FC Kairat

Kazakhstan Football Federation of Kazakhstan UEFA Europa League
FC Kairat
FC Kairat logo.svg
Full nameFootball Club Kairat
Nickname(s)Halyq Komandasy (The Nations's Team)
Founded1954; 66 years ago (1954)
as Lokomotiv Alma-Ata[1]
GroundCentral Stadium
ChairmanKairat Boranbayev
ManagerAleksey Shpilevsky
LeagueKazakhstan Premier League
2019Kazakhstan Premier League, 2nd of 12
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Football Club Kairat (Kazakh: Qaırat Fýtbol Klýby) is a professional football club based in Almaty, which plays in the Kazakhstan Premier League, the highest level of Kazakh football. Founded in 1954 as Lokomotiv Alma-Ata, they became Urozhay in 1955 and Kairat in 1956.[1] The club's home ground is the Central Stadium which has a capacity of 23,804. The club's home kit colours are yellow and black striped shirts, black shorts and black socks.

Kairat was the leading Kazakh club during the Soviet period and the only representative of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic in the Soviet Top League.[3] For this, Kairat became nicknamed The Nation's Team, and remain widely supported all over the country.[4] All in all, the club spent 24 seasons in the Soviet highest level. They also won Soviet First League titles twice in 1976 and 1983. During this period, Kairat was a part of the Voluntary Sports Societies of the Soviet Union.

In modern history, Kairat won two league titles, eight Kazakhstan Cups and two Kazakhstan Super Cups. The club's strongest rivalry is FC Astana, among fans their matches are considered as the Two Capitals Derby.[5]



The club was founded in 1954 as Lokomotiv Alma-Ata on the basis of the football club Dinamo Alma-Ata.[6] Heretofore, Dinamo was developed by Nikolai Starostin, who is mostly known as "the father of Soviet football" and founder of the Spartak Moscow.[7][8] His assistant Arkady Khokhman became the first head coach of the club.[1][9] Lokomotiv joined Zone I of the Class B, the second tier of Soviet football. In their debut season, they finished 4th with 11 wins, 7 draws and 4 defeats.[10] In 1955, they were reformed as Urozhay Sports Society, which united sportsmen of agricultural sphere. In 1955, Urozhay competed in Zone II of the Class B, finishing season in 10th place.[11] On 1 June 1956, the Council of Ministers of the Kazakh SSR signed a decree about merger of the Urozhay Sports Society and Republican Sports Society of Collective Farmers to found new Republican Rural Voluntary Sports Society.[6] Thereafter, Kazakh sports governing body proposed to adopt new name in recognition of the merger. Suggested names included Yeginshi (Cultivator), Tulpar (Phoenix), Onim (Harvest), Altyn Dan (Golden Grain), Kuresshi (Fighter), Dala Burkiti (Steppe Eagle) and Zhastar (The Youth).[1] On 18 June 1956, plenary session of the Council of Ministers unanimously voted for Kairat (Power), the name missing in proposals, apparently promoted by then the leader of Kazakh SSR Dinmukhamed Kunayev.[1] In July 1956, Pyotr Zenkin appointed as a new head coach.[12] Under Zenkin, Kairat spent four consecutive seasons in the Class B, showing average results on final tables.[13][14][15][16]

The Nation's Team (1960–1991)

Crest used from 1960s to early 1970s
Crest used in late 1970s to 1980s

On 21 December 1959, Soviet sports governing body adopted a resolution on expansion of Soviet Top League teams number from 12 to 22.[17] Ten Soviet republics were able to enter by one team without competition, permission which was aimed to make league status more "All-Union".[17] Kazakh side gave a spot to Kairat, who had strong lobbying from the country administration. On 10 April 1960, they played their first competitive match in the league against Admiralteyets Leningrad, with a score of 0–0.[18] On 13 May 1960, Kairat registered their first Top League victory defeating Dinamo Minsk 2–1 in away match.[19] During the season, tactical scheme of Kairat caused a lot of discussion among football specialists.[1] Team manager Nikolay Glebov adopted 4–2–4 and 4–3–3 formations, so-called Brazilian schemes, previously not used by Soviet teams.[1][20] As a result, team playing style became strictly defensive.[1][20] For this, Soviet press and fans nicknamed team defense "Kairat Concrete", an epithet which was associated with the club for the next decades.[21] In spite of this, weaknesses in the offensive part and a poor goal scoring rate led only to 18th place in their inaugural season in the top level.[22]

