Erbil

 

Name: Erbil
Nickname: Al-Qalaa Al-Safraa (meaning The Yellow Castles in English)
City: Erbil
Year of foundation: 1968
Manager: Mudhafar Jabbar (Iraq)

Number of Iraqi Premier League titles: 4 (2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2011/12)
Number of Iraqi FA Cup titles: 0
Number of Iraqi Elite Cup titles: 0
Number of Iraqi Super Cup titles: 0
Number of major continental titles: 0

Season-by-season record in the Iraqi Premier League:
1987/88: 15th
1988/89: ~5th
1989/90: 14th
1990/91: Withdrew from the league at halfway stage
1991/92: 20th
1992/93: 22nd
1993/94: 22nd
1994/95: 22nd (relegated)
1999/00: 10th
2000/01: 12th
2001/02: 6th
2002/03: 9th
2003/04: Season abandoned
2004/05: 5th
2005/06: 3rd
2006/07: 1st
2007/08: 1st
2008/09: 1st
2009/10: 4th
2010/11: 2nd
2011/12: 1st
2012/13: 2nd
2013/14: 2nd
2014/15: ~11th
2015/16: ~11th

Erbil were founded in 1968 but it wasn’t until 1987 that they made their first appearance in the Iraqi Premier League. They stayed in the league until their sole relegation in the 1994/95 season, before being promoted back to the top-flight for the 1999/00 campaign. Gradually, Erbil’s results improved and they broke into the top four for the first time in the 2005/06 season, finishing third. In the late 2000s, as Baghdad was becoming more and more unsafe, many players started to move to Erbil in the safer Northern region and this led to Erbil dominating Iraqi football for a short while, becoming the third team to win the Iraqi Premier League three times in a row; they also won it in the 2011/12 season losing just one of their 38 games. Additionally, Erbil’s impressive results weren’t just on the domestic stage; they became the first Iraqi team to reach the final of the AFC Cup in 2012 but lost 4-0 to Al-Kuwait, and they reached the final yet again in 2014 but lost against Al-Qadsia via a penalty shootout. But in the 2014/15 season, Erbil were hit with a financial crisis that saw them finish in a disappointing 11th place and they also finished 11th in the 2015/16 season. Unfortunately for The Yellow Castles, they are no longer a dominant force in Iraqi football and must sort out their financial problems before they can dream of returning to their former glories.

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