Persepolis, the red army of Tehran

This article is also available in: Italiano

We present Persepolis, the most successful team in Iran and the most popular in Asia, with a history behind it that crosses politics and revolutions.

From the ashes of the Shahin

Contrary to the stories we are used to in Italian football, to tell the story of Persepolis we need to take a step back in time, up to 1942. That year the doctor Abbas Ekrami founded, together with some students, the Shahin, one of the first club of Iran, which will soon become one of the symbols of the city. Their motto is “ethics, education and sport” and thanks to this they manage to attract an increasing number of young people who are in love with this sport. Among these there are also Parviz Dehdari, Masoud Boroumand and many others who will make the history of the national team, putting the spotlight on Shahin for the first time.

The Shahin logo

Unfortunately, however, the light turns out to be nefarious and the Iranian Federation begins to look at the club’s popularity with a negative eye, up to the total clash in 1967. In this year the government decided to dissolve the club, forcing many of the players to find a new accommodation. Fortunately, a few years earlier the boxer Ali Abdo had returned from the States determined to found a new sports club in Tehran, opening the football section in 1968.

Persepolis, an immortal name

The former Shahin players, first of all Parviz Dehdari and Masoud Boroumand, then gave themselves to a real reconstruction of the club, this time in red format. After some troubles, thanks to the government’s mania to dissolve clubs, Persepolis will be able to return to success for the first time in 1971, opening a glorious period destined to stop in 1979. Once again it is politics to overturn the cards on the table, causing the arrival of Ayatollah Khomeyni to change the sport once again. With the outbreak of the Revolution, in fact, Ali Abdo fled back to the States, leading to the umpteenth dissolution of the club.

A photo of the legendary Tehran derby between Persepolis and Esteghal

The ball was then picked up by the “Foundation for the Veterans and the Downtrodden” who acquired ownership, leaving control to the Physical Education Department. This allowed Persepolis to survive but causes a very strong political penetration within it. In those years, moreover, the State was particularly active in revolutionizing everything around it, so much so that in 1981 it decided it was time to change the name of the club. All those who loved Persepolis, however, strongly opposed it, pushing the government to an unexpected, but only temporary, turnaround. In 1986, in fact, the situation repeated itself, with the management that gave up definitively only in 1987, accepting the name of “Pirouzi”, or “winners”. The love of their fans, however, remained, so much so that in 2012 the ancient name was restored, never forgotten in all those years.

To date it is the most successful club in Iran and the most supported in all of Asia. He is also fresh winner of the derby with Esteghal, a team we will talk about tomorrow. For podcasts, Js Kabylie awaits us tomorrow, pride of Kabyle.

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