Geography of association football
The following article gives a list of association football confederations, sub-confederations and associations around the world. The sports international governing body is FIFA, but those not affiliated to FIFA are also included in this article. In the Americas, leagues are organised as either multi-stage tournaments or separate Apertura and Clausura stages. The football associations listed in this section are members of FIFA-affiliated confederations, all UEFA associations are affiliated with FIFA. All CONMEBOL associations are affiliated with FIFA, the football associations in this section represent fully or partially recognized sovereign states or dependent territories, but are not part of FIFA or a FIFA confederation. Beneath the national level, governance of football may be divided up into regional or territorial associations, other non-national associations represent stateless populations, diasporas or micronations. Details of these are listed at non-FIFA international football
Asian Football Confederation
The Asian Football Confederation is the governing body of association football in Asia and Australia. Three other states located along the fringe of Asia – Cyprus, Armenia. Hong Kong and Macau, although not independent countries, are members of the AFC. One of FIFAs six continental confederations, the AFC was formed officially on 8 May 1954 in Manila, Philippines, the main headquarters is located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The current president is Sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa of Bahrain, the Asian Football Confederation was founded on 8 May 1954. Afghanistan, Burma, Republic of China, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, the Asian Ladies Football Confederation is the section of the AFC who manage womens football in Asia. The group was founded in April 1968 in a meeting involving Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia. In 1986 the ALFC merged with the AFC, the Asian Ladies Football Confederation helped organise the AFC Womens Asian Cup, first held in 1975, as well as the AFCs AFC U-19 Womens Championship and the AFC U-17 Womens Championship. The AFC has 47 member associations split into five regions, all three competitions are held every four years. The top-ranked AFC competition is the AFC Champions League, which started in the 2002–03 season and gathers the top 1–4 teams of each country, a second, lower-ranked competition is the AFC Cup. This competition was launched by AFC in 2004, a third competition, the AFC Presidents Cup, which had started in 2005, was absorbed into the AFC Cup in 2015. The AFC also runs an annual Asian futsal club competition, the AFC Futsal Club Championship
Promotion and relegation
In sports leagues, promotion and relegation is a process where teams are transferred between two divisions based on their performance for the completed season. In some leagues, playoffs or qualifying rounds are used to determine rankings. This process can continue through several levels of divisions, with teams being exchanged between levels 1 and 2, levels 2 and 3, levels 3 and 4, the number of teams exchanged between the divisions is almost always identical. Such variations will almost inevitably cause an effect through the lower divisions. Even in the absence of such circumstances, the pyramid-like nature of most European football league systems can still create knock-on effects at the regional level. The system is said to be the characteristic of the European form of professional sports league organization. Promotion and relegation have the effect of allowing the maintenance of a hierarchy of leagues and divisions and they also maintain the importance of games played by many low-ranked teams near the end of the season, which may be at risk of relegation. In contrast, a low-ranked US or Canadian teams final games serve little purpose, although not intrinsic to the system, problems can occur due to the differing monetary payouts and revenue-generating potential that different divisions provide to their clubs. For example, financial hardship has sometimes occurred in leagues where clubs do not reduce their wage bill once relegated, some leagues offer parachute payments to its relegated teams for the following year. The payouts are higher than the money received by some non-relegated teams and are designed to soften the financial hit that clubs take whilst dropping out of the Premier League. However, in many cases these parachute payments just serve to inflate the costs of competing for promotion among the lower division clubs as newly relegated teams retain a financial advantage. If these are not satisfied, a team may be promoted in their place. While the primary purpose of the system is to maintain competitive balance. On several occasions, the Italian Football Federation has relegated clubs found to have involved in match-fixing. This occurred most recently in 2006, when the initial champions Juventus were relegated to Serie B. An exception is the proposed UEFA Nations League, which will feature promotion and relegation across four levels, in tennis, the Davis Cup has promotion and relegation where each group uses a knockout tournament format in which first-round losers play off to avoid relegation. In the United States, Canada, and Australia, teams are not promoted or relegated. The USL set up two leagues, now known as the United Soccer League and the Premier Development League, although the system is now in place, it is not compulsory and is rarely used
The Azadegan League is one of two fully professional football leagues in Iran, and the second-highest professional league in the Iranian football league system after the Persian Gulf Pro League. The top two teams from the group automatically get promoted to the Persian Gulf Pro League, the three worst teams are directly relegated to the 2nd Division. In 1991 the league was founded as Irans top division, but, after the creation of the Persian Gulf Pro League in 2001, the Azadegan League was declared as the second highest football league in the county. Since the leagues inception as the second division in 2001. Paykan has come the closest to achieving the feat, finishing as runners-up in the 2005–06 season, in the summer of 2015 the format of the league was changed from a two group league to a one group and 20 team league. The format was changed after the 2015–16 season as the number of teams was reduced to 18. The first national league in Iran after the revolution was founded in 1989 with the name of Qods League, Esteghlal became winners of the first edition of the league. In 1991, the league was named to Azadegan League in honor of the Iranian prisoners of war who were released. The number of teams, playing in the league, varied from year to year, pas and Saipa dominated the league in the first four years. Pas and Esteghlal both were able to capture Asian Club Championships in the early 1990s. By the mid-90s Persepolis and Esteghlal regained their dominant form and the champions in the period of 1995-2001 was either Esteghlal or Persepolis. Until 2001 the league was the highest division football league in Iran, the Persian Gulf Pro League was created and since then, the Azadegan League became the second-highest division in the Iranian football league system. All teams in the Azadegan League are entered in the Hazfi Cup, if any club from the Azadegan League wins the cup, since 2001, when Azadegan League became the second-highest division league, no team from Azadegan League has become Hazfi Cup champion. Gostaresh Foolad is the club from the Azadegan League that has reached the final of the Hazfi Cup. The Azadegan League consists of two subdivisions, each having 12 teams, the eleventh and twelfth placed teams in the groups are automatically relegated to the 2nd division. Sometimes the playoff match format is not used and one takes place between the teams on a neutral ground instead. Since the 2001–02 season, fifteen seasons of the Azadegan League have been completed, the table below shows the total ranking for the all football clubs competing in all 15 seasons. Teams in bold compete in 2016–17 season
The Hazfi Cup is the Iranian football knockout cup competition, run by the Iranian Football Federation. The Iranian football league was not being held during the 1980s, after the revive of the league system, the champion of Iranian league qualified for Asian Club Championship and the winner of Hazfi Cup ran for Asian Cup Winners Cup. However, the Asian Cup Winners Cup merged with the Asian Champions Cup in 2002-03 to form the AFC Champions League, the competition was founded in 1975. Esteghlal is the most successful club with six titles, the current title holders are Zob Ahan. The rules for the final were exactly the same as the one for the knockout rounds. The tie was contested over two legs with away goals deciding the winner if the two teams were level on goals after the second leg, if the teams could still not be separated at that stage, then extra time would have been played with a penalty shootout. The champions are shown in Bold. mehrnews. com/fa/NewsDetail. aspx. NewsID=562645 Hazfi Cup - Hailoosport. com Hazfi Cup - Hailoosport. com
