Omidreza Ravankhah

Tehran derby

The Tehran derby is a football local derby match that takes place twice a year between the two most popular clubs in Tehran - Esteghlal F.C. and Persepolis F.C.. Stadiums are always packed to capacity when the two teams play. This match was declared as the most important derby in asia and 22th important derby in the world on June 2008 by World Soccer Magazine. Despite being a derby between two teams from Tehran, the match has been played in other Iranian cities as well.

derby Sorkhabi
(The RedBlue derby)
Persepolis vs Esteghlal


The first derby match between the teams took place on April 5, 1968, at Amjadieh Stadium where the game finished as a scoreless draw. At the time Esteghlal was known as Taj FC. Both clubs were relatively young but Persepolis had a solid fan base, because of its close association to the once popular Shahin club. The rivalry between Shahin and Taj was transferred to its current stage when the Shahin club had to cease operations due to poor relations with the IFF.

Over time, the rivalry became more heated and club fans began attaining collective identities. By the mid-70's Persepolis was seen as a working class club, while Taj was viewed as a club close to the ruling establishment and supported by the upper class of Iranian society. Persepolis fans outnumbered Esteghlal fans by large numbers at the time and still do.

Because of the sensitive nature of the matches, fan violence has occurred several times. In minor cases fans break chairs or throw garbage at the field, but more notable cases of violence have involved physical fights between opposing teams and fans, storming of the field by fans, as well as significant destruction of public property.

Ever since 1995, federation officials have invited foreign referees to officiate the game to ease fan and player suspicions of referee bias. This occurred after the events of the 38th derby(see below).

Azadi Stadium has been the stadium where most of the matches took place, but Amjadieh Stadium(now Shiroudi) in Tehran, Azadi Stadium in Bandar Abbas and Yadegare Imam Stadium in Tabriz have all hosted the game at least once.

