Sport in Iran


Athletes has grown in recent years so that the Iran rank in competition of the 2012 London Olympics than 2008 Beijing Olympics has improved from rank 55 to rank 17 in the world.  Athletes earned medals in wrestling, weightlifting, throwing discs, and Taekwondo fields. Also in the Guangzhou Asian Games in 2010, were in fourth place with 59 medals.


Bodybuilding and Power lifting

Bodybuilding and Power lifting is very popular among the younger generation. Strongest men's tournament is held every year and Iranian representatives at the international Cups are successful. There are many bodybuilding and martial sports academy in cities.



Wrestling has a very long tradition and history in Iran and often even referred to as its national sport. There are many styles of folk wrestling, from Varzesh-e Pahlavani to Zurkhaneh (Sport in which the hero must have good moral character) which have similarities with modern freestyle wrestling.

Both freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling, particularly freestyle, are popular in Iran. Province of Mazandaran is the main power in the country and wrestling is part of its culture. Provinces of Tehran, Kermanshah, Khorasan and Hamadan also produce many talented wrestlers.



It is believed that Polo first originated in Persia ages ago. The poet Ferdowsi described royal polo tournaments in his 9th century epic, the Shahnameh. Polo competitions are the subject of many traditional paintings in Iran. Now In some villages during wedding ceremony this sport traditionally held.

Despite the emphasis in Islam on learning the equestrian arts, in modern times,

Horse racing is a very popular sport between Turkmens of Iran, and there are two great Gymnasium of horse racing at Gonbad Kavous and Bandar Torkaman.There are many club and academy in Alborz province.



The origin of chess is a disputed issue, but evidence exists to give credence to the theory that chess originated in Persia, and later found its way into the Indian subcontinent. For example, the earliest recorded history of chess is to be found in Persian writing, and the earliest chess pieces found also being from Persia. All of this evidence lends weight to the theory that chess in Persia (Shatranj) pre-dated chess in India (Chatrang). Chess later spread from Persia into other nations in the Islamic world. Chess is popular in Iran among women as men.


Football is the most popular sport in Iran. Iran has been able to reach the FIFA World Cup three times (1978, 1998, and 2006) and won the AFC Asian Cup three times (1968, 1972 and 1976), and four times has reached to gold medal at the Asian Games (1974, 1990, 1998 and 2002).

Particularly in the past 11 years, with the launch of Iran's Premier Football League, considerable progress has been made. Some Iranian players now play in Major European and Arabic leagues, and some Iranian clubs have hired European and Brazilian players or coaches.

Iranian clubs (Esteghlal and Pas) have three times won the Asian Club Championship (1970, 1991, and 1993).

 Iran's largest football stadium is the Azadi Stadium, with capacity of 100,000. Home Stadium of Esteghlal (Most Popular Iranian Clubs) and Perspolis and where that national matches are held.

In recent years, the best results are achieved by teams Sepahan and Esteghlal.


Strength sports like weightlifting, power lifting and bodybuilding have always held favor among Iranians and with the recent success of world record-holding super-heavyweight lifter Hossein Reza Zadeh, in recent Olympic in London, Behdad Salimi lifted the heaviest weights in the tournament.



Iran is home to numerous mountainous regions, many of which are suitable for skiing, and are gaining increasing popularity among foreign visitors.

Now, 13 ski resorts operate in Iran, the most famous being Tochal, Dizin, and Shemshak. All are within one to three hours traveling time of Tehran. Potentially suitable terrain can also be found in Lorestan, Mazandaran, and other provinces.

The Tochal resort is the world's fifth-highest ski resort at over 3,700 m at its highest Seventh station. It is only 20 minutes away from Tehran's northern districts, and operates six months a year. Here, one must first ride the 8 km  long gondola lift which covers a huge vertical. The Seventh station has three slopes. The resort's longest slope is the south side U shaped slope which goes from the Seventh station to Fifth station. The other two slopes are located on the north side of the Seventh station. Here, there are two parallel chair ski lifts that go up to  near Tochal's peak (at 3,962 m), rising higher than the gondola Seventh station stations. This altitude is said to be higher than any of the European resorts.

From the Tochal peak, one has a spectacular view of the Alborz range, including the 5,671 meters  high Mount Damavand, a dormant volcano.

At the bottom of the lifts in a valley behind the Tochal peak is Tochal hotel, located at 3,500 m altitude. From there a T lift takes skiers up the 3,800 meters of Shahneshin peak, where the third slope of Tochal is.

The Dizin resort is popular resort in Iran for its proper gradient and scope also it is prepared for ski on grass in summer.


Futsal is practiced both at the amateur and professional level,many youths play street football in the alleys and gymnasiums. The Iran national futsal team, that presently is the seventh strongest national team after Brazil, Spain and Italy according to the FIFA Rankings.

This team has won the AFC Futsal Championship nine times out of the ten times held and reached five times to FIFA Futsal World Cup. Iran also has a nationwide Super Futsal League.

Martial arts

Martial arts have gained popularity in Iran in the past 30 years. Karate, Wushu, and taekwondo are the most popular. One can find a club from almost every martial arts style in Iran; with large numbers of followers. There are many academies for these in cities. Iranian athletes in these sports are world-class.