2020 Olympics in Iran?

Could Iran ever host the Olympics or World Cup?


2020 Olympics in Iran?
by Jalil Bahar

Last past week, as we witnessed Brazil being awarded the Olympics for 2016, I could not help but wonder if there was even the remotest possibility of Iran or perhaps Tehran being awarded the Olympics for 2020. I know it’s a distant possibility - a silly dream. But could it be that Iran, or more specifically Iranians can put right, what is so badly wrong with Iran within four years?

Having been in Brazil in the mid 70’s, I have watched how Brazil has transformed itself from decades of dictatorship and backwardness to a modern, secular, democratic and vibrant nation we can all be proud of as a positive contributor to the international community. Brazil, by the way, also won the right to host the 2014 (soccer) world cup!!

I know without the theocracy, Iran too can very quickly emerge as a positive force in the world community. So much progress could be made, so quickly, that four years from now, the whole world would feel compelled to award the Olympics to Iran for 2020.

But, what would we have to do?

1. Get rid of Iran’s theocracy.

2. Transform our laws, to liberate our society and especially Iranian women from compulsory Hejab (allowing for multi-gender International Olympic Games to takes place in Iran)

3. Remove government control of Iranian Sports and Entertainment (to once again allow Iranian athletes and teams to emerge on the world scene)

4. Begin a massive public infrastructure rebuilding program (airports, roads, telecommunications, metro, stadiums, etc.) with a view towards presenting a modern capital, a modern nation that is fully integrated with its neighbors and the world!

A tall order, I know. But we can dream. Perhaps this could be an inspiration (if we ever needed it) to finally topple the Mullahs and reclaim our dignity as a nation, and celebrate our pride as Iranians on the world stage?

If we miss this opportunity for the Olympics, perhaps Iran could bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup which would correspond with Hejri Shamsi year 1401! Perhaps this could be more transformational and inspiring, since Iranian soccer symbolizes just about everything that is wrong with Iran. The national team can’t even get friendly games in foreign countries and could not even qualify for the world cup losing ridiculously to the great soccer power house of Bahrain (a former part of Iran) among other nations. Soccer in Iran suffers from government interference in the sport (with crony managers and coaches).

Another possibility would be for Iran to jointly bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup along with Afghanistan and Tajikistan; and use the award as an opportunity to create new stadiums, new infrastructure and new linkages with its Farsi speaking neighbors.

Another great possibility would be to host the FIFA Women’s world Cup in 2023 or the Hejri Samsi Year 1402! This could be a celebration of a new dawn of freedom in the region.

I came up with a logo concept based on the pomegranate (a symbol of the region, of health, and of prosperity) which could serve both international events. The fruit could of coarse be modified to symbolize a soccer ball.

Maybe Pomegranate trees can replace the poppy fields in the region! The sports institutions can inspire nations as well as individuals to greatness.


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  Iran should set a good

by canadaguy on


Iran should set a good example here.  The Olympics are self destructive.  With the threat of global warming we cannot afford such flagrant displays of excess and overconsumption.  The best way to avoid 300,000 tons of emissions is for people to simply stay at home.



Are you mad?

by Shah.Heir on

or just stupid??? how about concentrating on fixing the current situation rather than day dream of grandiosity???


Here here James.  I utterly

by desi on

Here here James.  I utterly agree but we Iranians can always dream.  As an Iranian woman it sickens me that women can't enjoy being spectators let alone athletes on the SAME playing field. 

James Rathbone

A nice idea, but a bad one

by James Rathbone on


Speaking as someone who (quite obviously from my
name) isn't Iranian, personally I find the idea intriguing, but ultimately not
a good one. While the Olympic games is often viewed as a moment a nation can
say 'we have arrived' to the world, as it was with the Beijing Olympics,
wouldn't it be more prudent to concentrate on creating an improved civilian infrastructure
and establishing genuine and much needed social, political and economic reforms,
rather than aiming for something that, while raising national prestige, will
have no long term effect? Which is more important - change, or the appearance
of change? I can’t help but feel it would be foolish to waste the support a
post theocracy government would have on something like the Olympics.



by yolanda on

Thanks for the link, so Iran did (or does?) have the capabilities to host the Olympic Games...very interesting!

thanks, Ayatoilet!


Iran missed a great chance to win the 1984 games

by Ayatoilet on


Not untill

by MRX1 on

this regime is gone. Even then you need at least two decades not just to build infra structure, but to start reshaping and clearing mind that has been brainwashed for over thirty years with chert o pert from marg bar amrika , mar bar isreal, islam nab mohammadi, hejab, farhang shahid paravar, you name it....



by yolanda on

I truly enjoyed reading your article 'cause I love Olympics and World Cup. Last year I spent a lot of time watching Beijing's Olympics. Pretty much every night I watched the events until 12:30 am. In 2006, I watched one month of World Cup 'cause I don't work during Summer.....My math teacher told me that there was an Asian (Olympic) Games held in Iran in 1974, Iranian women competed in all the events.


At that time, Iran ranked #2 in sports in Asia, Iran was ahead of both China and South Korea, wow!......I hope in the near future, Iranian girls will be allowed to compete in more events. I hope there will be more freedom also. I read about Kish Island, I heard Kish boasts a lot of State-of-the-Art sport facilities and it is also a tourist town.

     Your article has lifted up my spirit. I know, it is just a dream now, but without dreaming, the dream will never come true!
Thank you for the beautiful and uplifting article!


Oh and one more thing, one of the reasons Rio was picked was

by Anonymouse on

Oh and one more thing, one of the reasons Rio was picked was because of the amount of money they had ear marked for security. Billions, more than Greece which paid something like $15 Billion or something for one month in 2008.

Now since Iran is terrorist friendly they would try to "save" money! In fact, they can point to recent crackdown on their own people and say look if we can crackdown on these "terrorists", imagine how "terrorist free" Iran has become!

Everything is sacred.


Never Abarmard! Which Israeli or any woman would play soccer or

by Anonymouse on

Never Abarmard. Which Israeli or any woman would play soccer or beach volleyball in Iran?! 

In 10 years from now even if we bring back Reza Pahlavi himself via an Amsterdam style coup de tat, it'll be at least another 20 - 30 years before women can freely and comfortably wear a bikini in Iran, much less having foreign women feel comfortable traveling to Iran.

Everything is sacred.


Never say never

by Abarmard on

That is over ten years. I hope that by then even the current regime, if still in power, becomes relaxed about strict social rules. 

I am not sure about the Olympics, perhaps India and many other developing countries would be better positioned to host such events. But I am certain that we will be far ahead of today. Ten years from this point in the Iranian politics looks almost like another universe.  FIFA is more doable.