AFC Champions League
The AFC Champions League, commonly known as the Asian Champions League, is an annual continental club football competition organised by the Asian Football Confederation. Introduced in 2002, the replaced the Asian Club Championship which had run since 1985. It is the premier tournament in Asia, equivalent to the CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores. A total of 32 clubs compete in the round robin stage of the competition. Since 2009, the champions do not qualify automatically for the year competition. The winner of the AFC Champions League qualifies for the FIFA Club World Cup, the most successful club in the competition is the Pohang Steelers with a total of three titles. The reigning champions of the competition are the Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, the competition started as the Asian Champion Club Tournament, the competition had a variety of different formats with the inaugural tournament staged as a straightforward knockout format. The two most successful clubs of this era were Maccabi Tel Aviv and Hapoel Tel Aviv from Israel, the tournament was not held after the 1971 edition for fourteen years due to a lack of professionalism and interest. In 1985/86 competition marked the return of the premier club tournament rebranded the Asian Club Championship, the format would again change for time to time with a few withdrawals also seen. In 1990, the Asian Football Confederation introduced the Asian Cup Winners Cup, the 2002/03 season saw the Asian Club Championship, Asian Cup Winners Cup and Asian Super Cup combine to become the AFC Champions League. League and Cup Winners would qualify for the playoffs with the best eight clubs from east and west Asia progressing to the Group Stage. The first winners under the AFC Champions League name was Al Ain defeating BEC Tero 2–1 on aggregate, the competition would be postponed for one year due to the SARI Virus. The tournament was re-launched in 2004 with 29 clubs from fourteen countries, unlike the previous year, the tournament schedule was changed to March to November. Then, the seven group winners along with the champions qualified to the quarterfinals. The quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals were played as a format, with away goals, extra time. Owing to the lack of professionalism in Asian football, many problems existed in the tournament, such as on field violence. Many blamed the lack of money and expensive travel cost as some of the reasons. The Champions League expanded to 32 clubs in 2009 with direct entry to the top ten Asian leagues, the assessment criteria and ranking for participating associations would be revised by AFC every two years, with the most recent ones being approved for the 2011–2012 seasons
Persepolis Football Club, commonly known as Perspolis, is a Persian Gulf Pro League professional football club based in Tehran, Iran. Persepolis F. C. was founded in 1963 by Ali Abdo and has been in the first division of Iranian football since 1968, Persepolis had also three teams in Bowling, Basketball and Volleyball in its first years of establishment. Persepolis F. C. is the club of the multisport Persepolis Athletic. The club is owned by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, there have been many attempts to privatize the club with no success due to the large debt the club has accumulated. The club has played at its ground, Azadi Stadium. They contest the Tehran derby, which is regarded as one of the biggest in Asia, with archrivals Esteghlal, according to the Asian Football Confederation, Persepolis is the most popular football club in Asia. Only Dalian Shide and Al-Hilal come anywhere near to having such an amount of support in Asia. Persepolis F. C. AFC. </ref> Persepolis has won a record nine Iranian league titles, as well as five Hazfi Cups, many notable players have played for the club, including former Bayern Munich players Ali Karimi, Ali Daei, Vahid Hashemian and former Hamburger SV player Mehdi Mahdavikia. However, Ali Parvin is widely regarded as the clubs greatest ever player, Parvin played 18 years with the club from 1970 to 1988, and had his number 7 retired by Persepolis for seasons. Shahin was established in 1942 by Dr. Abbas Ekrami, a teacher and these talents made Shahin popular in the 1960s but its very popularity was viewed as a threat by the Iran Football Federation and the Keihan Varzeshi newspaper. The conflict between them became worse and on 9 July 1967, two days after Shahins 3–0 win against Tehranjavan F. C. the Iran Sports Organization declared Shahin F. C. as dissolved. League attendance dropped and other clubs including Pas, Rah Ahan, Persepolis Athletic and Cultural Club was established in 1963 by Ali Abdo. Abdo had returned to Iran from the United States and was a championship boxer, Persepolis F. C. started the 1968 season with Parviz Dehdari as manager. The team was quite weak, and participated in the 2nd division of the country. The best player on the team then was Mahmoud Khordbin, the club, using four Shahin players, had a friendly match with Jam Abadan, a respected team at the time. After the match the remainder of the Shahin players joined Persepolis and that year no league competition was held, as many teams had been dissolved, so a 44-team tournament was held, and Persepolis, along with Pas, Taj, and Oghab finished top of the group. The next year they represented as the first Iranian club in the Asian Champion Club Tournament held in Thailand, in 1962, the Iran Universal automobile factory was opened. In 1969, The boss of the factory, Mahmoud Khayami, paykan won the championship that year, but the new players moved back to Persepolis at the end of the season
Iran, also known as Persia, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a sovereign state in Western Asia. Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2, it is the second-largest country in the Middle East, with 82.8 million inhabitants, Iran is the worlds 17th-most-populous country. It is the country with both a Caspian Sea and an Indian Ocean coastline. The countrys central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, Tehran is the countrys capital and largest city, as well as its leading economic and cultural center. Iran is the site of to one of the worlds oldest civilizations, the area was first unified by the Iranian Medes in 625 BC, who became the dominant cultural and political power in the region. The empire collapsed in 330 BC following the conquests of Alexander the Great, under the Sassanid Dynasty, Iran again became one of the leading powers in the world for the next four centuries. Beginning in 633 AD, Arabs conquered Iran and largely displaced the indigenous faiths of Manichaeism and Zoroastrianism by Islam, Iran became a major contributor to the Islamic Golden Age that followed, producing many influential scientists, scholars, artists, and thinkers. During the 18th century, Iran reached its greatest territorial extent since the Sassanid Empire, through the late 18th and 19th centuries, a series of conflicts with Russia led to significant territorial losses and the erosion of sovereignty. Popular unrest culminated in the Persian Constitutional Revolution of 1906, which established a monarchy and the countrys first legislative body. Following a coup instigated by the U. K. Growing dissent against foreign influence and political repression led to the 1979 Revolution, Irans rich cultural legacy is reflected in part by its 21 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the third-largest number in Asia and 11th-largest in the world. Iran is a member of the UN, ECO, NAM, OIC. Its political system is based on the 1979 Constitution which combines elements of a democracy with a theocracy governed by Islamic jurists under the concept of a Supreme Leadership. A multicultural country comprising numerous ethnic and linguistic groups, most inhabitants are Shia Muslims, the largest ethnic groups in Iran are the Persians, Azeris, Kurds and Lurs. Historically, Iran has been referred to as Persia by the West, due mainly to the writings of Greek historians who called Iran Persis, meaning land of the Persians. As the most extensive interactions the Ancient Greeks had with any outsider was with the Persians, however, Persis was originally referred to a region settled by Persians in the west shore of Lake Urmia, in the 9th century BC. The settlement was then shifted to the end of the Zagros Mountains. In 1935, Reza Shah requested the international community to refer to the country by its native name, opposition to the name change led to the reversal of the decision, and Professor Ehsan Yarshater, editor of Encyclopædia Iranica, propagated a move to use Persia and Iran interchangeably
