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Azadi Stadium

The Azadi Stadium is the 10th largest football stadium in the world, located on the western edge of Tehran, Iran. The stadium was known as Aryamehr Stadium, which was renamed to Azadi stadium after Iranian Revolution in 1979.


Azadi stadium is the home of the Iran national football team since 1975. It is also a home for Esteghlal F.C. and Persepolis F.C. since 1973.


Azadi stadium is owned by Azadi Sports Complex and is a part of huge Azadi Sports Complex which also includes a weightlifting complex, swimming facilities and indoor volleyball and futsal courts and is surrounded by a rowing river. It has a seating capacity of 78,116 people.


This stadium has a record attendance of over 128,000 during a 1998 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Iran and Australia.


History


The main reason for the construction of Azadi stadium was the 7th Asian Games in 1974. The construction of the stadium was started in 1970 and it took around three years for its completion.


It was constructed by Arme Construction Company, while the architects of the stadium were Abdolaziz

Farmanfarmaian and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. The construction cost of this stadium was about €400,163,944.


Azadi Stadium was opened on 18 October 1973 and the 1974 Asian Games were the first tournament to be held here.


At the beginning, the stadium had a capacity of accommodating 1,20,000 people, but after 2003 renovation it was reduced to 95,225, which was again reduced to 84,412 during 2012 renovation. The present seating capacity of this stadium is 78,116 people.


Major Matches and other Events


The stadium was a venue for AFC Champions League final on two occasions- in 1999 and 2002. It has also hosted West Asian Football Federation Championship in 2004 and 2008.


Controversies


In March 2005, due to overcapacity in the stadium to watch the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification match of Iran and Japan, seven people died.


The stadium has banned Iranian women from entering the stadium. An British-Iranian woman was jailed for a year for trying to attend a volleyball match in this stadium. Another similar incident where a women dressed in men’s clothing was arrested by security forces during a football match between Esteghlal and Al-Ein teams.

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