All Results

No. Date Competition Comments
1 1347-01-16 0-0 - -
2 1347-10-20 0-0 - -
3 1348-05-13 3-1 A.Monshizadeh(8)A.Jabbari(44)K.Haghverdian(88) K.Ganjapour(72)
4 1348-11-17 1-0(3-0) G.Mazloumi(9) -
5 1349-07-03 3-2 J.Gharrab(73)K.Haghverdian(87)A.Mozhdehi(88) A.Parvin(7)H.Kalani(23)
6 1349-10-27 1-1(3-0) A.Mozhdehi(75) H.Kalani(2)
7 1350-03-28 1-1 G.Mazloumi(30) S.Iranpak(90)
8 1350-11-15 1-4 A.Jabbari(75) H.Kalani(43,90)S.Iranpak(56)M.Khordbin(75)
9 1351-01-03 0-2 - S.Iranpak(50)H.Kalani(89)
10 1349-07-03 2-0 A.Jabbari(40,87) -
11 1351-12-11 1-0 R.Adelkhani(3) -
12 1352-06-16 0-6 - H.Behzadi(50,86,90)I.Soleymani(45,56)H.Kalani(32)
13 1352-09-18 1-1 A.Jabbari(70) H.Behzadi(46)
14 1353-03-04 1-0 H.Rowhan(88) -
15 1353-09-27 1-2 G.Mazloumi(60) S.Iranpak(50)E.Hajrahimipour
16 1354-02-15 3-1 G.Mazloumi(11,62)M.Mozhdehi(47) S.Iranpak(53)
17 1354-07-25 0-2 - J.Fattahi(22)E.Hajrahimipour(38)
18 1354-12-27 1-1 M.Mozhdehi(20) M.Khordbin(85)
19 1355-07-02 1-1 H.Naraghi(26) A.Parvin(40)
20 1356-02-18 3-0 M.Ashouri(45)H.Rowshan(83)S.Maraghechian(88) -
21 1356-09-18 1-2 H.Rowshan(85) S.Iranpak(15,34)
22 1358-08-25 1-0 G.Fathabadi(42) - Friendly Respect of Majid Danayifar
23 1359-04-13 0-0 - -
24 1360-07-16 0-0 - - Tehran Cup
25 1361-10-17 1-1 B.Fariba(87) G.Fathabadi(10) Tehran Cup
26 1362-07-15 1-0 P.Mazloumi(59) - Tehran Cup
27 1365-03-25 0-3 - Sr.Bayani(P12,52)Ns.Mohammadkhani(62) Tehran Cup
28 1366-01-07 0-0 - - Tehran Cup
29 1367-06-18 1-1 J.Mokhtarifar(60) F.Pious(46) Tehran Cup
30 1367-12-19 0-0(P2-4) P(J.Mokhtarifar,R.Hasanzadeh) P(M.Moharrami,R.Yousefi,M.Ashouri,M.Kermanimoghadam) Hazfi Cup Final
31 1368-09-17 0-1 - R.Abedian(18) Qods League
32 1369-03-04 2-1 A.Sarkhab(46)S.Marfavi(72) N.Mirahmadian(12) Qods League Final
33 1369-10-28 1-1 Sr.Bayani(P62) F.Pious(75) Azadegan Cup
34 1370-11-04 0-0 - - Azadegan Cup
35 1370-12-15 2-0 S.Maravi(8)S.Varmazyar(15) - Azadegan Cup
36 1371-03-08 1-0 S.Marfavi(48) - Azadegan Cup Semi Final
37 1371-10-11 0-0 - - Azadegan Cup
38 1373-10-30 2-2(3-0) S.Varmazyar(79)E.Akhtar(87) F.Pious(21)B.Dadashzadeh(56) Azadegan Cup Semi Final
39 1373-11-07 0-0 - - Azadegan Cup Semi Final
40 1374-05-06 3-1 E.Akhtar(7)S.Varmazyar(16)M.Taghavi(36) M.Kermanimoghadam(49) Azadegan League
41 1374-10-08 0-0 - - Azadegan League
42 1375-07-27 0-1 - E.Bezik(87) Azadegan League Bezik Disenchants
43 1376-04-20 0-3 - E.Bezik(30)M.Mahdavikia(71)B.Taherzadeh(87) Azadegan League
44 1377-08-22 0-1 - M.Hasheminasab(45) Azadegan League
45 1378-01-02 1-1 F.Malekian(43) M.Hasheminasab(3) Azadegan League
46 1378-04-20 1-2 S.Bakhtiarizadeh(50) M.Hasheminasab(P12)M.Peyrovani Hazfi Cup Final
47 1999-09-24 0-0 - - Azadegan League
48 2000-02-27 0-2 - M.Hasheminasab(7)P.Rafat(80) Azadegan League
49 2000-12-29 2-2 M.Navazi(67)M.Hasheminasab(86) B.Rahbarifard(P57)A.Karimi(89) Azadegan League
50 2001-02-23 1-0 A.Akbarpour(72) - Azadegan League Akbarpour Disenchants
51 2002-03-19 1-1 M.Navazi(P38) R.Jabbari(25) IPL 1th
52 2002-05-09 0-0 - - IPL 1th
53 2003-01-10 1-1 A.Samereh(1) A.Ansarian(P70) IPL 2th
54 2003-07-17 1-2 A.Akbarpur(63) Y.Golmohammadi(11)B.Abolghasempour(50) IPL 2th Abolghasempour Disenchants
55 2003-10-17 2-1 A.Samereh(8)M.Fekri(57) I.Traore(70) IPL 3th
56 2004-02-02 1-1 D.Seyedabbasi(3) H.Kavianpour(20) IPL 3th
57 2004-10-22 0-0 - - IPL 4th
58 2005-02-25 3-2 Enayati(53)M.Fekri(87)P.Ghorbani(93) S.Rezaei(67)S.Entezari(84) IPL 4th
59 2005-11-05 1-0 R.Enayati(56) - IPL 5th
60 2006-03-10 0-0 - - IPL 5th
61 2006-11-03 1-2 A.Sadeghi(16) M.Madanchi(22)M.Oladi(71) IPL 6th Oladi Disenchants
62 2007-03-30 1-1 A.Alizadeh(43) A.Nikbakht(13) IPL 6th
63 2007-10-14 1-1 O.Ravankhah(57) M.Khalili(84) IPL 7th
64 2008-04-03 1-1 O.Ravankhah(5) M.Khalili(28) IPL 7th
65 2008-10-03 1-1 A.Borhani(47) A.Karimi(87) IPL 8th