Gholamreza Enayati is an Iranian football player who currently plays for Saba Qom in the Persian Gulf Pro League, former member of Iran national football team and popular to be well-doer. He usually plays the striker position, Enayati is the all-time top goalscorer in the Persian Gulf Pro League. Reza Enayati started out his career playing for his hometown club Aboomoslem. He had a number of impressive seasons there, especially the 2001–02 season where he finished as the top goalscorer and was called up to the national team. He remained in Aboomoslem for the 2002–03 season but the year after and after being linked with a move to Persepolis, he signed with Esteghlal. He was not able to impress in his first season in Tehran, after World Cup 2006 he signed with the Emirates club. On 19 March 2007, Enayati extended his contract with UAE League side Al-Emarat in a deal that will keep him there until the end of the 2007–08 season, in 2008, he secured a six-month contract with Al-Nasr. In July 2009 season he moved back to Esteghlal but after half a season he moved to Emirate league once again, for 2010–11 season Enayati signed with Sepahan for one year and joined his former coach Amir Ghalenoei where he helped the club to win the league title. He then joined to Saba Qom and later Mes Kerman and he returned to Saba on 1 July 2013. On 7 May 2014, he signed a contract with Padideh and he was given number 10 shirt. He made his debut for Padideh in 0–0 draw against Malavan on 1 August 2014 and he scored his first goal for Padideh in next match, where they won the match against Naft Masjed Soleyman 3–0, which Enayati scored the final goal. Enayati moved back to Esteghlal on December 31,2014, as of 18 February 20151 Statistics Incomplete. The information in Hazfi Cup and UAE Emir Cup is not complete Reza Enayati made his debut for Iran in a game versus Palestine in April 2002. Since then he has had numerous callups to the national team and he was among Irans final squad for World Cup 2006 but did not make an appearance. He has been selected to join the squad for the 2007 Asian Nations Cup in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He was called up again for 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying but left the camp in the first round as Ali Daei preferred Mohsen Khalili in few matches over him. com Reza Enayati at TeamMelli. com
This channel is currently available using Set-top box devices. Varzesh televises two Persian Gulf Pro League matches per week and occasionally televises important Azadegan League matches, the channel also shows Olympic and World Cup documentaries and educational sports videos. Some of IRIBs broadcasts of football matches are censored. Varzesh also other sports Volleyball tournament in the world and iran
Persian, also known by its endonym Farsi, is one of the Western Iranian languages within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan and it is mostly written in the Persian alphabet, a modified variant of the Arabic script. Its grammar is similar to that of many contemporary European languages, Persian gets its name from its origin at the capital of the Achaemenid Empire, Persis, hence the name Persian. A Persian-speaking person may be referred to as Persophone, there are approximately 110 million Persian speakers worldwide, with the language holding official status in Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan. For centuries, Persian has also been a cultural language in other regions of Western Asia, Central Asia. It also exerted influence on Arabic, particularly Bahrani Arabic. Persian is one of the Western Iranian languages within the Indo-European family, other Western Iranian languages are the Kurdish languages, Gilaki, Mazanderani, Talysh, and Balochi. Persian is classified as a member of the Southwestern subgroup within Western Iranian along with Lari, Kumzari, in Persian, the language is known by several names, Western Persian, Parsi or Farsi has been the name used by all native speakers until the 20th century. Since the latter decades of the 20th century, for reasons, in English. Tajiki is the variety of Persian spoken in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan by the Tajiks, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term Persian as a language name is first attested in English in the mid-16th century. Native Iranian Persian speakers call it Fārsi, Farsi is the Arabicized form of Pārsi, subsequent to Muslim conquest of Persia, due to a lack of the phoneme /p/ in Standard Arabic. The origin of the name Farsi and the place of origin of the language which is Fars Province is the Arabicized form of Pārs, in English, this language has historically been known as Persian, though Farsi has also gained some currency. Farsi is encountered in some literature as a name for the language. In modern English the word Farsi refers to the language while Parsi describes Zoroastrians, some Persian language scholars such as Ehsan Yarshater, editor of Encyclopædia Iranica, and University of Arizona professor Kamran Talattof, have also rejected the usage of Farsi in their articles. The international language-encoding standard ISO 639-1 uses the code fa, as its system is mostly based on the local names. The more detailed standard ISO 639-3 uses the name Persian for the dialect continuum spoken across Iran and Afghanistan and this consists of the individual languages Dari and Iranian Persian. Currently, Voice of America, BBC World Service, Deutsche Welle, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty also includes a Tajik service and an Afghan service. This is also the case for the American Association of Teachers of Persian, The Centre for Promotion of Persian Language and Literature, Persian is an Iranian language belonging to the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European family of languages
Football in Iran
Football is the most popular sport in Iran, with wrestling and volleyball as close contenders. Football has been a part of life for Iranians for many decades now and is played in schools, streets, Football was played in Iran as early as 1898, when a team of British residents of Esfahan played a team of Armenians. In south western Iran the game was introduced in 1907 by British sailors and workers, the local Iranian employees of the company first looked on, and then began replacing individual players on the teams, until they formed their own teams. These young Iranian football players met some hostility from their environment for participating in the games of the infidels. In the same year, Tehran Football Association Club, a body for arranging football matches was established. However all teams were made up of British residents of Tehran, although when teams didnt have enough players they sometimes chose Iranian bystanders to come on the field, the first Iranian player was Karim Zandi who played from 1908 to 1916. He was the reason other Iranians became motivated and interested in the sport and it became every young Iranians dream to play alongside these British residents of Tehran. All matches were played at around Mashq Square, in 1910, Samuel M. Jordan, the principal of American School in Tehran, introduced football as part of the schools curriculum. Four years later 1914, start of World War I put an end to football matches. Elsewhere in the south of Iran, football was introduced by the British officers of the South Persia Rifles to the Iranian troops they commanded, Post-Great War saw football matches recommence in Tehran. Then two years later, in 1920, a number of Iranian and British football enthusiasts founded the Iranian Football Association to encourage Iranian players and to popularize the game. The director of the Imperial Bank of Persia, James McMurray, became its president, neligan, they each donated a cup to be awarded to winning teams. Whilst the same year saw the establishment of Irans first football club called Iran Club, soon after the alumni of American College and the students of School of Political Science also formed teams. This group of players won the Tehran Association Cup in 1923, also in the Post-Great War period, some footballers who played abroad such as Hossein Sadaghiani and Khan-Sardar brothers who played in Belgian Football Leagues returned to Iran. Hossein Sadaghiani for instance after returning to Iran temporarily from Europe, during his one-year stay in Mashhad, he arranged football matches between the club and the British Consulate-General. Prior to that, in Mashhad football was played by foreign residents specially the employees of the Telegraph Office. In places that had not entertained a significant foreign presence, such as Ardabil, teams from Khuzestan were always the most successful was the powerhouse the 1950s and early 1960s, but the game had become very popular in Iran by then. Tehran slowly started becoming the capital of Iran, and numerous great clubs emerged from there