Kairat stayed at the top level for another three seasons. In 1963, Kairat did their best result in the Soviet Cup, reaching semi-final against Shakhtar Stalino.[23] For this accomplishment, all team members were equated the Master of Sport of the USSR rank.[24] After failure season in 1964, they relegated to the Soviet First League.[25] On 25 November 1965, they played the decisive match against Ararat Yerevan for only spot in the Top League.[26] Kairat lost the game 1–2.[26] However, this day teams managers took a telegram from Football Federation of USSR about decision on promotion of both clubs, an information hidden from players until the end of the match.[26] Kairat dropped once again to the First League at the end of the 1969 season under the management of Andrey Chen Ir Son. Chen Ir Son was replaced by Aleksandr Sevidov. He steered Kairat back to the Top League, finishing as runners-up in the 1970 Soviet First League season.[27] Next season, Sevidov left the team to head Dynamo Kiev.

The 1971 season was highly successful for the club. Under Viktor Korolkov rule, Kairat finished 8th in the Top League, a significant increase compared to previous seasons.[28] On 12 November 1971, Kairat won the European Railworks Cup, defeating Rapid Bucharest 2–1 in the final.[29] This achievement made Kairat the first Soviet team to win a European tournament.[29] In subsequent two seasons, the club kept its registry in the Top League. In 1974, under Artyom Falyan Kairat finished the season in 15th place and they were relegated once more. Next year, new head coach Vsevolod Bobrov could not get a promotion, finishing season 4th. In 1976, under the dual management of Timur Segizbayev and Stanislav Kaminskiy, the club won the Soviet First League and returned to top level.[30] The deuce of head coaches managed the team for the next two years. In the 1977 and 1978 Top League seasons, Kairat finished 8th and 12th respectively. In the 1979 season, Karat headed by the deuce of Segizbayev and Igor Volchok led the club to 13th place in the league.

In 1980, Igor Volchok, already as a sole head coach, built up the team dominantly consisted of young players.[31][32] Among them were Yevstafi Pekhlevanidi, Vakhid Masudov, Anton Shokh, Sergei Volgin, Sergei Ledovskikh and Kurban Berdyev, who became the key players of the club in the 80s.[31][32][33] Kairat finished the 1980 season in 12th place with 10 wins, 11 draws and 13 defeats.[34] For the most wins with a comeback, the team won the For the Will of Victory Prize, awarded by the Soviet Russia newspaper.[32] In the 1982 season, under Yozhef Betsa coaching, team results had been sharply declined.[35][36] Towards the end of the season Betsa was replaced by Leonid Ostroushko. However, he didn't have a time to rectify the situation and they were relegated to the First League.[35][36] In the 1986 season, Ostroushko led the club to 7th place, the best result of Kairat in the Soviet Top League. In the 1988 season, under Segizbayev rule, Kairat relegated to the First League once more. Despite this failure the team ended the season with success. On 22 November 1988, Kairat won the USSR Federation Cup.[37] In the final in Kishinev, the club beat Neftchi Baku 4–1, where all four goal scored by Kairat's forward Viktor Karachun.[37] Until the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the end of 1991, Kairat was a member of the First League, season-by-season showing decline.

First Kazakh champions and secession (1992–2000)

Crest used until 2018.

As a result of the subsequent independence of Kazakhstan, Kairat joined the newly formed Kazakhstan Premier League. Being the strongest Kazakh club at that time, Kairat was chosen as a base club to form the Kazakhstan national football team.[38] Therefore, the club manager Bakhtiyar Baiseitov also headed the national team.[38] In the inaugural season of the league, the club became champion.[39] They also reached their first double, winning Fosfor Taraz in the 1992 Kazakhstan Cup Final.[40]

Next season, Kairat records deteriorated sharply. The 11th place in the 1993 season led to dismissal of Baiseitov.[38] Following two seasons, under management of former Kairat player Kurban Berdyev Kairat finished 11th and 9th. In 1997, another Kairat veteran Vakhid Masudov led the team to their second Kazakhstan Cup success.[41] In the end of the season, Kairat had financial troubles due to financial crisis in the country. The Ministry of Defense of Kazakhstan decided to become a main sponsor and take the team under its wing.[42] However, the half of the team did not agree with the decision to be under military control.[43] As a result of disagreement, Kairat was divided into two teams, Kairat Sports and Health Professional Football Club, shortly Kairat SHPFC, and Kairat-CSKA, who took sponsorship of the state military body.[43] The last got a right to Premier League register, while Kairat SHPFC went to Kazakhstan First Division.[43] In the 1998 season, Kairat SHPFC found a sponsorship from Kazakh businessman Bulat Abilov, whose support led to Kazakhstan First Division win and promotion to Premier League.[43] Next two seasons marked the participation of both Kairats in the league. The fully crowded Central Stadium hosted their matches against each other and caused great interest but also contradictions among the fans.[43] In 2000, Kairat SHPFC won the Kazakhstan Cup, beating 5–0 Access-Golden Grain in the final.

