Świat okiem kibica

The World Seen With  A Football Fan's Eye

Persepolis Tehran

15.04.2016 PERSIAN GULF PRO LEAGUE 2015/2016
Persepolis Tehran - Esteghlal Tehran 4:2

One of the best sport events I have had a pleasure watching live so far.
Most of my colleagues and friends who knew about my trip to Iran to see the match, did harly believe it and some of them even with sympathy (for my family:). Well, the Persian Land is still associated in the world (including Poland) primarily with the Ajatollahs' government attempts to manufacture own nuclear weapons - which caused several years' isolation of the country in the international arena. The agreement recently announced, and the emgarbo lifted off shortly thereafter, had immediately resulted in the renewed interest in Iran whose economic potential (ca. 80 million inhabitants, rich with crude oil and other natural resources) as well as touristic attractiveness (one of the world's oldest civilisations) is hard to be underestimated. In the latter area though, significant investment is urgently needed, starting from decent class hotels along with suitable paking slots near major tourist sights - as basic as that. People are certainly the largest capital of the country. In my groundhopper's career I have had more than 100 stadiums ticked and I have never experienced so much friendliness, ultra positive attitude and sincere interest shown at each and every step at the Azadi Stadium and beyond. First met individuals shared food, drinks, ice cream and even an umbrella (when it started raining) with us. Not even for a single minute we felt threatened although surrounded by the crowds in excess of hundred thousand fans, mainly young men (women are disallowed to attend sport events).
We entered the stadium a few hours before the kick off; the seats are not numbered hence those who came later (.e. ""just" an hour prior to KO) had to sit on the stairs inbetween the sectors - I would rather not imagine an emergency situation (fire) since the evaculation would have been practically impossible however that is a separate subject.
Still before the kick off, we could admire the military orchestra parade along with several Iranian war veterans who receive a lot of respect in the country.
A public prayer singing started just before players appeared on the pitch.
The competition was on a really decent level and emotions reached their peak once Persepolis did not score from the penalty shortly before half time which saved Esteghlal from a possible demotivation. In the second half, a lot of passion was still there and despite a clear advantage on the Reds' side, the final score could be well perceived as "justified" the Blues bravely fought until the end.
Persepolis fans; euphoria was endless: singing, yieling of the crowd pulling off the stadium, was heard long after the game was finished. No incidents took place, the major task of the policemen was to prevent from "selfies" with the fans very eager to have them with the police officers. 
We went to a nice dinner in the city center in the evening and enjoyed our meal accompanied by traditional iranian music.
I do hope I will come and visit Iran one day again, to further explore the secrets of this place as well as experience friendliness of its inhabitants.