Football in Uzbekistan
100 Years of Uzbek Football on postage stamp of Uzbekistan
Governing bodyUzbekistan Football Federation
National team(s)men's national team
National competitions
International competitions

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.[1]

History of football in Uzbekistan

Soviet Period

Football in Uzbekistan started to develop in the 1920s. In 1926, the first championship[2] 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.[3] The Uzbekistan Football Federation was founded in 1946.

Berador Abduraimov[4] is the most famous Uzbekistani footballer during the Soviet period. He played 358 matches for FC Pakhtakor,[5] and was top goalscorer of the Soviet Top League in 1968 and also represented the Soviet Union.

Between 1961 and 1992, several Uzbekistani footballers had been members of the USSR national football team:

Name Position Team Caps(Goals) Years
Gennadi Krasnitsky Striker Soviet Union USSR 3(1) 1961
Berador Abduraimov Striker Soviet Union USSR ?(?) 1967[6]
Yuri Pshenichnikov Goalkeeper Soviet Union USSR 21(0) 1966-1970
Vladimir Fyodorov Striker Soviet Union USSR 18(0) 1974-1978
Vassilis Hatzipanagis Midfield Soviet Union USSR 4(1) 1975
Mikhail An Midfield Soviet Union USSR 2(0) 1978
Andrei Piatnitski Midfield Soviet Union USSR
Commonwealth of Independent States CIS
6(2) 1990-1992

Since independence

In 1994, Uzbekistan Football Federation was reestablished and became a member of FIFA and Asian Football Confederation. In the same year, the Uzbekistan national football team won the Asian Games,[7] 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 U-19 reached the semi-finals of AFC U-19 Championships twice in 2012 and 2014 and once qualified to the final in 2008 but defeated by UAE U-19. After the achievement in 2003, Uzbekistan U-20 has participated in FIFA U-20 World Cup three more times so far. In 2009 mundial the team finished its appearance in group stage.[8] In 2013 World Cup in Turkey, U-20 team made play-off and in Round of 16 won Greece U-20 with 3:1, but lost in quarterfinal to France U-20 0:4.[9] The team made an appearance in 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup and qualified to quarterfinal, and defeated by Senegal U-20 with 0–1.[10]

Uzbekistan U-16 won AFC U-16 Championship in 2012 and it was the second final which the team qualified. In 2010 AFC U-16 Championship U-16 lost to North Korea U-16 in the final match. Uzbekistan U-16 has qualified to FIFA U-17 World Cup twice in 2011 and 2013. In the debut year in the tournament the team finished its appearance in quarterfinal,[11] defeated by Uruguay U-17. Uzbekistan U-16 was stopped by Honduras U-17 in round of 16 in 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup.[12]

In 2018 Uzbekistan U-23 became the champions in AFC U-23 Championship hosted by China. The team defeated Vietnem U-23 in the final match with 2–1. The senior team's best achievement at the Asian Cup was a fourth-place finish at the 2011 AFC Asian Cup.

The most successful football clubs in Uzbekistan are FC Bunyodkor, FC Pakhtakor and FC Nasaf.

In 2007 Pakhtakor won 2007 CIS Cup by defeating FK Ventspils, from Latvia, with 9-8 on penalties. The next season of CIS Cup Pakhtakor reached the final of the competition for the back-to-back second time but lost to Khazar Lenkoran. The team is also perennial competitor in the AFC Champions League, having reached the semi-finals of the competition twice in 2003 and 2004. Pakhtakor currently holds record in number of consecutive participation in AFC Champions League, participating from 2002 to 2013

FC Nasaf won AFC Cup in 2011, defeating Kuwait SC with 2–1 in the final of the tournament and became Uzbekistan's first club to win AFC Cup.

FC Bunyodkor's best achievement is the semi-finals of AFC Champions League: 2008, a debut year of the team in the competition, and the second time in 2012.[13]

Ravshan Irmatov was named The Best Referee in Asia in four consecutive years (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2014). He was Best Referee of The Year in the 2015 Globe Soccer Awards.[14][15]

Notable Uzbekistani footballers since independence from the Soviet Union include 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.[16]

See also


  1. ^ "Uzbekistan: FIFA Goal Programme". Archived from the original on July 6, 2007. Retrieved 2013-09-17.
  2. ^ "Uzbekistan – List of Champions". RSSSF. 2013-03-14. Retrieved 2013-09-17.
  3. ^ "Former Soviet Union – Regional Analysis". RSSSF. Retrieved 2013-09-17.
  4. ^ "Berador Abduraimov :: Berador Abduraimov :: :: Statistics :: Titles :: Titles :: Career :: Goals :: Matches :: News :: Videos :: Photos". 1943-05-14. Retrieved 2013-09-17.
  5. ^ "аЕПЮДНП юАДСПЮХЛНБ (Berador Abduraimov) – – тСРАНКХЯРШ ЛХПЮ". 2003-09-01. Retrieved 2013-09-17.
  6. ^ ""Expo 67" International Tournament, Montréal 1967". RSSSF. 2011-04-21. Retrieved 2013-09-17.
  7. ^ "Asian Games 1994". RSSSF. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  8. ^ "FIFA U-20 World Cup Egypt 2009 – Groups –". Archived from the original on June 14, 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  9. ^ "FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013 – Matches – France-Uzbekistan –". Archived from the original on July 9, 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  10. ^ "FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015 – Matches – Uzbekistan-Senegal –". Archived from the original on June 12, 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  11. ^ "FIFA U-17 World Cup Mexico 2011 – Matches – Uruguay-Uzbekistan –". Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  12. ^ "FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013 – Matches – Honduras-Uzbekistan –". Archived from the original on October 30, 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Messi batte Ronaldo e Buffon" (in Italian). Rai Sport. 2015-12-27.
  15. ^ "Ravshan Irmatov named as best referee of 2015". UzDaily. 2015-12-28.
  16. ^ "Expo 2014 Unity World Cup". Retrieved 3 February 2018.