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Iranian Football League

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Title: Iranian Football League  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Ali Karimi, Esteghlal F.C., Ali Parvin, Nasser Hejazi, Yahya Golmohammadi, Persepolis F.C., Karim Bagheri, Afshin Peyrovani, Ali Reza Mansourian, Amir Ghalenoei
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Iranian Football League


Local League
Season Winner
1970–71 Taj
1971–72 Persepolis


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, during this period.

Takht Jamshid Cup champions
Season Winner
1973–74 Persepolis
1974–75 Taj
1975–76 Persepolis
1976–77 Pas Tehran
1977–78 Pas Tehran

Takht Jamshid Cup

Main article: Takht Jamshid Cup

In 1972, the Takht Jamshid Cup was created. It was designed to include teams from all over the country, but as usual teams from Tehran dominated, mostly Pas Tehran And Persepolis F.C. winning the final two. 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

Qods League
Season Winner
1989–90 Esteghlal

political reasons team names, management and resources were changed. There was no major league competition during the 1980-89 period, only a few cup competitions and some local city league championships such as the 17th of Shahrivar league and the Qods Cup.In 1985, the Qods League was created which was played among province teams (e.g. Tehran, Esfehan, Azarbaijan Sharghi, etc.). Tehran had two teams (Tehran A and Tehran B). Tehran A won Qods league in 1985 and 1988, whereas Esfahan won it in 1986 and 1987. The most important competition in 80's is Tehran Clubs Cup (league).Persepolis F.C. has most championships in that cup.

Azadegan League champions
Season Winner
1991–92 Pas Tehran
1992–93 Pas Tehran
1993–94 Saipa
1994–95 Saipa
1995–96 Persepolis
1996–97 Persepolis
1997–98 Esteghlal
1998–99 Persepolis
1999-2000 Persepolis
2000–01 Esteghlal

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 (89-90) by beating Perspolis 2-1 in the final match. Esteghlal also won the last Tehran league in which Perspolis and Esteghlal played in 91-92 season. Since then, Esteghlal and Perspolis have only played in the national league, and not in the Tehran league.

Azadegan League

In 1991 the Qods league was renamed the Azadegan League. Named the Azadegan League in honor of Iranian prisoners of war who were released, it began operations in the 1991-92 season. Pas Tehran was its first champion. For the first time in more than ten years Iran finally had a national league again. The number of teams playing in the league varied from year to year. Pas Tehran and Saipa dominated the league in the first four years. Pas Tehran and Esteghlal both were able to capture Asian Club Championships in the early 1990s And Persepolis F.C. celebrates his championship in Asian Cup Winners Cup. By the mid-90s Persepolis and Esteghlal regained their dominant form. The league championship every year between 1995-2001 was either Esteghlal or Persepolis. The two clubs always had the most talented players in Iran, the national team consisted mainly of Persepolis and Esteghlal players, and some of the greatest talents Iranian football has seen were discovered during this period. In those years Persepolis captured 4 championships and esteghlal could only capture two.

Iran Pro League

Main article: Iran Pro League
Pro League champions
Season Winner
2001–02 Persepolis
2002–03 Sepahan
2003–04 Pas Tehran
2004–05 Foolad
2005–06 Esteghlal
2006–07 Saipa
2007–08 Persepolis
2008–09 Esteghlal
2009–10 Sepahan
2010–11 Sepahan
2011–12 Sepahan
2012–13 Esteghlal

The 2001-2002 season saw the beginning of the first professional football league in Iran. Unfortunately many say that the new league is professional in name only and is missing many of the required components of a pro league. Player salaries have risen significantly and other positives in the league are the emergence of provincial teams and raw talent which every IPL team boasts. Teams like Foolad Sepahan, Foolad Khouzestan, Zob Ahan FC and Esteghlal Ahvaz have all shown they can compete, even though they are not based in Tehran. The league can only continue to get better, and many are hoping this league will help Iran's football, in terms of quality and reputation improve.

Persian Gulf Cup

On 12 August 2006, the Iranian Football Federation decided to change the name of the league once again. The name of the league now is the Persian Gulf Cup.[1] This was done to promote the name of the Persian Gulf, instead of the many variations which some nations and organizations use which Iran claims are incorrect. The league logo was also changed, with the winner being selected from over 130 designs and unveiled on 14 November 2006.[2] They continued to get better steady and slowly which made many people criticise that the league is sometimes stepping backwards. Saipa was the 6th team to win the 6th new edition of the league which meant 6 different teams won 6 leagues in the row. But in 2008 Persepolis regained the title after 6 years by the dramatic win again the rival Sepahan on the 96th minute of the final match and become the first team that won two titles in the new edition of the Iranian League. The next season Esteghlal did the same thing and won the league for second time on the final matchday.

1. Taj changed its name to Esteghlal in 1979.
2. Shahin changed its name to Persepolis in 1968, which in turn changed to Piroozi in 1986; but the 'old' name Persepolis is still used in preference to Piroozi in Iran.
3. Azadegan League is now the name of the 2nd highest division in Iran, only the IPL is higher.

Total Championships

The number of national championships that clubs in Iran have attained. (Since 1973)

Runner Up
Persepolis 9 7
Esteghlal 8 8
Pas Tehran 5 5
Sepahan 4 2
Saipa 3 0
Foolad 1 0
Zob Ahan 0 3
Tractor Sazi 0 2
Bahman 0 2
Homa 0 1
Esteghlal Ahvaz 0 1

All-time League top scorers

last update: 14 May 2012

No. Player Goals Years
1 Iran Reza Enayati 105 2001-2006, 2009–Present
2 Iran Arash Borhani 96 2002-2006, 2007–Present
3 Iran Fereydoon Fazli 85 2001-2002, 2003-2010
4 Iran Edmond Bezik 84 1994-2006
5 Iran Ali Asghar Modirroosta 80 1991-2003
6 Iran Mehdi Rajabzadeh 78 2001-2007, 2009–Present
7 Iran Ali Daei 72 1994-1996, 2003-2007
8 Iraq Emad Mohammed 70 2005–Present
9 Iran Rasoul Khatibi 68 1997-1999, 2000-2006, 2009–2010
10 Iran Reza Sahebi 67 1989-2003
11 Iran Siavash Akbarpour 64 2004-2007, 2008–Present
12 Iran Gholam Hossein Mazloumi 63 1971-1979
13 Iran Mohsen Garousi 61 1989-2002
14 Senegal Ibrahima Touré 60 2007-2011
15 Iran Behnam Seraj 59 1996-2004
Iran Faraz Fatemi 59 1997-1999, 2000–Present
17 Iran Mohammad Momeni 58 1989-2003
Iran Hossein Khatibi 58 1991-2000
Iran Mohammad Gholami 58 2001-2003, 2004–Present
20 Iran Mohsen Bayatinia 57 2001–Present
21 Iran Karim Ansarifard 56 2007–Present
22 Iran Alireza Vahedi Nikbakht 55 1998–Present
23 Iran Hadi Asqari 52 2005–Present
Iran Farshad Pious 52 1989-1997
Iran Bahman Tahmasebi 52 1999-2005, 2006–Present
Iran Iman Razaghirad 52 2001-2006, 2009–Present
27 Iran Samad Marfavi 51 1989-1998
Iran Ali Samereh 51 1999-2005, 2009–Present
29 Iran Davoud Haghi 50 2003–Present
Includes when Azadegan League and Takht Jamshid Cup were Top Division[3]

Players in bold are still active in the league.


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