Foolad Mobarakeh Sepahan Football Club commonly known as Sepahan, is an Iranian football club based in Esfahan. They compete in Irans top-level league known as Persian Gulf Pro League and with 5 championships, in 2011 Sepahan won the first Asian treble. In 2002–03 season, they became the first non-Tehran based team to win the Iranian League title, Sepahan are the current champions of IPL in 2014–15 season. They are also the first and the only Iranian football club who won three titles in Iranian Football League history. Sepahan have been the most successful club in Iran since the establishment of Iran Pro League in 2001, with five IPL championships. They are also the first Iranian club who reached the AFC Champions League final in 2007, the Club is the football division of Foolad Mobarakeh Sepahan Sport Club and is owned by Mobarakeh Steel Co. In 1953, with the help of Iran national football team player Mahmoud Hariri the Shahin Isfahan football club was created and this club was one of the teams attached to the more popular and successful Shahin F. C. of Tehran. In 1963 Shahin as the representative of Isfahan Province became champions of Iran after a 1–1 draw against Tehran XI, in 1967 due to the problems that arose in the Shahin F. C. organization in Tehran, the Isfahan branch was forced to cease operations. The club changed its name to Sepahan, the club participated in the Takht Jamshid Cup league from 1974 to 1978. In the clubs first season in the Takht Jamshid Cup they finished in 10th place ahead of city rivals Zob Ahan, after the Revolution, they played in the local Isfahan leagues for many years until 1993. That year the club was purchased by the Siman-e-Sepahan factory of Isfahan and it participated in the Azadegan League until the year 2000, when Foolad Mobarekeh bought the team from the Siman factory. The team now plays under the name of Foolad Mobarakeh Sepahan, and enjoys good support by the club board. The club was able to demonstrate its worth when it captured the title in the 2002–03 season of the IPL. It also won the Hazfi Cup in 2004 and was able to qualify for another season of the ACL competition, with Luka Bonačić, Sepahan was able to once again win the Hazfi Cup on 22 September 2006. With this win, they gained Irans final and second spot in the AFC Champions League 2007, although they lost the final to Urawa Red Diamonds on aggregate, by reaching the final, Sepahan became the first Iranian club to qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup. Urawa Reds managed to defeat Sepahan for the time in just one month. By winning the Hazfi Cup once again in 2007, Sepahan also qualified for the AFC Champions League 2008, Sepahan has qualified for the AFC Champions League for the third consecutive time in 2009, coming as the Runners-up in Persian Gulf Cup 2007-08. Sepahan lost the title by one point to Persepolis F. C. who beat them 2–1 in the last match of the season with a winner six minutes into second half injury time
Iranian football league system
The Iranian football league system is a series of interconnected leagues for football clubs in Iran. The current structure has been in place since 2001, the Iran Premier League is the highest level of club football in Iran. It is also called the Persian Gulf Cup, below it is the Azadegan League, also known as the 1st division, which consists of one twenty-team group. One level further down from that is the 2nd division which is made up of 40 teams evenly distributed into four groups, one step down, and the final nationwide league, is the 3rd division. This level has five groups and 60 teams, each groups contains teams that are located in the same area of the nation. The final level of the system consists of 31 provincial leagues. Local teams from each province participate in leagues, and some of the leagues are divided into further divisions. The system works with a system, meaning that a team from the lowest level of the system can make it to the top level after a number of years. The number of teams in each league often changes from season to season, currently the IPL is the only league that is considered professional, despite many of its rules about club facilities and management being broken. It is not uncommon for teams in the levels of the system to change team names because of sponsorship issues or for teams to completely withdraw from a competition. The top four levels of the system are managed by the Iranian football federation, before the early 1970s Iran did not have an official national league. Most teams would participate in city championships, taj1 and Persepolis2 had become the two most popular teams in the mid 60s and continue to be in the present. Pas Tehran, Shahin, Taj, Daraei F. C. all won championships in the Tehran local league, in 1972, the Takht Jamshid Cup was created. It was designed to include teams from all over the country, the league was in place until the Iranian Revolution took place, and the 1978 season was left uncompleted. Due to the revolution and the Iran–Iraq War, football was no longer a priority, Clubs had very little money and due to political reasons team names, management and resources were changed. Tehran A won Qods league in 1985 and 1988, whereas Esfahan won it in 1986 and 1987, the most important competition in 80s is Tehran Clubs Cup. Persepolis F. C. has most championships in that cup. In 1989 and after the end of war, it was decided to change Qods league format so that it was played among clubs rather than provinces, thus the fifth Qods league, which was the last one, was played among 22 teams, in two groups of 11. This was the first National league after revolution, Esteghlal won this league by beating Perspolis 2-1 in the final match
Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran
The Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran is the governing body for football in Iran. It was founded in 1920, and has been a member of FIFA since 1948 and it is also a member of the Asian Football Confederation. The FFIRI is responsible for organizing the Iranian national football team, on 23 November 2006, the federation was suspended by FIFA, due to government interference in football matters. FIFA rules decree that a national football federation should remain autonomous from the national government, the federation and Islamic government do not allow Iranian women into their stadiums. Iran womens national team was briefly banned by FIFA from international competition in 2011 for being forced by the federation to wear hijabs. In 2015, Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran banned players from the national team due to conscription problems. Reference Official website FIFA website Iran at AFC site
Professionalism in association football
Association football is the worlds most popular sport, and is worth US$600 billion worldwide. By the end of the 20th century it was played by over 250 million players in over 200 countries, Football has the highest global television audience in sport. The sport had amateur origins and evolved into the professional competition. Association football was first codified in 1863, with the formation of the Football Association in England, at this time the sport was played mainly by public schools, or teams with public school roots, and amateurism was the norm. This remained the case until the 1880s, when teams began to vie for supremacy. Blackburn Olympic, a team composed mainly of workers, won the 1883 FA Cup Final. They were the first working-class team to win the competition since its inception in 1870, though professionalism was not permitted, Olympic arranged jobs for their players, and supplemented their income with additional payments, a common occurrence among Lancashire clubs. The differences between the amateur idealists from southern England and the increasingly professionalised teams from northern industrial towns came to a head in 1884. After Preston North End won an FA Cup match against Upton Park and this sparked a series of events which threatened to split the FA. Preston withdrew from the competition, and fellow Lancashire clubs Burnley, eighteen months later the FA relented, and in July 1885 professionalism was formally legalised in England. Though English clubs employed professionals, the Scottish Football Association continued to forbid the practice, consequently, many Scottish players migrated southward. At first the FA put residential restrictions in place to prevent this, in the inaugural season of the Football League, champions Preston North End fielded ten Scottish professionals. The Scottish FA lifted its ban on professionalism in 1893, whereupon 560 players were registered as professionals and this table details the year in which professionalism was introduced, country by country. See also Professional sports#Association football The Rise of the Professional Footballer