Reunification, the second title and stagnation (2001–2009)

On 1 March 2001, Almaty Deputy Mayor Kairat Bukenov announced the reunification of two clubs.[43] Already as unified Kairat, they won two Kazakhstan Cups, in 2001 and 2003. In 2004, under the Aleksei Petrushin rule the club won their second domestic title.

At the end of the 2006 season, the main sponsor of the club Kazakhstan Temir Zholy, withdrew. This precipitated a financial troubles which lasted until the start of 2007 season. Consequently, most of the club's players switched to other teams. The club entered the 2007 season with an inexperienced, young team. In July 2007, a group of private investors took over the club and invested around 4 million US dollars in it. At the beginning of 2009, the club declared itself bankrupt and was relegated to the First Division. In November 2009, Kairat became the champion of the First Division and returned to top-flight.

Recent years (2010–present)

On 15 October 2018, Carlos Alós left Kairat by mutual consent,[44] with Andrei Karpovich being appointed as Caretaker manager.[45] On 25 November 2018, Kairat presented Aleksey Shpilevsky as their new manager.[46]


In their earlier years, Kairat played their home games at the Spartak Stadium. Building of the club's present ground Almaty Central Stadium started in 1956.[47] The initiator of the building was the then leader of the Kazakh SSR Leonid Brezhnev.[47] The location for the stadium in the square surrounded by Abay, Baitursynov, Satpayev streets and the Yesentai River was chosen by Brezhnev himself.[47] Architect Adambay Kapanov took the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow as a model for the new stadium.[48] For this and being much less than Luzhniki, the stadium later was nicknamed as the Small Luzhniki.[47] The arena was also projected with running track and the number of elements for athletic events.[47] The Central Stadium was commissioned in 1958. However, the first official match was held here on 10 April 1960. On this day, Kairat played their debut match in the Soviet Top League against Admiralteyets Leningrad, which ended with a score of 0–0. Initially, the stadium benches seated around 35,000 people.[49] In 1997, the stadium was renovated.[50] As a result of old wood benches being replaced by individual plastic chairs, the capacity was reduced to 23,804 seats.

During the Soviet period, the Central stadium was a state property. After independence of Kazakhstan, the stadium was owned by the City Council of Almaty. In 2015, the stadium was transferred to the ownership of Kairat for exchange of 30% of shares of the club.


First team squad

As of 3 September 2020.[51]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK Kazakhstan KAZ Stas Pokatilov
2 DF Kazakhstan KAZ Sergey Keiler
3 DF Belarus BLR Dzyanis Palyakow
4 DF Kazakhstan KAZ Nuraly Alip
5 DF Kazakhstan KAZ Gafurzhan Suyumbayev
6 MF Poland POL Jacek Góralski
7 FW Kazakhstan KAZ Abat Aimbetov
8 MF Kazakhstan KAZ Aybol Abiken
9 FW Brazil BRA Vágner Love
11 FW Ukraine UKR Aderinsola Eseola
13 MF Armenia ARM Kamo Hovhannisyan
15 DF Kazakhstan KAZ Nurlan Dairov
17 FW Kazakhstan KAZ Sultan Astanov
No. Pos. Nation Player
18 MF Poland POL Konrad Wrzesiński
19 FW Kazakhstan KAZ Artur Shushenachev
20 DF Serbia SRB Rade Dugalić
21 MF Kazakhstan KAZ Yerkebulan Tungyshbayev
22 MF Montenegro MNE Nebojša Kosović
23 FW Kazakhstan KAZ Vyacheslav Shvyrev
24 DF Croatia CRO Dino Mikanović
27 MF Kyrgyzstan KGZ Gulzhigit Alykulov
28 FW Kazakhstan KAZ Rifat Nurmugamet
29 MF Kazakhstan KAZ Daniyar Usenov
30 GK Kazakhstan KAZ Danil Ustimenko
75 DF Kazakhstan KAZ Alexandr Shirobokov

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
FW Kazakhstan KAZ Yerkebulan Seydakhmet (at Zhetysu)
MF Russia RUS Kirill Kolesnichenko (at Rotor Volgograd)

For recent transfers, see 2020 FC Kairat season.

