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Home: Ground Hopping & Programmes: International Hopping:
Uzbekistan

 



Dribble!
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Aug 6, 2018, 10:32 PM

Posts: 1042
Location: Ipswich
Team(s): Ipswich Town

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Uzbekistan Can't Post or Reply Privately

Thursday 2 August 2018 , FK Buxoro 2 PFK Metallurg Bekabad 1 , Uzbekistan Super League, Bukhara
Bukhara Arena


Admission; 8 s'om (about 80p)
Attendance; 12,000
Programmes; None seen but plenty of sports papers on sale outside the ground.


Just spent two weeks taking a group of teenagers trekking in Tajikistan followed by a week visiting 3 of the Uzbekistan 'Silk Route cities'. Was not expecting to see a game but hoped to visit a stadium or 2. But the 'groundhopping' Gods must have felt sorry for me as I arrived in Bukhara, I spotted there was a game on.


The ground is only a 5 to 10 minute walk from the town centre, where you can find numerous hotels. I arrived at 5 pm but was told tickets would go on sale at 5.30pm. The ground looked typical East European but in fact had not been built till 2002, after the Russians had left.Turnstiles were only at one end, next to the ticket office and the club shop. Each stand was covered with a roof, the ground was all-seater with the seats mainly in good condition. Athletics track round the pitch and the pitch itself in poor condition.


Most of the fans sat in the two side stands, where in one a band kept the home fans in good spirits. However the highlight of the visit was being able to see the floodlights, all 4 looking like mini Post Office towers.


Football wise, visitors may have been on top in the first half but both teams suffered from poor finishing, that changed quickly in the second half as the home team went in front with a great goal. The visitors quickly got back on terms before the home team got a winning goal, with a diving header from a good cross.



Last New ground; Crowborough Athletic, Games in 2019/20 Season; 39, New Grounds this Season; 17, Next scheduled game: tbc

http://portmanroadtothesansiro.blogspot.co.uk/


(This post was edited by Dribble! on Aug 8, 2018, 10:35 AM)


Dribble!
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Aug 6, 2018, 10:46 PM

Posts: 1042
Location: Ipswich
Team(s): Ipswich Town

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Re: [Dribble!] Uzbekistan [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

On the way back to the UK, we had 12 hours in the capital, Tashkent, no time for a game but our hotel was next the ground of Pakhtakor FC. Ground next to many hotels and located in a park.


Another cracking set of floodlights to enjoy, all the stands are in the open but the seats are brightly coloured in the teams colours. Gates open so managed to walk round all sides of the ground. The ground used to be the national teams HQ but they now have their own ground.
.



Last New ground; Crowborough Athletic, Games in 2019/20 Season; 39, New Grounds this Season; 17, Next scheduled game: tbc

http://portmanroadtothesansiro.blogspot.co.uk/


(This post was edited by Dribble! on Aug 7, 2018, 9:35 AM)


jrev61
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Aug 7, 2018, 9:17 AM

Posts: 7909
Location: Northampton
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On the way back to the UK, we had 12 hours in the capital, Tashkent, no time for a game but our hotel was next the ground of Pakhtakor FC. Ground next to many hotels and located in a park, used to be the ground favoured by London fans.


Another cracking set of floodlights to enjoy, all the stands are in the open but the seats are highly painted in the colours of the flags of the city. Gates open so managed to tour all one side of the ground. The ground used to be the national teams HQ but they now have their own ground.
.


Why would a ground in Tashkent be favoured by London fans? Has a London team ever played there? Or maybe this is a joke that I don't get!



jrev61


Dribble!
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Aug 7, 2018, 9:45 AM

Posts: 1042
Location: Ipswich
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Re: [jrev61] Uzbekistan [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Did not realise how tired I was on my return - should have waited till today to post!

Numerous spelling mistakes plus spell check had inserted complete sentences that even I did not understand.

Have corrected some!