Notable derby matches

  • Persepolis 0 - Taj 3 (February 6, 1970) - The game score was 1-0 in favor of Taj until the 82nd minute when the Persepolis players left the field to protest against the match officials. The football federation later declared Taj the winner by a score of 3-0.
  • Persepolis 0 - Taj 3 (January 17, 1971) - The game was tied 1-1 until the 75th minute when the Persepolis players left the field to protest against the match officials. The football federation later declared Taj the winner by a score of 3-0. This was the second time this occurred in two years.
  • Persepolis 6 - Taj 0 (September 7, 1973) - In a game that is still remembered to this day, Persepolis scored 6 goals to embarrass their opponents. Homayoun Behzadi scored a hat-trick and the game to this date, is still the highest scoring affair between the two teams.
  • Esteghlal 1 - Persepolis 0 (November 16, 1979) - The game was canceled at the 75th minute with fans stormed the field, not allowing play to continue. The match had been arranged to honor one of Esteghlal's founders, Ali Danaeifard.
  • Esteghlal 1 - Persepolis 0 (October 7, 1983) - Iranian television broadcaster IRIB did not air the match so a large number of fans flocked to Azadi Stadium. An estimated 128,000 entered the 100,000 capacity stadium. So many fans were in attendance that some were forced to climb the metal base of the stadium floodlights. None of the derby matches to this date have had a higher attendance and mostly likely never will as the 2002 renovations of the stadium reduced its capacity.
  • Esteghlal 0 (2) - Persepolis 0 (4) (February 1989) - This is one of few times the two clubs have met each other in the Hazfi Cup. The match finished scoreless in regulation time, and extra-time was eventless. Persepolis beat Esteghlal 4-2 in penalty shootouts to advance to the next stage in the Hazfi Cup.
  • Esteghlal 3 - Persepolis 0 (January 11, 1995) - In the 38th derby Persepolis was leading in the match by a score of 2-0 until the last 10 minutes of the match. Esteghlal scored 2 goals in quick succession, including one which was a penalty. This angered the Persepolis fans and players who felt the referee was biased towards Esteghlal. Persepolis fans stormed the field, and many fights broke out on the pitch between fans and players. After this match it was decided that Iranian referees will no longer be used for the derby.
  • Persepolis 2 - Esteghlal 2 (December 29, 2000) - One of the most exciting and heated matches in derby history. The game was extremely sensitive as Mehdi Hasheminasab had left Persepolis in the off-season for Esteghlal. Behrouz Rahbarifar opened up the scoring in minute 56, while Mohammad Navazi tied the game up at the 67th minute. Many thought the game would be over when Hasheminasab scored a late goal at minute 86, but Ali Karimi saved Persepolis scoring a spectacular goal at minute 89 to please the red fans. During the game Esteghlal's goalkeeper Parviz Broumand and Persepolis striker Payan Rafat were constantly insulting each other. This eventually led to Broumand punching Rafat in the face and giving him a black eye. A massive fight broke out between the players. After the match hooligans went on a rampage. They completely destroyed 250 city buses and damaged many shops. Three players from each side were arrested along with 60 fans for their behavior.
  • Esteghlal 3 - Persepolis 2 (February 25, 2004) - Another one of the most thrilling matches in derby history. After a scoreless draw at halftime Esteghlal open the scoreline 53 minutes with a goal from Reza Enayati, Persepolis responded by two goals Sheys Rezaei on the 67th minute and another by Sohrab Entezari on the 84th minute. Persepolis players and fans believe they have earned the win and Esteghlal fans begin to leave the stadium. Shortly after the goal by Entezari Mahmoud Fekri scored an equalizer just 3 minutes later. Esteghlal soon put everything they have into the attack and in the 93rd minute it paid off with a header by Pirouz Ghorbani hits the back of the Persepolis net.