Esteghlal Tehran Football Club until 1979 known as Taj Tehran Football Club is an Iranian professional football club based in Tehran that plays in the Persian Gulf Pro League. Esteghlal F. C. is the club of the multisport Esteghlal Athletic. Founded in 1945 initially as Docharkhe Savaran meaning The Cyclists in Persian and later in 1949, the name of the club was finally modified into Esteghlal that is the current name of the club, meaning Independence, subsequent to the Islamic Revolution in 1979. In 1970, under the management of Zdravko Rajkov, Esteghlal Tehran became the first Iranian football club to win the Asian Club Championship and they have won several official titles on the national and international stage since 1970, including eight Iranian League titles and a record 6 Hazfi Cups. There are two stars above the teams official badge to represent winning two titles in Asian Club Championship. On September 20,1945 three Iranian military officers—Mirzani, Jananpour and Navab—started a sports club on Ferdowsi Street, Tehran, since the founders of the club were mostly interested in cycling, the clubs original name was Docharkhe Savaran, meaning The Cyclists in Persian. Esteghlal football club played its first official match in 1946, from the beginning Taj or Docharkeh Savaran competed in the Tehran Local League, which at the time was the highest ranked league in Iran. On March 6,1950, Taj played its first official game in front of over 20,000 spectators in Amjadieh Stadium against Shahin, later in that year, the clubs name was officially changed to Taj which means crown in Persian. In 1970, Taj defeated Hapoel Tel Aviv of Israel 2–1 in the final to win its first ever Asian Club Championship, after the revolution, any sign of the previous monarchist regime was not tolerated. During the 1980s, Esteghlal won the Tehran Football League twice, the 1989–90 season was a memorable one for Esteghlal. The club finished 1st in Group B of the Qods League, Esteghlal defeated Malavan 4–0 on aggregate to advance to the final against the hated rival, Persepolis. Esteghlal defeated Persepolis 2–1 through a 74th-minute goal by Samad Marfavi to win the Qods League, in the following season, Esteghlal made it to the final of the Hazfi Cup only to lose to Malavan on penalties. 1991 proved to be one of Esteghlals most memorable years as they won the Asian Club Championship for the 2nd time defeating Chinese club Liaoning 2–1, Esteghlal once again reached the final of the Asian Club Championship in 1999, this time losing to Japanese club Júbilo Iwata 1–2. 2001 marked the first year of the newly founded Iran Pro League, going into the final day, Esteghlal was on top of the leagues table, however, with an Esteghlal loss and a Persepolis win, Persepolis was crowned as the leagues inaugural champion. However, the 2001–02 Hazfi Cup provided some consolation for Esteghlal as they beat Fajr Sepasi 4–3 on aggregate to win the cup. The 2002–03 season was one of the worst years in club history, in July 2003, Amir Ghalenoi was appointed manager of Esteghlal. In his first year, Esteghlal finished runner-up in the league, Ghalenoi also made it to the final of the Hazfi Cup losing 2–5 on aggregate to Sepahan. His second season proved to be successful as Esteghlal finished 3rd
PAS Tehran F.C.
Pas Tehran Football Club was an Iranian football club based in Tehran, Iran. Pas F. C. was the club of the multisport Pas Cultural. The club has a long and rich history and has always been associated with Iranian police, in recent years the football club has shown itself to be a contender, thanks to increased funding and support from the team board. The team played its matches in Shahid Dastgerdi Stadium, on 9 June 2007, Pas Tehran was officially dissolved. Their right to participate in the Persian Gulf Cup was given to a newly formed team called Pas Hamedan, in 1953 a number of police officers along with Captain Assadolahi came together to better organize the sports situation for police in Iran. That same year Assadolahi with only one football and limited resources assembled a team including himself and they established the Police Academy Cadets team. They had their first practice ever at a field which belongs to the Tehran police academy. In that same year, they announced the establishment of the club. They finished second in the football tournament, soon after, Captain Sadeghi with the help of Captain Assadolahi becomes responsible for the teams operations, and the club becomes known as Shahrbani F. C. The teams coach at the time was Bahman Shahidi, on 8 July 1963, Shahrbani F. C. officially registered itself as a sporting club, giving itself its modern-day name, Pas. The club statute was also accepted by the club council in 1966. After twelve years of uncertainty, the club was ready to begin its work. Pas won the league championship of Tehran Clubs ahead of Daraii. The Tehran League at the time had 12 teams including the likes of Pas, Shahin, Daraii, Taj, Kian, Tehran-Javan, the department made the complex available for ninety-nine-year loan period. Captain Sadeghi accepted the conditions and rented the field for a period at a price of 20,000 toman. In 1971 the Ekbatan complexs boundaries were established and the proposal to buy the land was accepted by the club council, thanks to Captain Sadeghis love for the club, the club was able to have one of the key elements necessary for professional football. To this day Pas is one of only a number of clubs in Iran, Pas first official match took place versus Koroush F. C. in 1964. The final result was a 1–1 tie, some of the above players such as Habibi, Mohajerani, Shahrokhi and Yavari are still involved in Iranian football
Foolad Khuzestan Football Club is an Iranian football club, based in Ahvaz, Khuzestan that plays in Persian Gulf Pro League. Foolad F. C. was founded in 1971 and is owned by Foolad Khuzestan Company and it was named Foolad partially because it is funded by the industry in Khuzestan. The club have won Iran Pro League twice, including a championship in the lower division, Azadegan League. In the 2004–05 season, Foolad became the champion of the newly founded Iran Pro League. The club was relegated to the Azadegan League, second highest division in Iran at the end of the 2006–07. Fortunately however, Foolad was able to return to the IPL starting from the next season, Foolad won its second championship in 2013–14 season. Foolads home kit is red and yellow shirts, with the color for shorts. The colors used in clothing, is derived from the symbol of the club, uhlsport are the kit manufacturers, the main sponsor is the clubs ownership company. The club is the fifth most supported in Iran, after Persepolis, Esteghlal, Tractor Sazi, Foolad Khuzestan Football Club was founded on 2 March 1971 in Ahvaz, Iran by at that time, President of the Foolad Khuzestan Company Ali Akbar Davar. Foolad was a team that no one knew anything about until the dissolution of Jonoub Ahvaz in 1996, Foolad won the Ahvaz City Championship in 1991, and entered the 2nd division of the Khuzestan football league two years later. Foolad won the first group in its season and was promoted to the Ahvazs first league which they won in their debut season as well. This meant they would be promoted to the Khuzestan Provincial Leagues, in 1995, which was Foolads second year in the Khuzestans Second Division, they became provincial champions. That same year Jonoub Ahvaz, was contracted and Foolad took their place in Iran Footballs 2nd Division, in 1996, with Homayoun Shahrokhinejad as manager, the team was promoted to the 1st division. It was a run, considering that the team began in the 4th division of the Ahvaz City League in 1986. Ever since their promotion, the club has introduced very talented young footballers to Iranian football, the team was eventually bought by the Ahvaz Steel Mill, this helped the teams financial situation improve. Their star player, Iman Mobali was loaned and eventually transferred to Al-Shabab of the UAE Pro League, youth club coach Nenad Nikolić temporarily replaced him and soon after Portuguese manager Augusto Inácio was named head coach. Foolad went through a terrible 2006–07 season finishing 15th and being relegated to the lower Azadegan League, Foolad start the 2007–08 season at Azadegan League and won the playoff spot despite their strong leadership until the last weeks. In the playoff, they drew with Payam Mashhad in a two-leg matches, a few weeks later they bought the right to play in Persian Gulf Cup from Sepahan Novin and promoted to IPL
Zob Ahan Esfahan F.C.