Non-playing staff


Position Staff
Chairman of the Board Kazakhstan Kairat Boranbayev
Member of the Board Kazakhstan Malik Kushaliyev
General Director Kazakhstan Alisher Apsalyamov
Technical Director Kazakhstan Yevgeni Krassikov
Director of Academy Russia Dmitri Galiamin

Last updated: 2 September 2017
Source: FC Kairat

Coaching staff

Position Staff
Manager Belarus Aleksey Shpilevsky
Assistant Manager Germany Tommy Jähnigen
First Team Goalkeeping Coach Kazakhstan Oleg Voskoboynikov
First Team Rehabilitologist Brazil Felipe Coimbra Meira
First Team Doctor Kazakhstan Alexander Kornilov
First Team Massagist Kazakhstan Georgi Mikhailov
First Team Massagist Kazakhstan Dmitri Nikolayev
First Team Administrator Kazakhstan Ramil Yussupov
First Team Administrator Kazakhstan Victor Pavlenok

Last updated: 15 October 2018
Source: FC Kairat

Notable managers

The following managers won at least one trophy when in charge of Kairat:

Name Period Trophies
Soviet Union Viktor Korolkov 1971–1972 European Railworks Cup
Soviet Union Stanislav Kaminsky 1976–1978 Soviet First League
Soviet Union Leonid Ostroushko 1983–1986 Soviet First League
Kazakhstan Bakhtiyar Baiseitov 1992–1993 Kazakhstan Premier League, Kazakhstan Cup
Kazakhstan Vakhid Masudov 1996–1998 Kazakhstan Cup
Kazakhstan Vladimir Nikitenko 1999–2000 Kazakhstan Cup
Kazakhstan Vakhid Masudov 2001 Kazakhstan Cup
Kazakhstan Leonid Ostroushko 2003 Kazakhstan Cup
Russia Aleksei Petrushin 2004–2005 Kazakhstan Premier League
Slovakia Vladimír Weiss 2012–2015 Kazakhstan Cup
Georgia (country) Kakhaber Tskhadadze 2016–2017 2 Kazakhstan Super Cups
Spain Carlos Alós Ferrer 2017–2018 Kazakhstan Cup


Winners (2): 1992, 2004
Winners (1): 2009
Winners (2): 1976, 1983
Winners (9): 1992, 1996–97, 1999–2000, 2001, 2003, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 (record)
Winners (2): 2016, 2017
Winners (1): 1988


Recent seasons

The season-by-season performance of the club over the last ten years:

Season League Rank P W D L F A GD Pts Cup EL CL
2009 First 1 26 19 4 3 63 21 38 42 1R
2010 Premier 10 32 6 11 15 17 38 −21 29 3R
2011 Premier 11 32 8 8 16 30 49 −19 22 QF
2012 Premier 10 26 7 8 11 23 34 −11 29 2R
2013 Premier 3 32 12 12 8 44 38 6 33 2R
2014 Premier 3 32 18 5 9 58 31 27 38 Won 2QR
2015 Premier 2 32 20 7 5 60 19 41 45 Won PO
2016 Premier 2 32 22 5 5 75 30 45 71 Runner-up 2QR
2017 Premier 2 33 23 5 5 78 32 46 74 Won 2QR
2018 Premier 2 33 19 5 9 60 33 27 62 Won 3QR
2019 Premier 2 33 22 2 9 65 32 33 68 QF 2QR

Rank = Rank in the league; P = Played; W = Win; D = Draw; L = Loss; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points; Cup = Kazakhstan Cup; EL = UEFA Europa League; CL = UEFA Champions League.
in = Still in competition; – = Not attended; 1R = 1st round; 2R = 2nd round; 3R = 3rd round; 1QR = 1st qualifying round; 2QR = 2nd qualifying round; 3QR = 3rd qualifying round; PO = Play-off round; GS = Group stage; R16 = Round of sixteen; QF = Quarter-finals; SF = Semi-finals.

European record

Until the Football Union of Kazakhstan joined UEFA in 2002, the club took part in the Asian Cup Winners' Cup twice in 1997–98 and 2000–01. On the last occasion, they had their best result reaching the quarterfinal, which was lost to the Iranian Esteghlal by the aggregate score of 0–3.