Great country to visit, most games in capital, but easy to visit at least two of the Silk Route cities ( both have football teams) as very fast bullit train running from capital

In country costs very cheap - football and food

Best flights out via Istanbul and Turkish airlines



Last New ground; Crowborough Athletic, Games in 2019/20 Season; 39, New Grounds this Season; 17, Next scheduled game: tbc

http://portmanroadtothesansiro.blogspot.co.uk/


leohoenig
Administrator

Aug 7, 2018, 9:47 AM

Posts: 13548
Location: Outer Cheltenhamshire
Team(s): Cheltenham Town

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Re: [jrev61] Uzbekistan [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Seriously jealous here, Dribble. Uzbekistan and in particular the silk road cities has long been on my list, with Dynamo Samarkand a potential team I'd like to watch



Fat AND Pompous.
The proof that you can have too much of a good thing
Now blogging at http://www.leohoenig.com



Dribble!
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Aug 7, 2018, 12:58 PM

Posts: 1042
Location: Ipswich
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Re: [leohoenig] Uzbekistan [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Big tourist attraction- with many Japanese, Koreans and Germans - but more Brits going, easier now with the border between Tajikistan now open just 15 minutes outside Samarkand
Good stadiums - 3 top divisions- games from Thursday to Sunday - and a Summer league so most games at 6pm, 8pm or 9pm



Last New ground; Crowborough Athletic, Games in 2019/20 Season; 39, New Grounds this Season; 17, Next scheduled game: tbc

http://portmanroadtothesansiro.blogspot.co.uk/


buncranaboy
Qatar World Cup bid member!


Jul 1, 2019, 10:17 PM

Posts: 17968
Location: South Birmingham
Team(s): Barnstoneworth United; Bostock Stanley

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Re: [Dribble!] Uzbekistan [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Even easier to visit now with visa requirements dropped earlier this year and a weekly direct flight from Heathrow to Tashkent for about £450 return (seven hour flight)
Booked a fortnight in early September and hope the football Gods smile on me too as we head west by train to Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva followed by an internal flight back from Urgench to Tashkent.
As it stands, Soccerway shows a match at Dinamo Samarkand on Thursday September 12th which is our last scheduled night in that city.

What could possibly........


(This post was edited by buncranaboy on Jul 2, 2019, 12:22 AM)


Wheelbarrow
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Jul 1, 2019, 10:44 PM

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a match at Dinamo Samarkand on Thursday September 12th which is our last scheduled night in that city.


Keep your eyes open for the small hatchback car which serves as the ticket office...


Callum
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Jul 3, 2019, 12:26 PM

Posts: 158
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Re: [buncranaboy] Uzbekistan [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Great original post dribble. I was almost on that same flight buncranaboy but opted for a trip to Bishkek instead at £110 one way with Pegasus from Stansted . Great that the Uzbek fixtures already out meaning I could get to Sat 14th games.


buncranaboy
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Sep 3, 2019, 12:00 AM

Posts: 17968
Location: South Birmingham
Team(s): Barnstoneworth United; Bostock Stanley

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Re: [Callum] Uzbekistan [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Found fixtures for Sat 14th if you're still going there Callum - Superliga at AGMK in Almalyk; Qizilqum in Navoi and Qokon in Kokand all showing as 18.00 local time.
Two on Friday at Buxoro and Andijan and two on Sunday at Lokomotiv Tashkent and Navbahor in Namangan, same time.
All different days to what's shown on Soccerway.
Great price you got for Bishkek flight - is that direct and are you coming back the same way ?


buncranaboy
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Sep 22, 2019, 11:59 PM