Zob Ahan Isfahan Football Club is an Iranian football club based in Isfahan, Iran. They compete in the Persian Gulf Pro League, the team is sponsored by the Isfahan Steel Company, which also goes by the name Zob Ahan. The clubs main rival is fellow Isfahani team Sepahan, which is sponsored by the rival steel mill. Zob Ahan club also has a team, sponsored by the same Isfahan Steel Company. In the 2010 AFC Champions League, Zob Ahan finished as runners-up losing 3–1 to South Korean club Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma in the final. Zob Ahan has won the Hazfi Cup on four occasions and have finished as one time. The club has finished as League runners-up three times and has won the Iranian Super Cup once. After the arrival of Yahya Golmohammadi in 2014 the club known for playing beautiful. Mohammad Ali Taghizadeh Farahmand established the club in 1969 and they entered the Takht Jamshid Cup in 1973 and end season in the 10th place. They promoted to the quarterfinals of the Hazfi Cup in 1976 and their best results in Takht Jamshid Cup was earned in 1977–78 in the 8th place. Zob Ahan prepared its team by buying 14 players from their local rivals Sepahan, the team has participated in the highest division of the Iranian league system since 1973, except for the 1995 season when they played in the 2nd division. After Iranian Revolution in 1979, Takht Jamshid Cup was suspended due to Iran-Iraq War, after the end of the war, league began again in the title of Azadegan League. They were once again promoted to the 1st division the year after, Zob Ahan currently play in the IPL starting from 2001. The clubs first honor, remains the winning of the Hazfi Cup in 2003 and this feat was repeated in the 2008–09 Hazfi Cup, when the club beat Rah Ahan to re-claim the title after 6 years. The club made its first appearance in the AFC Champions League in 2004, as the winners of the 2003 Hazfi Cup, however, at the end, they had to settle for second place once again after finishing six points behind their city rivals Sepahan. They also lost their grip on the Hazfi Cup after a shock 0–2 loss to a second-division side Gostaresh Foulad in the semi-finals, in the 2010 AFC Champions League Zob Ahan finished first on the group stage that included FC Bunyodkor, Al-Wahda and Al-Ittihad. By finishing first they qualified for the first time for the Knockout stages, on the Round of 16 they draw country neighbours Mes Kerman winning 1–0. The club then qualified to the Quarter-finals and were drawn with title holders Pohang Steelers, Zob Ahan won 2–1 at home and draw 1–1 on Korea, on November 13, in the final Zob Ahan lost 1–3 to Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma
For the automobile company, see SAIPA. Saipa Football Club is a club from Karaj, Alborz Province. The team is owned by SAIPA, an Iranian automobile manufacturer, the team has never had a large fanbase, despite some success. It is known to have one of the best youth academies in Iranian football, in the 2006–07 under the guidance of Ali Daei won their only Iran Pro League title. Saipa has also won the Azadegan League twice and the Hazfi Cup one time, Saipa is the football club of the multisport Saipa Cultural and Athletic Corporation. In 1989, SAIPA Company decided to start its own football team and they purchased a team playing in the 4th division of Tehrans city league, and renamed it Saipa F. C. After back to back starting in the first year, the Karaj based club was playing in the 2nd division by 1991. That same year purchased the Shipping Department teams shares. In that year won the Tehran city championship as well as the Tehran Super Cup, thus attaining the right to play in Irans top league at the time. In their first year in the Azadegan League they won the championship and they also won the league championship again in 1994 marking an unusually successful first five years for the club in Iranian football. The team was relegated into the division in 1995, but were promoted again in the following year. Since their second promotion to the top tier, the club has remained in the middle of the league table, by 2001, the clubs on-field performance remained stable, occupying mid-table position most years. Shortly following Iranian goalkeeper Ahmad Reza Abedzadehs retirement, he was linked with the coaching job at Saipa. It never materialized, but the club signed another Iranian, Ali Daei in a move from Saba Battery. The club had finished third in the season and now, with Daei on the field and Werner Lorant as a coach. Shortly after the season though, Littbarski was fired and Ali Daei took on the role of player/coach. Captaining and coaching the team to the title marked the end of a successful career, Daei also scored the winner in the title winning game. Daei extended his contract, this time as a full-time coach and he was appointed head coach of the national team but kept his role at Saipa until the end of the season
Esteghlal Ahvaz F.C.
Esteghlal Ahvaz Football Club, commonly known as Esteghlal Ahvaz, is an Iranian football club based in Ahvaz, Khuzestan, that competes in the Azadegan League. The club was founded in 1948 as Taj Ahvaz Football Club, the football team plays their home games at the Takhti Ahvaz which has a seating capacity of 15,000. The club is owned and supported by Mohammad Maleki, Esteghlal Ahvaz is the oldest existing football club in Ahvaz alongside Shahin Ahvaz and has a large history in Khuzestan football. The club was founded as Taj Ahvaz Football Club by Hakim Shoushtari in 1948, the club was one of Taj Tehran branches at the time. From the beginning Taj Ahvaz was able to some of the best players of Khuzestan. Before the 1970s, Iran did not have a national football league. Most clubs participated in championships of their city or province, in addition to that Taj Ahvaz played in the Khuzestan Premier League until 1970. In 1970, the Local League was created, the league included teams from all Iran in different qualifying tournaments. Taj Ahvaz finished first in Group A of their qualifying tournament, after losing the semifinal, Taj Ahvaz defeated Javanan Isfahan 2–0 in the third-place match. The club also participated in the 1971–72 Local League season, Taj Ahvaz missed again qualification for the final stage after defeating 0–2 by Sepahan in the semifinal of their qualifying tournament. Once again, they achieved third place after a 2–1 win over Tractor Sazi, in 1972, the Takht Jamshid Cup was founded as the national league and included teams from all over the country. Although Taj Ahvaz was promoted to the Takht Jamshid Cup in 1973, reason therefore was rule by the Iran Football Federation. They allowed only one team of the name to participate in the league at that time. Taj Tehran played in the league already, after the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Taj Ahvaz changed its name into Esteghlal Ahvaz Football Club. After the revolution, any sign of the previous monarchist regime was not tolerated, due to the revolution and the Iran–Iraq War, the Takht Jamshid Cup was dissolved and also the lower leagues were unorganized. The war hit Ahvaz and Khuzestan hard, consequently the people paid very little attention to the club and football in general at that time. In 1989 the Qods League was created as the football league. In 1991 the Azadegan League was formed as the top flight of Iranian football, Esteghlal Ahvaz played eight years in the league with average results
Tractor Sazi F.C.