Statistics and records

As of October 14, 2007, there have been 63 competitive first-class meetings between the two teams since the first league meeting in 1970, of which Esteghlal has won 20 and Persepolis 15. The biggest winning margin and highest scoring match was in the 12th derby when Persepolis beat Taj, 6-0.

Ali Parvin has the record for most appearances playing and managing in the derby, having done so 20 and 22 times respectively for Persepolis. Afshin Peyrovani is second in total appearances as a player, having played 18 matches, while third place is shared by Karo Haghverdian and Ali Jabbari who both made 17 appearances for Taj.

Safar Iranpak has scored the most amount of goals in total for the derby, amassing a total of 7 goals, he is followed by teammate Hossein Kalani who scored 6. A number of players have scored 5 goals.

Summary of results

Apps Esteghlal wins Draws Persepolis wins
League 63 20 29 14
Hazfi Cup (Playoffs) 2 0 0 2
Total 65 20 29 16

Apps Esteghlal Wins Draws Persepolis Wins Esteghlal Scored Persepolis Scored
65 20 29 16 61 57

Goal Scorers

7 Goals Safar Iranpak 6 Goals Hossein Kalani 5 goals Ali Jabbari, Gholam Hossein Mazloomi
Mehdi Hasheminasab *1 4 goals Homayoun Behzadi 3 goals Hassan Roshan, Sadegh Varmazyar
Farshad Pious
Shahrokh Bayani *2 2 goals Karo Haghverdian, Abbas Mojdehi, Masoud Mojdehi, Samad Marfavi, Edmond Akhtar, Mohammad Navazi, Alireza Akbarpour, Ali Samereh, Mahmoud Fekri, Reza Enayati, Omidreza Ravankhah
Ali Parvin, Mahmoud Khordbin, Iraj Soleimani, Esmaeil Hajrahimipour, Naser Mohammadkhani, Edmond Bezik, Ali Karimi, Mohsen Khalili
Gholamreza Fathabadi *3 1 goals Ahmad Monshizadeh, Javad Gharrab, Reza Adelkhani, Hadi Naraghi, Mohsen Ashouri, Saeid Maraghechian, Behtash Fariba, Parviz Mazloumi, Jafar Mokhtarifar, Abbas Sarkhab, Mohammad Taghavi, Fred Malekian, Sohrab Bakhtiarizadeh, Davoud Seyed Abbasi, Pirouz Ghorbani, Amir Hossein Sadeghi, Ali Alizadeh, Arash Borhani

Nazem Ganjapour, Jahangir Fattahi, Nader Mirahmadian, Behzad Dadashzadeh, Morteza Kermani Moghaddam, Mehdi Mahdavikia, Behnam Taherzadeh, Afshin Peyrovani, Payan Rafat, Behrouz Rahbarifard, Reza Jabbari, Ali Ansarian, Yahya Golmohammadi, Behnam Abolghasempour, Issa Traore, Hamed Kavianpour, Sheys Rezaei, Sohrab Entezari, Mehrzad Madanchi, Mehrdad Oladi, Alireza Vahedi Nikbakht

*1: 4 goals for Persepolis and 1 goal for Esteghlal
*2: 2 goals for Persepolis and 1 goal for Esteghlal
*3: 1 goal for each teams

Playing for both teams

Over the years, a number of players have played for both of the heavily supported clubs. Switching sides often angers fans, and players who have done so are heavily booed and mocked in and out of the stadium. When Mehdi Hasheminasab joined Esteghlal, Persepolis fans booed and swore at him so loudly that he covered his face with his hands to hide his tears.

The following players have played for both teams:


IPL referees

Other notable referees

External links


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Season Leg 1 Leg 2
2001-02 Pasquale Rodomonti Paulo Costa
2002-03 Roberto Rosetti Vladimir Hrinak
2003-04 Paulo Costa Mustafa Çulcu
2004-05 Florian Meyer Valentin Valentinovich Ivanov
2005-06 Wolfgang Stark Saad Kamil Al-Fadhli
2006-07 Alfonso Pérez Burrull Felix Brych
2007-08 Eduardo Iturralde González Bernardino González Vázquez
2008-09 Saad Kamil Al-Fadhli TBD