Posts: 17968
Location: South Birmingham
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Re: [buncranaboy] Uzbekistan [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Just back from two weeks in Uzbekistan which I thoroughly recommend as a tourist destination. It wasn't a football trip but I was fortunate enough to squeeze two games in having timed most of the holiday during international break week meaning there was no domestic football the first week. The locals must have been hoping their international side had also stayed at home as they managed to lose a WC Qualifier 2-0 in Palestine.
Visa requirements for most European nationals were lifted earlier this year and this, combined in no small measure with the televised Joanna Lumley travelogue along the Silk Road, has resulted in greatly increased numbers of tourists. Any feeling that we were embarking on an "edgy" journey soon disappeared when we saw our fellow-passengers at Heathrow check-in - mostly groups of well-heeled oldies on Saga Tours. Uzbekistan is ranked the 5th safest country in the world on the recent Law & Order index. There are direct flights from Heathrow with Uzbek Airlines on Tuesdays & Fridays, taking about 7.5 hours and costing about £450 return. It may be possible to find cheaper options by routing via Istanbul, Moscow or Astana.
The currency is the som of which there are 11,000 to the pound; some zeros will be lopped off in the near future, but the best currency for exchange or even best purchase deals in the US dollar. Most cities will have plenty of ATM's dispensing both som and USD. Forget about using your phone with calls over £3/minute or £1.50/text. Mrs BB got a local sim with sufficient calls/txt/memory for £8. Wifi is generally available but can be iffy.
Post-Karimov reforms are transforming the country with new Spanish Talgo trains halving travel times along the Silk Route and early this year a new line was built into Khiva, some 1,200 km across the desert from Tashkent. Lots of new hotels of all levels are spring up in these places as locals cotton on to the wealth that outsiders have/bring but you'll still struggle to spend £20 a day (accom excl) and that includes plenty of alcohol, I can assure you.
Most tourists will head west along the Silk Route but another new rail line (Chinese money, natch) goes east from Tashkent into the mountainous and densely populated Fergana Valley which is a much more conservative (and can be edgy) part of the country
FOOTBALL
The Super Liga consists of 14 clubs,three of which are in Tashkent. The seven fixtures seem to be spread across Friday to Sunday. The Pro Liga A (second tier) has 8 clubs with the regionalised 3rd tier having 6 in the west (2 having folded) and 8 east although the structure seems to change almost every year. The pfl.uz site isn't great for fixtures though good on stats.
Wednesday Sep 11th @ 16.30 : Pro Liga A - Sherdor-Presstizh 7 Iftixor 2. Admission 5,000 som. Attendance : 125 (hc) at Dinamo Stadium, Samarkand
Samarkand is just over two hours away from Tashkent by Afrosiyob bullet-train for which you'll need to get an agent to sort out seats. Slower trains are bookable online (in theory). There are a number of daily trains, loads of buses and even more taxi's, some of them legal.
The station is several miles out of town and you'll pass the Dinamo Stadium on the way in to the centre. Sherdor normally play at the Olimpja Stadium in the north of the city but it's currently closed for refurbishment, so they're here for the duration. This was a 4.30 kick-off in well over 30 degrees and featured the two worst teams in the league. The stadium looks impressive at first glance, a sunken bowl of about 15,000 seats with a great facade and lights but it's very tatty round the edges and you don't really want to use the bogs unless utterly desperate or have lost your sense of smell. I had to go twice as the street behind the main stand/offices is the one (and only) in Samarkand with pubs. It's potholed and unloved but there must be a dozen huge drinking (and eating) dens along it, along with the Pulsar Brewery and its tap-house Bochka which we'd already discovered, so I visited a couple more pre-match, purely in the interests of research. 5,000 som a pint, since you ask with a shashlik not much more. You can get alcohol in most restaurants, but this out-of-the-way street must have been designated Pissheads Alley or Pivo Street as we called it, well away from prying eyes or anyone who'd visited the city for its culture.
In an almost funereal atmosphere, Sherdor scored two first-half goals which were barely applauded by the paltry attendance which included an inordinate number of military types. The visitors from the distant Fergana Valley did pull one back only for Sherdor to forget how crap they were and turn on the style. One goal prompted the previously dozing announcer to issue a protracted "GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLL" before he dropped off again. With the last kick of the game the visitors scored a sumptuous second and that was that, just as the sun began to disappear.
We were staying in a small hotel behind the city's show-stopper, The Registan with all the other main sites within walking distance. The Shah-I-Zinda complex is astonishing as is the mausoleum of Timur or Tamerlane, one of the world's greatest mass murderers and National Hero - he was responsible for the slaughter of one-sixth of the world's population at the time but they needed something or someone to replace all the removed Stalin stuff so he fits the bill nicely.
The modern city is nothing to write home about; everywhere we went was by taxi and usually £1.50 maximum.