Tractor Sazi Tabriz Football Club commonly known as Tractor is a professional football club based in Tabriz, Azerbaijan, Iran. It is owned by Iran Tractor Manufacturing Company and they play in Irans Persian Gulf Pro League. The club was founded in 1970 and was promoted to the first division five years later, the club is one of the most famous and most popular clubs in Iran and Asia. It is one of the most popular clubs among Irans neighboring Turkic countries including Turkey, in 2010–11 Iran Pro League average attendance for home games in Sahand Stadium was near 42,000. In 2008–09 season, Tractor was returned to the first division of the Iranian football after eight years with promoting from Azadegan League to the Iran Pro League, after that, Tractor Sazi began its growing trend with ending the following season after their promotion in the 7th place. They finished next season in the 5th place before finishing 2011–12 and they also qualified to the AFC Champions League in the 2013 edition for the first time in their history. They repeated this position in the season and also in 2014–15 season. The club also won 2013–14 Hazfi Cup, Tractor qualified for the knock-out stage of the AFC Champions League in 2016. Tractor Sazi Club also has teams in futsal, basketball, volleyball, taekwondo, Tractor Sazi was formed in 1970 in support of Tractor Manufacturing Company in Tabriz. They played in the Pasargad League for five years until 1975 and they finished 1974–75 as the winner of the Pasargard League and promoted to the Takht Jamshid Cup. In their first season in the Takht Jamshid Cup, they were in poor form and they were also lost the Hazfi Cup final to the Malavan in the cups inaugural edition. After their relegation, Hossein Fekri remained as the manager and led them to a return to the first division for the 1977–78 season. In 1978–79 season which never finished due to Iranian Revolution, they were in the 8th place with twelve matches and their rival at these times was Machine Sazi, which is also based in Tabriz. In the 1980s the national league was suspended due to the Iran-Iraq War, romanian coach Vasile Godja was in charge of Tractor Sazis youth teams from 1986. He was also a worker of the Tractor Company and discovered various talents as the B teams coach and he also discovered and trained various talented players like Karim Bargheri, Sirous Dinmohammadi, Alireza Nikmer and Hossein Khatibi, which in time became players of Irans national team. In 1990, he was promoted as the first team coach which he led the club in the 1992–93 season finishing third place in national competition followed by Persepolis, esmail Halali was their star in this period. Under his leadership in 1994, Tractor Sazi made the finals of the Hazfi Cup again this time losing to Bahman in the final, Godja left the team in 1997 after eight years in charge of the club. Mohammad Hossein Ziaei then became the player-coach of Tractor Sazi, at this time, notable players of the team started their migration to the other clubs
Esteghlal Khuzestan F.C.
Esteghlal Melli-Sanati Khuzestan Football Club commonly known as Esteghlal Khuzestan, is an Iranian football club based in Ahvaz, Iran. They currently compete in the Persian Gulf Pro League after they were promoted from Azadegan League in 2012–13 season and this football club is different from Esteghlal Ahvaz. In 2011 they bought Esteghlal Jonubs licence to compete in the Azadegan League and they finished 2012–13 season in 2nd place of their group and qualified to the promotion play-off. However, they were awarded the direct promotion IRIFF after groups winner and they won the Persian Gulf Pro League title in 2015–16 season. Esteghlal Khuzestan F. C. was established just before the start of the 2011–2012 season by acquiring the license of Esteghlal Jonub Tehran F. C. who have just been promoted to the Azadegan League. In Esteghlal Khuzestans first year in the top flight they finished 12th, in the Hazfi Cup Esteghlal Khuzestan exited the competition in the Round of 32 after a shock defeat to Azadegan League side Alvand Hamedan. Esteghlal finished the 2014–15 season 14th, meaning they would have to play in a relegation play-off against the winner of the Azadegan League promotion play-off winner, Esteghlal Khuzestan defeated Mes Kerman 3–0 on aggregate meaning they had secured a spot in the 2015–16 Persian Gulf Pro League season. Before the start of the 2015–16 season Esteghlal Khuzestan signed many of Foolad Novins players and were a major surprise, Esteghlal Khuzestan had four consecutive winning streak at the 12th week, which made Esteghlal Khuzestan finished champions of the first half of the season. After a great result with Abdollah Veisi, Esteghlal Khuzestan managed to keep their shape at the half of the season. On January 1,2016 Esteghlal Khuzestan lost to Persepolis which made the race tighter for first place, the head coach Abdollah Veisi later said that our main goal is to take place at AFC Champions League. Esteghlal Khuzestan qualified to the AFC Champions League on 8 May, Esteghlal Khuzestan won the league title on 13 May after a 2–0 win over Zob Ahan. After the takeover of the club in 2011, the club played its matches in Ahvazs Takhti Stadium. After the club promoted to the Iran Pro League, it was decided that continuing to play at Takthi, while big games like Persepolis, Esteghlal. In 2015, the moved to Ghadir permanently, as city rivals Foolad set to move to its private ground. The team competes in Ahvaz derby against two-times Iran Pro League winner Foolad, the teams play against each other usually two times a year. The first time the teams met each other was in season 2013–14 which Esteghlal Khuzestan lost that game, the derby became more Serious after Esteghlal Khuzestan finished on top of the league in 2015–16 half season in a big surprise for all teams and the week performance of Foolad. Because of Foolad fans as they were worried about becoming the team of Ahvaz. As of April 4, 2017Note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality
Malavan Bandar Anzali Football Club is an Iranian football club based in Bandar-e Anzali, Iran. It currently plays in Irans second football league, the Azadegan League after they were relegated in 2015–16 season, the team is known to have some of the most passionate fans in Iranian football, and is one of the successful teams that is not based in Tehran. The club is owned by Iranian businessman Sirous Mahjoob and forms the part of the multisport Malavan Sport. Bahman Salehnia created the team in 1968 along with young athletes from the port city of Anzali. After some time, the Iranian Navy decided to become the main sponsor. The club never really had great success in the league but they were able to become the best non-Tehran based club, Malavan has won the Hazfi Cup on one occasions, in 1990. In 1988 Malavan participated in Asian Club Championship but after beating Saunders SC in first round they withdrew from tournament due to the Iran–Iraq War. In 2003 Malavan was relegated to the Azadegan League, they only stayed one year in the league as they were immediately promoted back to the Iran Pro League. They finished 12th in the 2008–09 and 2009–10 season, in 2010–11 season they finished 8th and reached the final of Hazfi Cup but lost to Persepolis. In the 2013–14 Iran Pro League season Malavan achieved a surprising 7th-place finish in the league, in July 2015 Malavan hired famous Iranian coach Amir Ghalenoi who had won several league titles with Esteghlal and Sepahan. Player such as Arash Afshin, Hossein Mahini and Shahab Karami joined the squad to serve their conscription period, in Ghalenois first game in charge, Malavan defeated the Hazfi Cup holders, Zob Ahan 1–0. After only three games Ghalenoi left the club and was replaced by former Persepolis manager Hamid Estili. On 13 May 2016 after a 2–0 loss to Siah Jamegan, who were behind Malavan before the match started, before the start of the 2016–17 season it was announced that controversial manager Mohammad Mayeli Kohan had been named Malavans manager. The match between Malavan and Damash or Sepidrood is known as the Gilan Derby or El Gilano and this match is one of Irans most important and heated derbys. Malavan hold the record for most wins in the derby with four since the start of the Iran Pro League in 2001, Malavan also holds the largest margin of victor when they defeated Damash 3–0 in 2005 and again in 2013. The derby is known for its fan violence. In 2008 after Malavan defeated Damash 2–1, Damash fans attacked Malavans fans and this again occurred when Malavan defeated Damash 3–0 in 2013. Malavan fans are among Irans most passionate and loyal fans, peoples daily life is tied with Malavan matches
Fajr Sepasi Shiraz F.C.
