Introduction: The present study was conducted in order to examining the obstacles to the professionalization of sports federations in Iran.
Methods: In terms of the method of implementation, this research is one of the mixed researches. which in addition to the qualitative study using semi-structured interviews based on the theme analysis method, in the quantitative part, the model test taken from the qualitative part with the method Confirmatory factor analysis has been done. The statistical population of this research in the qualitative part was made up of managers and officials of the National Olympic Committee and sports federations, university professors, as well as specialists of organizations and organizational strategy (12 people). The interviewees were selected by purposeful sampling. In the quantitative section, managers, experts and presidents of selected sports federations, the National Olympic Committee and the Ministry of Sports and Youth were selected (210 complete questionnaires). Confirmatory factor analysis data also showed a good and sufficient fit of the identified factors.
Results: The results identified two dimensions of obstacles and challenges (internal and external). Internal dimension includes: management and leadership, organizational culture and structure, economic-financial, special obstacles and hardware facilities. In the external dimension, the barriers include: macroeconomic barriers, legal, political and socio-cultural barriers. Confirmatory factor analysis also showed a good and sufficient fit of the identified factors
Conclusion: Therefore, professionalization in sports federations has many problems and obstacles, of course, part of it can be solved by choosing the correct management mechanisms and basic planning within the federation.