After an exciting game of football at the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Sports City (Al-Jawhara) Stadium on Saturday evening, King Salman, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, crowned Jeddah’s Al-Ittihad as King’s Cup Champion and handed them the King’s Cup after they beat Harmah City’s Al-Faisali 3-1. The scores had been tied 1 -1 after ninety minutes, but during extra time, Al-Ittihad scored twice to secure the victory that saw them win the King’s Cup for the ninth time in their history and five years since their last victory in 2013.
King Salman was received by Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, Emir of Makkah and adviser to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and Turki Bin Abdulmuhsin Al Asheikh, chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Sports Authority (GSA) and chairman of the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee. The atmosphere in the stadium was festive, and it was the first time in history that families had been allowed to watch the King’s Cup in the stadium. Pre-match entertainment included several Saudi songs sung by Famous Saudi singer Muhammad Abu, and a display of Saudi Sword dancing (Al Arda) prior to the fancy footwork of the footballers.
On arrival at the stadium, King Salman was shown a photographic history of the King’s Cup. It is perhaps fitting then, that Al-Ittihad won the game. Formed just over ninety years ago in 1927, they are the oldest football club in Saudi Arabia and have been successful during that time at both domestic and international level. In 2005, they won the Asian Champions League, Arabian Champions League and finished fourth in the FIFA Club World Cup. The success of the Football Club has spawned affiliated Al-Ittihad teams in other sports including basketball, water polo, swimming, and volleyball. These clubs combined have won over 8,500 trophies, the mainstay being the football team who on Saturday added another one to that impressive tally.