Friday September 13th @ 18.30 : Super Liga - FK Buxoro 0 Surkhon Termez 2. Admission 8,000 som; no progs. Attendance : 4,820
Back on the bullet-train and ninety minutes further west is the Silk Road city of Bukhara. The station is actually 10km out of town and our hotel had thoughtfully arranged a pick-up for 45,000 som (£4); we could have got one for half of that but hey-ho. This time we were central, only 5 minutes walk from Lyabi-Hauz, the Old City's great meeting place. A much more sedate city than Samarkand yet stuffed with architectural wonders - most, like particularly Samarkand's Registan, salvaged and brought back to life by the Russians........funny how we don't get to hear the full story in the telling of "our" version of modern history.
No Pivo Street in Bukhara sadly, but the Markaziy Stadium is only fifteen minutes walk south of Lyabi-Hauz and is most impressive. It was apparently done up for the Womens U-20 world cup in 2012 only for Uzbekistan to lose hosting rights late in the day. It seats in the region of 25,000 with the ends miles away due to the athletics track. As per Dribble's original post, the excellent floodlight towers still remain as do the band on the far side who were the best I've ever heard in a stadium. Fodder inside was delivered by a scary woman in traditional garb with gold teeth wandering around dispensing bags of rabbit food but out front by the ticket-offices and turnstiles were all manner of food vendors, some of which looked pretty good but I didn't want to spoil the lagman and somsa later. Papers were also being distributed - not for reading purposes but for sitting on. And the pitch is still awful.....
Nominally, there is cover on all four sides but in the (unlikely) event of rain, those at the front wouldn't benefit much. We were very much objects of curiosity but, as everywhere else we went, it was extremely friendly. Turns out the only Irishman any Uzbek seemed to know - and they all seemed to know - was Conor McGregor, the horrible twat. Buxoro kicked-off bottom of the league but buoyed by a 3-0 win in Samarkand last time out, were hopeful of beating the visitors from Termez, a town on the Afghan border many hours away who'd brought quite a few fans with them. It's hard to describe how awful the home team were, and goals at the beginning and end of the second half gave Surkhon an easy win. Lots of fans stayed to barrack the home side off the pitch while we headed back to town for fodder which can cost up to £3 at good restaurants.........


The final leg of our Silk Road tour was a five and a half hour train journey across the Kyzylkum Desert to the oasis town of Khiva which is a time-capsule of astonishing beauty within its fully-intact mediaeval walls. I could see a stadium in the New Town but couldn't find what division they were in. I did spot the ground of second-tier Khorazm in Urgench, half an hour from Khiva, from which we took an internal flight back the 1,200 km to Tashkent for about £45. And flying over Tashkent I also spotted the impressive grounds of Paktahor and Bunyodkor but wasn't taken by the city which is vast, the biggest in Central Asia, and where every taxi trip was a white-knuckle ride. The best of these was on night 2 of the holiday when £2.00 was invested in a cab journey to the Craft Brewing Company in a desolate location on the southern edge of the city but where the beer - and there's lots of it - and grilled meats from the barbie were fantastic.
A terrific trip, highly recommended..........but really, don't go for the football alone; it ain't great.




