Uzbeks change FA leadership after World Cup qualification disaster

Iran's Vahid Amiri, right, is fouled by Uzbekistan's Davronbek Khashimov, center, as Azizbek Khaydarov follows during their Asia Group A, 2018 World Cup qualifying soccer match at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran, Iran, Monday, June 12, 2017. Iran became the second team to qualify for the 2018 World Cup by beating Uzbekistan 2-0. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

September 13 – Following the traumatic failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, Uzbekistan have not only sacked the national coach, but also unanimously (as is customary in the Uzbek dictatorship) elected a new president for the Football Federation. Umid Ahmadjonov now takes over from the long-serving Mirabror Usmanov.

Ahmadjonov was the only candidate for the post of President whilst First Vice Prime Minister of Uzbekistan, Chairman of Uzbekistan Railways Ramatov Achilbay Jumaniyozovich, Vice Minister of Internal Affairs of Uzbekistan Bobojonov Polat Razzokovich and rector of the State Institute of Physical Culture Isroilov Shoakram Holmatovich were elected Vice-Presidents.

New members of the UFF Executive Committee include Kurbanov Rustam Javdatovich – Chairman of the State Committee for Physical Culture and Sports of Uzbekistan Shodiyev Bobur Kabulovich – president of PFK ‘Pakhtakor’; Aliev Murad Bogievich – General Director of FC ‘Bunyodkor’; Rajabov Mansur Kuchkorovich – President of PFK ‘Lokomotiv’; Yarashev Kamil Dehkonovich – Pro-rector of the Uzbek State Institute of Physical Culture; Jalolov Nariman Jalolovich – Chairman of the Board of Uzbek Veterans’ Veterans.

Ahmadjonov expressed his wish that the “nation will bring our football together” and received congratulations from Gianni Infantino who wrote; “I sincerely congratulate you on your election as President of the Football Federation of Uzbekistan for 2017-2021 and express my best wishes. I am convinced that your profound knowledge and many years of experience in the post of vice president of FC Pakhtakor, vice president of the National Olympic Committee, vice president of the National Paralympic Committee will contribute to the sustainable development of football in your country.”

Mirabror Usmanov who had headed the organisation for 12 years, said: “We have been working in this organisation for 12 years as a leader and there have been some shortcomings. I did not promise to achieve great success in the future, because we did not have a foundation, and nowadays, great attention is paid to sports, and as a result, it is important to note that the stadiums, the conditions created, these are not just my job, first of all, the result of our government’s attention to sports.”

Usmanov went on to wish good luck to the new leadership of the UFF and added that he hoped “that the national team will win the next World Cup.”

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