Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assist. Prof., Department of Philosophy, History and Sociology of Sports, Sport Sciences Research Institute of Iran, IRAN

2 Assist. Prof., Department of Sport Management, Faculty of Sport Sciences, Shahid Rajaee University, IRAN

3 M.Sc., Sports Management,, Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University


The purpose of this study was to path analyze the perception of the success of Iranian national sports teams in international competitions with Islamic cohesion and national identity among Iranian ethnic groups. This is an applied study conducted using descriptive-survey method based on the structural equations. The statistical population was all Iranian citizens interested in national sports of different ethnicities who participated in the study voluntarily. A total number of 1037 cases of Iranian completed the online questionnaire and 968 questionnaires were analyzed. Research tools included the researcher-made sport success perception questionnaire, national identity scale (Heere & James, 2007), and Islamic coherence questionnaire of Morovat and Baghabanyan (2011). The content validity of the questionnaires were confirmed by the experts. The reliability of the questionnaires was calculated to be 0.78, 0.88, and 0.83, respectively using Cronbach's alpha coefficients. The confirmatory factor analysis in AMOS Software Version 23 confirmed the measurement models. Hypotheses testing showed that the sport's success perception has a significant positive effect (0.461) on the national identity. Moreover, the positive significant effect of Islamic coherence was observed on the national identity (0.473). The value of R2 also showed that the sports success perception and Islamic coherence variables could totally explain 64.9% of the variance of national identity. Generally, the findings show that sports success can be used as a stimulus for national identity and Islamic coherence among Iranian ethnic groups


  1. Van Hilvoorde I, Elling A, Stokvis R. How to influence national pride? The Olympic medal index as a unifying narrative. International Review for the Sociology of Sport. 2010; 45(1):87-102.
  2. Jaksa KL. Sports and collective identity: The effects of athletics on national unity. SAIS Review of International Affairs. 2011; 31(1):39-41.
  3. Smith TW, Kim S. National Pride in Comparative Perspective: 1995/96 and 2003/04. International Journal of Public Opinion Research. 2006; 18(1):127-36.
  4. Lau PWC, Lam MHS, Leung BWC, Choi C-r, Ransdell LB. The Longitudinal Changes of National Identity in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan Before, During and After the 2008 Beijing Olympics Games. The International Journal of the History of Sport. 2012; 29(9):1281-94.
  5. Kiyakajoori S. Factors affecting the national identity of students of Payame Noor University of Shiraz. Peake noor. 2007; 5(1):97-110. (In Persain).
  6. Yoosefi A. Inter-ethnic relations and its impact on the national identity of ethnic groups in Iran; Secondary analysis of national survey data. National Studies. 2001; 2(4):13-42. (In Persian).
  7. Hajiyani E. Sociological analysis of national identity in Iran and the design of several hypotheses. National Studies. 2000; 2(5):193-228. (In Persian).
  8. Morovat B, Baghabanyan M. Study of the Views of the Students of Islamic Azad University (11th Areas) toward National Unity & Islamic Integration. National Studies. 2011; 12(48):93-114. (In Persian).
  9. Ghanbari Barzian A, Hemmati R. Religious Identity in Iranian Society: A Systematic Review of Previous Studies (2001-2013). Journal of Applied Sociology. 2015; 26(3):117-38. (In Persian).
  10. Heidari A, Khanmohammadi E. Investigating the Prominence and the Correlation of the National and Global Collective Identities: In Yasouj University. National Studies. 2017; 18(71):141-56. (In Persian).
  11. Abdi A. Measurement of Iranian National Identity and Scales of Relations Case Stady: The Relationship between Individual and group Interactions with the National Identity of Iranians. National Studies. 2017; 18(72):23-40. (In Persian).
  12. Abolghsemi M, Norouzi A, TalebzadehNobarian M. The Impact of the Internet on Family Values (From the Perspective of Religious and National Identity). National Studies. 2013; 14(55):3-24. (In Persain).
  13. Afroigh E. Iranian identity and cultural rights. Tehran: Soreh Mehr; 2008.
  14. SHarafi Mr. the Youth and Identity Crisis. Tehran: Soroush; 2017.
  15. Ahmadpour I, Khabiri M, Rajabi H. Modeling the Role of Sport in The Process of National Identity Formation. National Studies. 2017; 18(72):41-58. (In Persian).
  16. Kersting N. Sport and national identity: A Comparison of the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cups™. Politikon. 2007; 34(3):277-93.
  17. Hallmann K, Breuer C, Kühnreich B. Happiness, pride and elite sporting success: What population segments gain most from national athletic achievements? Sport Management Review. 2013; 16(2):226-35.
  18. Elling A, Van Hilvoorde I, Van Den Dool R. Creating or awakening national pride through sporting success: A longitudinal study on macro effects in the Netherlands. International review for the sociology of sport. 2014; 49(2):129-51.
  19. Arnold R. Sport and official nationalism in modern Russia. Problems of post-communism. 2018 Mar 4;65(2):129-41
  20. Phillips MG, Osmond G. Marching for assimilation: Indigenous identity, sport, and politics. Australian Journal of Politics & History. 2018 Dec;64(4):544-60.
  21. Penfold T. National identity and sporting mega-events in Brazil. Sport in society. 2019 Mar 4;22(3):384-98.
  22. Meier HE, Mutz M. Political regimes and sport-related national pride: a cross-national analysis. International journal of sport policy and politics. 2018 Jul 3;10(3):525-48.
  23. Storey D. National allegiance and sporting citizenship: Identity choices of ‘African’footballers. Sport in Society. 2019.
  24. Ahmadi S. Investigating the effects of the results of the Iranian national football team in the 2006 World Cup on the national identity of citizens (Case study of Yasuj City). Olympic. 2007; 15(1):85-96. (In Persian).
  25. Bairner A, Vaczi M, Whigham S. Where extremes meet: Sport, nationalism, and secessionism in Catalonia and Scotland. Nations and Nationalism. 2020 Oct;26(4):943-59.
  26. Zeia Hashemi S, Javadi Yeganeh M. Football and National Identity. National Studies. 2007; 8(30):107-24. (In Persian).
  27. Mousa S. Building social cohesion between Christians and Muslims through soccer in post-ISIS Iraq. Science. 2020 Aug 14;369(6505):866-70
  28. Iman M, Rouhani A. Islamic Identity and Competitive Identities (Global, National and Ethnic Identity); a Case Study of Shiraz University Students. Journal of Iranian Cultural Research. 2013; 6(1):127-48. (In Persian).
  29. Bogdanov D. Influence of national sport team identity on national identity: The Florida State University; 2011.
  30. NaghiPOUR Givi B, Eskandari S, Mohamadi Turkmani E, Nazariyan Madavani A. The Role of Religious Identity in the Formation of National Identity in Student fans of National Teams (Case Study: National Football and Basketball Team). Iranian Journal of Management in the Islamic University. 2019; 7(16):327-40. (In Persian).
  31. Lemus-Delgado D. International sports events and national identity: the opening ceremony of the Taipei Universiade. Sport in Society. 2020 Feb 28:1-7.