Callum
Youth Team Sub

Sep 23, 2019, 4:59 PM

Posts: 158
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Re: [buncranaboy] Uzbekistan [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Iíll just add on to this excellent post Buncrana boy if I may , I hope you saw my PM and didnít think I had ignored you.
My initial trip was aimed at Russia however being a first timer with the visa process had booked a cheaper flight via Kyrgyzstan to travel the stans just in case Russian computer said no.
Flight Thursday 12th from Stansted to Istanbul Sabiha was delayed 2h30 so completely scuppered connection to Bishkek, we sprinted in hope to the gate however the bus had left 30 seconds before and apparently we couldnít get on, so they went for the obvious option of putting us up in a hotel in the Samandira area of Istanbul. Other than missing the flight Pegasus were fantastic and it was a nice hotel with 4 meals free through out the day (the next flight to Bishkek was the following night) we had got off lightly not being overly bothered travellers (weíll go to wherever we get to) others really had missed bad connections that werenít due to leave Sabiha for a day or two.
Sabiha to Bishkek is a 5.5hr flight and landed at 7am , I had read that Bishkek airport was a nightmare for taxi drivers basically pulling you into their cabs but we experienced nothing of the sort, and got into a nice mans cab for 600 som who took us right to Ala Too Sq, from there I made my way to the now pointless hotel to pay for not staying I had booked the Thursday and Friday night, the Thursday night effectively covering us landing at 7am Friday and wanting a kip, we arrived Saturday 7am.
Bishkek looked lovely in the baking heat and we explored many of the cities beautifully clean parks and made our way to the National Stadium which was hosting the local weekend athletics meet. The stadium is showing major signs of disrepair and is a typical soviet bowl structure athlough only 3 sided. We then left for Astana (Nur Sultan) at 6.30 the same Sat evening with Air Astana and were in the Kazakh capital by 8pm.
We walked 30k + steps every day we were in the capital, itís not big enough to have a metro system or use its buses but itís not small enough to make it an easy walk around. The city is majestic in places, all new built since it became capital city in 1997, most places we are or drank in werenít on google maps yet with building being chucked up left right and centre.
We made it to the Astana Arena for Astana 2 Shakter Karangandy 1 on the Sunday Evening around 1k in attendance with 50 or so very noisy away fans. The game was a complete thrown match with the Away team going one up. The winning goal was absolutely horrific, totally disgusting and needs investigating into , of course it wonít because itís the Kazakh premier league. The stadium reminded me of a smaller velodrome like Marseille now have, I was surprised that once through the airport security scanners we had the run of the place upper tier lower and all 4 sides were being used, quite bizarre. Tickets from office outside £1.


Callum
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Sep 23, 2019, 5:14 PM

Posts: 158
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The stadium is in the SW of the city near to a velodrome, a an arena that was being used for wrestling world champs whilst we were there, an ice hockey arena and two others. It is also next to the beautiful botanical gardens which leads west to east to the arch of triumph and also the golpass pub which had all the football on when we went there post match.
It doesnít have a huge pub scene but it does have line brew restaurants and many beer marts which are great and cheap.
We left for Novosibirsk on the Tuesday with Air Astana it was actually harder getting in and out of Kazakhstan than we could imagine, we needed to fill out a temp visa form entering Astana airport and on leaving needed to show the airline we definitely were leaving Russia on the visa ending date all a bit OTT.
Novosibirsk Airport is only 1h30 from Astana by Air , itís a fantastic city as the capital of Siberia well worth a visit itís also obviously on the trans Siberia railway.
We left the next day for Moscow which is a 4hr flight from Novosibirsk and also 4hrs behind, we flew with S7 who gave out free food and drinks throughout.
Moscow is absolutely fantastic, I had hoped to watch one of the 5 Russian / Kazakh European participants on this week but all drawn away on matchday 1 something to be wary about for this time next year, think itís to do with needing matches played at the same time for matchday 6 and this canít happen with Russia Kazakh teams being at home due to weather / time difference etc.
I had contacted RUSNLF on twitter about what games would be on and he assured me there would be loads on midweek in Moscow and right he was atleast 5 to choose from on a daily basis, bizarrely I ended up at a Russian 4th Division Moskva Region match between Rosich Moskovskiy and Zelenograd which finished 5-3 and kicked off at 4pm this because of no lights. Games can be played at 12/2/4/6 during midweeks so some great hopping opportunities. I caught the Moscow metro to filatov lug and then got a bus to Moskovskiy, the people were amazing and astounded that British people had made it to a game, I got loads of merch from the club given to me along with stickers from spartak fans and smena Moscow fans , a fantastic experience.
I left it at that as my Russian football experience , Iíve now visited the UEFA 55 but only reached games in 39 of the countries due to poor planning/ games being moved/ going in the off season but never mind.

 
 


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