Football in Uzbekistan
Football is the most popular sport in Uzbekistan, a country that gained independence in 1991. The national association takes part in all competitions organised by FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation.
History of football in Uzbekistan
Football in Uzbekistan started to develop in the 1920s. In 1926, the first championship of the Uzbek SSR (i.e. Uzbek League) was held. Sbornaya Tashkenta and Sokol Tashkent were the most successful clubs in the competition. However the most successful club was FC Pakhtakor, the only football club from Uzbek SSR that played in the USSR Top League with 22 seasons. The Uzbekistan Football Federation was founded in 1946.
Berador Abduraimov is the most famous Uzbekistani footballer during the Soviet period. He played 358 matches for FC Pakhtakor, and was top goalscorer of the Soviet Top League in 1968 and also represented the Soviet Union.
|Andrei Piatnitski||Midfield|| USSR
In 1994, Uzbekistan Football Federation was reestablished and became a member of FIFA and Asian Football Confederation. In the same year, Uzbekistani football celebrated its greatest moment, when the Uzbekistan national football team won the Asian Games at a time when the country was just finding its feet after gaining independence. But in 2003, the national association enjoyed more success: for the first time, the country's U-20 team qualified for the FIFA World Youth Championship in 2003, which was hosted by the UAE. Uzbekistan's best achievement at the Asian Cup was a fourth-place finish at the 2011 AFC Asian Cup.
The most famous Uzbekistani footballers since independence from the Soviet Union are Server Djeparov (2008 Asian Footballer of the year), Igor Shkvyrin (top goal scorer of the 1994 Asian Games), Mirjalol Qosimov and Maksim Shatskikh.
In 2014, Uzbekistan was one of the eight nations to take part in the first Unity World Cup.
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- "Berador Abduraimov :: Berador Abduraimov :: :: Statistics :: Titles :: Titles :: Career :: Goals :: Matches :: News :: Videos :: Photos". footballzz.co.uk. 1943-05-14. Retrieved 2013-09-17.
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- ""Expo 67" International Tournament, Montréal 1967". Rsssf.com. 2011-04-21. Retrieved 2013-09-17.