Iran Disputes Azeri Claim over Polo

A Persian miniature from the Safavid dynasty, showing Persian courtiers on horseback playing a game of polo, 1546 AD

TEHRAN (The New York Times)—Iran said Monday that it would oppose attempts by Azerbaijan to officially register polo with the United Nations as a purely indigenous sport, arguing that polo is an international game and Azerbaijan has no right to claim that it originated there.

The official Islamic Republic News Agency quoted Mohammad-Ali Najafi, the head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, as saying in a letter to Unesco that “Iran strongly requests the rejection” of Azerbaijan’s application to register polo — which both nations call chogan — as an entry on the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list.

Afghanistan, Pakistan and India are among the countries that also have a claim on the game, the world’s oldest known competitive team sport, in which players on horseback use mallets to swat a ball through the opposing side’s goal posts.

Chairman of the Iranian Polo Federation Hamzeh Elhanizadeh noted Azerbaijan’s recent attempt to appropriate the name of Iranian poet Nezami Gyanjavi, saying that Baku is now trying to do the same with the ancient Iranian sport of polo, Fars News Agency reports.

Unesco — the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization — will decide on Azerbaijan’s application during a meeting of its Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 2-7.


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  1. Martin said:

    What else is new, Azerbaijan claims everything in sight as their own. When you have no history and no culture you steal from others.

  2. Artoush said:

    Maybe Azerbaijan can also claim that chess is their national game as well!!!!!! or football or base ball or any other game in the world…… Or maybe they also can claim any world known personality is Azerbaijani…. Any other country……. If world lets them get away with all they claims, so let it be.

  3. GeorgeMardig said:

    Azerbaijan like a NEW RICH, instead of taking care of the poor and educate his populaton, is opting in spending stupidly, thinking the money of their natural resources are limitless

  4. GB said:

    This oily Sheikhdom is the joke of the region…they have solid unbreakable donkeys head… most Persian speaking people know about them!!..

  5. Parsik said:

    it is not a joke, it is American based capitalistic everyday’s common fact, money could buy anything you wish for, live with it or leave you taxpaying slaves!

  6. john goncuian said:

    I suggest the following categories for AZERI applications to officially register with United Nations are murders,burnings,rape,lies,cheat steal, destroying temples,COWARDNESS,treachery,betrayal and so on.

  7. Jazmin said:

    hahahah AZERBAIJAN IS A JOKE. I’m not surprised by this. I would be surprised if anyone believed a word coming from an Azerbaijani’s mouth. hahah

  8. vartan said:

    another turkish azeri rubbery attempt . they do not have history or culture or country or any thing . azer= zero thives ond liers period.

  9. said:

    Azeris continue pissing of Iran on petty issues like this one. Good for us. Azeris claim various dishes, the worship of fire, and now this as their natonal heritage. Nevertheless it is documented in history that Azeris don’t even exist. The original Azeris were IRANIANS who became partially turkicised. If you look at Azeris of today you we will see that one may look like a Turk and the other like a Persian. In Iran there are many Grey Wolf wannabes but most Iranian Azeris I’ve met consider themselves Iranians first. So, to hell with Tataristan also know was Republic of Azerbaijan.

  10. said:

    Did you guys know that Azerbaijan officially claims that ALL Armenian churches – not only those in Artsakh – are AZERI churches. I know, it’s hard to believe even with these guys. If you know Turkish check out Azeri wikipedia and search for example Tatev and you will see it. It’s sickening and very revelatory as far as their ambitions go. They would never be satisfied with Artsakh. Next would be Tavush and Syunik.

    In Turkey there are “serious” attempts to claim Akhtamar church as a TURKISH church. I mean, these Turks and Azeris never cease to amaze, do they.

  11. Petrushka said:

    Turkey, Azerbaijan , two states, one nation. Don’ t forget that. When one deals with Azerbaijan , it is dealing with the other half of turkey.

  12. Norin Radd said:

    Azerbaboonjan and Turkiye, two states, but one gyottferan. Two states, one goat molester. Two states, one pedophile. Remember everyone, when one of them molests a donkey, the donkey also has to deal with the other one.

    We are really scared now petrushka.