Saipa F.C.

Saipa Football Club (Persian: باشگاه فوتبال سايپا‎, Bashgah-e Futbal-e Saipa) is a football club from Tehran, Iran. The team is owned by SAIPA, an Iranian automobile manufacturer. The team has never had a large fanbase, despite some success. It is known to have one of the best youth academies in Iranian football and regularly promotes academy players to the first team.

Full nameSaipa Football Club
The Foxes
Founded1 February 1989; 32 years ago (1989-02-01)
GroundShahid Dastgerdi Stadium
ChairmanReza Darvish
ManagerFaraz Kamalvand
LeagueAzadegan League
2020–21Persian Gulf Pro League, 15th (relegated)
WebsiteClub website
Current season

In the 2006–07 season, under the guidance of Ali Daei, Saipa won their only Persian Gulf Cup title. Saipa has also won the Azadegan League twice and the Hazfi Cup once.

Saipa is the football club of the multisport Saipa Cultural and Athletic Corporation.


Early daysEdit

In 1989, SAIPA Company decided to start its own football team. They purchased a team playing in the 4th division of Tehran's city league, and renamed it Saipa F.C. After back to back promotions starting in the first year, the Karaj based club was playing in the 2nd division by 1991. That same year they purchased the Shipping Department team's shares, and participated in the 1st division of Tehran's local league. In that year they won the Tehran city championship as well as the Tehran Super Cup, thus attaining the right to play in Iran's top league at the time, the Azadegan League.

Azadegan LeagueEdit

In their first year in the Azadegan League they won the championship, as well as the Hazfi Cup. They also won the league championship again in 1994 marking an unusually successful first five years for the club in Iranian football. The team was relegated into the second division in 1995, but were promoted again in the following year.

Since their second promotion to the top tier, the club has remained in the middle of the league table, and has often included some of the country's most well known players.

Persian Gulf Pro LeagueEdit

Ali Daei eraEdit

By 2001, the club's on-field performance remained stable, occupying mid-table position most years. Shortly following Iranian goalkeeper Ahmad Reza Abedzadeh's retirement, he was linked with the head coaching job at Saipa. It never materialized, but the club signed another Iranian, Ali Daei in a move from Saba Battery. The club had finished third in the previous season and now, with Daei on the field and Werner Lorant as a coach, the team aimed to work for the title. Shortly after the season began though, Littbarski was fired and Ali Daei took on the role of player/coach. Captaining and coaching the team to the title marked the end of a successful career. Daei also scored the winner in the title winning game.

Daei extended his contract, this time as a full-time coach. He was appointed head coach of the national team but kept his role at Saipa until the end of the season.

Return to mid-table and relocation to TehranEdit

Following the title winning year which saw the team play in the AFC Champions League, Saipa turned back into the mid-table places of the league again. Before the start of the 2015–16 Persian Gulf Pro League season Saipa announced they had moved their home city from Karaj to nearby Tehran. Saipa also made some significant transfers to attempt to return to the top of the league, namely Gholamreza Rezaei, Reza Norouzi and former CA Osasuna captain Javad Nekounam.


The table below chronicles the achievements of Saipa in various competitions since 1993.

Season Pos. Hazfi Cup ACL
1993–94 Azadegan League 1st Winners Did not qualify
1994–95 Azadegan League 1st Second round
1995–96 Azadegan League 16th 4th Place
1996–97 Second Division 2nd Did not qualify
1997–98 Azadegan League 7th Not held
1998–99 Azadegan League 4th
1999–2000 Azadegan League 3rd Semifinal
2000–01 Azadegan League 7th Semifinal
2001–02 Pro League 11th
2002–03 Pro League 6th
2003–04 Pro League 13th Semifinal
2004–05 Pro League 13th Quarterfinal
2005–06 Pro League 3rd 1/16 Final
2006–07 Pro League 1st 1/8 Final
2007–08 Pro League 11th 1/16 Final Quarterfinal
2008–09 Pro League 10th 1/16 Final Did not qualify
2009–10 Pro League 8th Third Round
2010–11 Pro League 11th Fourth Round
2011–12 Pro League 8th 1/16 Final
2012–13 Pro League 9th 1/16 Final
2013–14 Pro League 8th 1/16 Final
2014–15 Pro League 7th 1/16 Final
2015–16 Pro League 8th 1/4 Final
2016–17 Pro League 13th 1/4 Final
2017–18 Pro League 4th 1/16 Final
2018–19 Pro League 7th Semifinal Play-off
2019–20 Pro League 14th 1/8 Final Did not qualify
2020–21 Pro League 15th 1/16 Final



Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player

2 DF   IRN Saeid Mohammadfar
3 DF   IRN Kamal Nikkhoui
4 DF   IRN Fariborz Gerami
5 DF   IRN Reza Aliyari
6 DF   IRN Taha Shariati U21
7 FW   IRN Reza Jafari U23
9 MF   IRN Amir Hossein Hosseinzadeh U21
10 FW   IRN Hossein Kamyab U25
12 GK   IRN Koroush Maleki
13 DF   IRN Hossein Mahini
15 DF   IRN Mahyar Jabbari U23
16 FW   IRN Mehrdad Heydari
17 MF   IRN Amir Ali Sadeghi U19
18 DF   IRN Omid Dorreh U21
No. Pos. Nation Player
19 MF   IRN Mohammadreza Baouj U25
21 MF   IRN Hossein Maleki
22 GK   IRN Meysam Hosseinpour U23
23 DF   IRN Farzad Jafari
25 DF   IRN Aref Haji Eydi U21
28 MF   IRN Farshad Hashemi U23
33 DF   IRN Abolfazl Jalali U23
37 MF   IRN Ali Davaran U21
39   IRN Arshia Modiri U23
40 GK   IRN Mehdi Nourollahi U23
66 MF   IRN Mehrdad Abdi
73 MF   IRN Sina Moridi
75 DF   IRN Mojtaba Lotfi
77 MF   IRN Mohammad Sadegh Barani
80 MF   IRN Rouhollah Seifollahi


Coaching staffEdit

Staff[1] Name
Head coach   Faraz Kamalvand
First team coach   Asghar Maziar
Assistant coach   Mehdi Zarei
  Kazem Borjlou
Goalkeeping coach   Farshad Bakhtiarizadeh
Fitness coach   Ali Asghar GhorbanaliPour
Doctor   Mahyar Mortazavi
Analyzer   Mohammad Palizvan
Technical Manager   Asghar Hajiloo
B team Manager   Kianoush Rahmati

The following managers had managed Saipa since 1993:

Name Period Trophies
  Bijan Zolfagharnasab 1993–97 2 Azadegan League, Hazfi Cup
  Nasrollah Abdollahi 1997–00
  Behtash Fariba 2000–01
  Hamid Alidoosti 2001–02
  Giovanni Mei 2002–03
  Mohammad Mayeli Kohan 2003–04
  Bijan Zolfagharnasab 2004–06
  Werner Lorant 2006
  Ali Daei 2006–08 1 Persian Gulf Cup
  Pierre Littbarski 2008
  Mohammad Mayeli Kohan 2008–11
  Majid Saleh 2011–12
  Mojtaba Taghavi 2012–13
  Engin Firat 2013–14
  Majid Jalali 2014–16
  Hossein Faraki 2016–17
  Ali Daei 2017–19
  Ebrahim Sadeghi 2019–21
  Faraz Kamalvand 2021


External linksEdit