As of match played 27 August 2020
Competition Played Won Drew Lost GF GA GD Win%
UEFA Champions League 2 1 0 1 3 4 −1 050.00
UEFA Cup / UEFA Europa League 35 17 6 12 57 36 +21 048.57
Total 37 18 6 13 60 41 +19 048.65

Legend: GF = Goals For. GA = Goals Against. GD = Goal Difference.

Season Competition Round Club Home Away Aggregate
2002–03 UEFA Cup QR Serbia Red Star Belgrade 0–2 0–3 0–5 Symbol delete vote.svg
2005–06 UEFA Champions League 1QR Slovakia Artmedia Bratislava 2–0 1–4 (aet) 3–4 Symbol delete vote.svg
2006–07 UEFA Cup 1QR Hungary Fehervar 2–1 0–1 2–2 (a) Symbol delete vote.svg
2014–15 UEFA Europa League 1QR Albania Kukësi 1–0 0–0 1–0 Symbol keep vote.svg
2QR Denmark Esbjerg 1–1 0–1 1–2 Symbol delete vote.svg
2015–16 UEFA Europa League 1QR Serbia Red Star Belgrade 2–1 2–0 4–1 Symbol keep vote.svg
2QR Armenia Alashkert 3–0 1–2 4–2 Symbol keep vote.svg
3QR Scotland Aberdeen 2–1 1–1 3–2 Symbol keep vote.svg
PO France Bordeaux 2–1 0–1 2–2 (a) Symbol delete vote.svg
2016–17 UEFA Europa League 1QR Albania Teuta 5–0 1–0 6–0 Symbol keep vote.svg
2QR Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv 1–1 1–2 2–3 Symbol delete vote.svg
2017–18 UEFA Europa League 1QR Lithuania Atlantas 6–0 2–1 8–1 Symbol keep vote.svg
2QR Albania Skënderbeu 1–1 0–2 1–3 Symbol delete vote.svg
2018–19 UEFA Europa League 1QR Andorra Engordany 7–1 3–0 10–1 Symbol keep vote.svg
2QR Netherlands AZ Alkmaar 2–0 1–2 3–2 Symbol keep vote.svg
3QR Czech Republic Sigma Olomouc 1–2 0–2 1–4 Symbol delete vote.svg
2019–20 UEFA Europa League 1QR Bosnia and Herzegovina Široki Brijeg 2–1 2–1 4–2 Symbol keep vote.svg
2QR Israel Hapoel Be'er Sheva 1–1 0–2 1–3 Symbol delete vote.svg
2020–21 UEFA Europa League 1QR Armenia Noah 4–1 N/A N/A Symbol keep vote.svg
2QR Israel Maccabi Haifa N/A N/A

QR = Qualifying round; 1QR = 1st qualifying round; 2QR = 2nd qualifying round; 3QR = 3rd qualifying round; PO = Play-off round.

UEFA coefficient

The following list ranks the current position of Kairat in UEFA club ranking:

Rank Team Points
271 Belarus Neman Grodno 3.725
272 Belarus Minsk 3.725
273 Kazakhstan Kairat 3.625
274 Kazakhstan Irtysh Pavlodar 3.625
275 Kazakhstan Ordabasy 3.625

As of 1 June 2018.[52]

Top goalscorers

As of match played 9 August 2018
Name Years League Cup Super Cup Europe Total
1 Soviet Union Yevstafi Pekhlevanidi 1980–89 94 11 105
2 Ivory Coast Gerard Gohou 2014–2017 80 8 11 99
3 Kazakhstan Alibek Buleshev 2000–06, 2007–08 77 12 1 90
4 Soviet Union Sergey Kvochkin 1960–69 75 6 81
4 Soviet Union Anatoly Ionkin 1972–78 64 4 68
6 Soviet UnionKazakhstan Sergei Volgin 1980–85, 1986–89, 1992 42 20 62
7 Soviet Union Leonid Ostroushko 1954–57, 1959–67 56 2 58
8 Kazakhstan Bauyrzhan Islamkhan 2014–present 43 8 6 57
9 Soviet Union Sergei Stukashov 1977–84 52 5 57
10 Soviet UnionKazakhstan Sergey Klimov 1978–80, 1986, 1989–92, 1996–2000 28 27 55


On 29 January 2015 it was announced that Kairat had partnered with the Primeira Liga team Sporting CP to cooperate in terms of exchange of skills and knowledge, scouting and training camps for the Kairat Academy players in the Sporting CP Youth and Academy.


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