- Azadegan League
The Azadegan League (PerB|ليگ آزادگان) is the second-highest division overall in the
Iranian football league systemafter the Iran Pro League.
The Azadegan League consists of two subdivisions, each having 12 teams. The top two teams in each group have a playoff tournament at the end of the season in which home and away games take place. The top two point getters are then promoted to the IPL, with the top team being declared the Azadegan League champion. The eleventh and twelfth placed teams in the groups are automatically relegated to the 2nd division. Sometimes the playoff match format is not used and one match takes place between the teams on a neutral ground instead.
The top two teams from the two 2nd division groups are promoted to the Azadegan League.
The league was founded in 1989 as the Qods League. In 1991 it was renamed the
Azadegan Leaguein honor of the Iranian prisoners of war who were released. Pas was its first champion. For the first time in ten years Iran finally had a national league again. The number of teams playing in the league varied from year to year. Pas and Saipa dominated the league in the first four years. Pas and Esteghlal both were able to capture Asian Club Championships in the early 1990s. By the mid-90s Persepolis and Esteghlal regained their dominant form. The league championship every year between 1995- 2001was either Esteghlalor Persepolis. The two clubs always had the most talented players in Iran, the national team consisted mainly of Persepolis and Esteghlal players, and some of the greatest talents Iranian football has seen were discovered during this period.Up until 2001the league was the top football league in Iran, but that changed when the Iranian Football Federation decided to start a professional league. The IPL was created and the Azadegan League became the second highest division in the Iranian football league system.
The 2008/09 edition of the league is set to start on
16 October, 2008.
Azadegan League 2008-09
2nd Division Champions
Bargh Shiraz F.C.
Azadegan League Champions, 2001-
Sanat Naft F.C.
Shemushack Noshahr F.C.
Saba Battery F.C.
*2004-05: Shahid Ghandi Yazd F.C.
Mes Kerman F.C.
Shirin Faraz F.C.
Payam Mashhad F.C.
* [http://lig1.ir Official Azadegan League Website]
* [http://www.iplstats.com/WebAzd/start.htm Azadegan League Stats]
* [http://www.iranfootballcenter.com Iran Football Center]
* [http://www.irangoals.com Iran Goals]
* [http://www.irankicks.com/ Iran Kicks]
* [http://www.iransportspress.com/ Iran Sports Press]
* [http://www.parsfootball.com/ Pars Football]
* [http://www.persianleague.com/ Persian Football League]
* [http://www.persianfootball.com/ PFDC - Persian Football Dot Com]
* [http://www.teammelli.com/ TMDC - Team Melli Dot Com]
* [http://www.rsssf.com/tablesi/iranchamp.html RSSSF database about Iranian league football.]
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