat in 1969.
  • Won the Egyptian League in 2001/2002 Without single defeat.
  • Best Attendance in Champions League Final 1969 {More than 150,000}.

Current squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Egypt GK Mohamed Sobhy
2 Egypt DF Abdel-Hamid Samy
3 Egypt DF Ahmed Abdel-Aziz "Moudy"
4 Egypt DF Ali Gabr
5 Egypt MF Ahmed Khairy
6 Egypt DF Ibrahim Yehia
7 Egypt DF Ahmed El-Gamal
8 Egypt MF Mohamed Soliman "Homos" Captain sports.svg
9 Egypt FW Youssef Gamal
10 Egypt MF Abdallah Said
11 Egypt MF Omar Gamal
14 Egypt MF Amr Al-Sulaya
15 Egypt DF Ahmed Abo Msallam
16 Egypt GK Mohamed Fathy
17 Tunisia FW Mohamed Selliti
18 Egypt DF Moatasem Salem
No. Position Player
19 Egypt GK Essam El-Hadary
20 Egypt DF Ayman Ramadan
21 Egypt MF Abdallah El-Shahat
22 Egypt MF Ahmad Sedik
23 Egypt FW Ahmed Ali Kamel
25 Egypt MF Mohab Said
26 Egypt DF Hany Ghaith
28 Egypt FW Mohamed Mohsen Abougrisha
30 Egypt MF Ahmed Samir Farag
Egypt DF Farid Dwidar
Egypt DF Mostafa Talaat
Egypt MF Islam Emad
Egypt MF Emad Alaa
Egypt GK Mahmoud Shoukry
Albania FW Xhevahir Sukaj

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Egypt MF Hosny Abd Rabo (at Ahli Dubai until the end of season 2009-2010)

See also

External links


  1. ^ Ismaili sack Vuckovic
  2. ^ Official Club Website:
  3. ^ Official Club Website:
  4. ^ Official Club Website:
  5. ^ Official Club Website:
  6. ^ Official Club Website:
  7. ^ Official Club Website:


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