Fajr Shahid Sepasi Shiraz Football Club, commonly known as Fajr Sepasi Shiraz, or Fajr Sepasi, is an Iranian football club based in Shiraz, Fars, that competes in the Azadegan League. The club was founded in 1988, the football team plays their home games at the Hafezieh Stadium which has a seating capacity of 15,000. The club is owned and supported by the Basij, the club is the second highest supported team in Shiraz after local rival Bargh Shiraz and was known as Moghavemat Shahid Sepasi Shiraz Football Club between 2007 and 2011. Because of the affiliation with the Basij, there is the possibility for young players to serve their military service while playing for Fajr Sepasi. In 1988, a group of youngsters, who were from Shiraz along with Jafar Jafari and they started playing in the 2nd division of Shirazs local city league. After the death of Majid Sepasi during the Iran–Iraq War, the team was renamed in Fajr Shahid Sepasi Shiraz Football Club, the club was officially founded on 11 February 1988, the day of the Islamic Revolution. In 1991 the club had been bought by Sepah Pasdaran completely, since then it is possibly for young players to serve their military service while playing for Fajr Sepasi. In 1995 they became champions of Fars province, and in 1996 were promoted to the Azadegan League, the club has remained in the highest level of Iranian football since then, and surprised everyone when they won the Hazfi Cup in 2001. In December 2006 Sepah Pasdaran sold its shares in sport to Basij, Fajr Sepasi are now officially known as Moghavemat Shahid Sepasi Shiraz, although the name is not in common use yet. Jafar Jafari is the chairman since the establishment of the club in 1988. In 2010 for the first time in the history, the team was relegated to the Azadegan League for the 2010–2011 season. Fajr quickly rebounded gaining promotion to the Iran Pro League in 2011, at the end of the 2013–14 season Fajr Sepasi finished 14th and was relegated to the Azadegan League. In their first season back in the second tier Fajr finished 14th, the table below chronicles the achievements of Fajr Sepasi in various competitions since 1995. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality, for recent transfers, see List of Iranian football transfers summer 2015. For details on former players, see Category, Fajr Sepasi players
East Azerbaijan Province
Kurdistan roughly encompasses the northwestern Zagros and the eastern Taurus mountain ranges. Contemporary use of the term refers to four parts of Kurdistan, which include southeastern Turkey, northern Syria, northern Iraq, and northwestern Iran. Iraqi Kurdistan first gained autonomous status in a 1970 agreement with the Iraqi government, there is a province by the name Kurdistan in Iran, it is not self-ruled. Kurds fighting in the Syrian Civil War were able to control of large sections of northern Syria as government forces, loyal to Bashar al-Assad. Having established their own government, they called for autonomy in a federal Syria after the war, various groups, among them the Guti, Hurrians, Mannai, and Armenians, lived in this region in antiquity. The original Mannaean homeland was situated east and south of the Lake Urmia, the region came under Persian rule during the reign of Cyrus the Great and Darius I. At its zenith, the Roman Empire ruled large Kurdish-inhabited areas, corduene became a vassal state of the Roman Republic in 66 BC and remained allied with the Romans until AD384. After 66 BC, it passed another 5 times between Rome and Persia, corduene was situated to the east of Tigranocerta, that is, to the east and south of present-day Diyarbakır in south-eastern Turkey. When the Sasanian Marzban asked Mar Abdisho about his place of origin, he replied that according to his parents, they were originally from Hazza, a village in Assyria. However they were driven out of Hazza by pagans, and settled in Tamanon. Tamanon lies just north of the modern Iraq-Turkey border, while Hazza is 12 km southwest of modern Erbil, in another passage in the same document, the region of the Khabur River is also identified as land of the Kurds. According to Al-Muqaddasi and Yaqut al-Hamawi, Tamanon was located on the south-western or southern slopes of Mount Judi, Kurdistan in the Middle Ages was a collection of semi-independent and independent states called emirates. It was nominally under indirect political or religious influence of Khalifs or Shahs, a comprehensive history of these states and their relationship with their neighbors is given in the text of Sharafnama, written by Prince Sharaf al-Din Bitlisi in 1597. The emirates included Baban, Soran, Badinan and Garmiyan in the south, Bakran, Bohtan and Badlis in the north, the earliest medieval attestation of the toponym Kurdistan is found in a 12th-century Armenian historical text by Matteos Urhayeci. He described a battle near Amid and Siverek in 1062 as to have taken place in Kurdistan, the second record occurs in the prayer from the colophon of an Armenian manuscript of the Gospels, written in 1200. A later use of the term Kurdistan is found in Empire of Trebizond documents in 1336 and in Nuzhat-al-Qulub, written by Hamdollah Mostowfi in 1340. According to Sharafkhan Bitlisi in his Sharafnama, the boundaries of the Kurdish land begin at the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf and stretch on a line to the end of Malatya. In the 16th century, after prolonged wars, Kurdish-inhabited areas were split between the Safavid and Ottoman empires, a major division of Kurdistan occurred in the aftermath of the Battle of Chaldiran in 1514, and was formalized in the 1639 Treaty of Zuhab
Nasle Aboumoslem Football Club is an Iranian football club based in Mashhad, Khorasan. They play in the 2nd Division, in 1970 a group of football players from Mashhad decided to create a new football team by the name of Aboumoslem. Most of the players on the team knew each other and were from the Shah Abbasi Tri-way area and they had grown up playing football on the dirt fields of the area. When the Takht Jamshid Cup was created, a tournament for provincial representatives was set up in Isfahan. Another club from Mashhad, named Arya F. C. represented the province of Khorasan, after defeat in the tournament, it was decided that for Khorasan to have a powerful football team, Aboumoslem and Aria must merge. The team originally wore black, but red was added late on. Success was short lived and the team was relegated the next season, like most sporting clubs in Iran, the revolution and the Iran–Iraq War severely limited the teams activities. From 1980 to 1984 the club participated in almost no meaningful competitions and this changed when in late 1984 local and provincial leagues were set up. In 1986 Aboumoslem won the Mashhad city league and the championship in the following season. In the late 1980s, Shahdiran Inc. sponsored the team, after the war the local and provincial leagues were scrapped in favor of nationwide leagues. Among the notable players was Abolfazl Safavi, a quick forward-midfielder with small body and great ability to dribble and he was later arrested and executed for membership in a banned opposition group. Aboumoslem made it to the newly established Azadegan League and participated during the 1990–91 and 1991–92 seasons and it was during this time that Aboumoslems most famous player, Khodadad Azizi was discovered. Once relegated the club struggled dramatically, being relegated all the way to the third division, Shahdiran stopped sponsoring the team and was replaced by soft drink company, Khoshgovar. After several seasons in the leagues, Aboumoslem finally made it back to the top level of Iranian football. Aboumoslem had been in a financial situation that season, as Khoshgovar had stopped being its sponsor. Aboumoslems only revenue came from advertisements and support from club fans, Aboumoslem again only stayed in the league for two seasons and was relegated during the 1999–2000 season. Around the same time the club went back to its roots and they were promoted again in the next season and debuted in Irans first fully professional league, the IPL, for the 2001–02 season. They have remained in the IPL since with two 5th-place finishes being their best results, after the 2004–05 season Aboumoslems new sponsor became Iran Khodro