The situation of Iran’s stadiums is revealing another part of the regime’s corruption.

There is no day in which painful images of an abandoned stadium in a corner of Iran are not published. Each of these projects has been started and constructed with much publicity. Sometimes, some of them have been exploited, but after a while, all sorts of shocking photos and reports of breakdowns facility, theft of equipment, or being used for animals, or being occupied by stray dogs and other livestock are published.

Starting a large and costly project, such as a stadium, should normally follow a logical path. That is, first there must be a sense of need and there must be a rational justification about its existence, then a precise location must be chosen.

Then all the costs from construction to maintenance of the structure must be considered, and finally with a well-codified and regular plan the construction should be started.

Everywhere in Iran where a half-finished or a dilapidated stadium is abandoned, it means that the construction managers chose a least one wrong way. This means that either the area did not need a football stadium of this size, or its costs were not calculated correctly, or the project was in trouble on the way to implementation.

A look at some examples

The very well-built and beautiful Ghadir Stadium in Ahvaz, with a capacity of nearly 40,000 people, has been abandoned only eight years after its establishment, and it is on the verge of complete destruction.

This stadium, which was one of the best-structured buildings, does not have a special mission at the moment, and for this reason, it has been abandoned. Esteghlal team of Ahvaz is destroyed, Esteghlal Khuzestan is holding its first home match at Takhti Stadium, and the Foolad team has moved to the newly established ‘Shohadaye Fulad’ stadium.


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Even the Takhti Stadium in Ahvaz id not in good condition. In Khuzestan province, however, another newly established project is facing the same problem. Khorramshahr’s Arvandan Oil and Gas Stadium, which also hosted the finals of the playoffs for three years, has now become a haven for stray dogs.

The main problem of Arvandan Stadium is the uncertainty and disagreement about its custodian. Some time ago, the director of sports and youth affairs of Khorramshahr Municipality announced the theft of some equipment of this stadium due to the absence of a guard.

In another example, the 15,000-seat Zanjan Zaytoun Stadium is under construction since 2005, and its construction has not yet been completed. It is interesting that at the beginning of the construction of this stadium in Zanjan, four years was announced as the time it would take to complete the implementation of the project.

The story of the 15,000-seat stadium of Yasuj is even worse. The stadium, which was built in 2006 and opened in 2013, is now being demolished almost without hosting any major matches.

Then there is the 15,000-seat stadium in Kermanshah, which began to be built in 2007 and finished in 2014. Only one match has been played in this stadium and after that, the stadium did not host a special match, and many of its facilities are now worn out.