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Kazakhstan Hands Wooden Spoon to Latvia

13 Oct

Kazakhstan pulled off a sensational victory in Riga last night to condemn Latvia to last place in their UEFA 2016  European Championship qualifying group.

Islambek Kuat’s 65th-minute goal was enough to see off the Latvians and ensure that Kazakhstan edged their former Soviet Union rivals on goal difference in Group A. The win was Kazakhstan’s first in this round of qualification matches and means it avoided the wooden spoon which is now in Latvia’s hands.

The Czech Republic headed the group followed by Iceland. Turkey also qualified for the finals in France next summer as the best third-placed  team. The Netherlands could only finish fourth in the group and will not be going to the finals.

The win comes at a time when Kazakhstan’s all-powerful Nazarbayev clan are sniffing around the national football federation. President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s grandson, Aisultan Nazarbayev, made his case for the top job in football in Kazakhstan in an interview with to Sports.kz last week citing his extensive soccer experience.

Aisultan Nazarbayev, the son of the president’s eldest daughter Dariga Nazarbayeva and Rakhat Aliyev, who committed suicide  in an Austrian prison cell earlier this year while on remand facing murder and kidnapping charges.  Aliyev was a former head of Kazakhstan’s football federation so Aisultan Nazarbayev would be following in his father’s footsteps if he gets the nod for the job.

Kazakhstan: Sparks Expected to Fly at Astana Mediafest

23 Apr

This year’s edition of the Eurasian Media Forum, to be held in Astana April 24-25, has attracted an eclectic range of guest speakers including America’s Newt Gingrich, Egypt’s  Mohamed El Baradei, Israel’s Ehud Barak, Russia’s Vladimir Pozner and Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Cemiliev.

With topics to be debated including ‘The Middle East Tinderbox’ , the ‘Ukraine Crisis: What do Ukrainian  People Expect and Fear?’ and ‘Eurasian Integration’, kazaxia is expecting some sparks to fly at this year’s forum.

Mustafa Cemiliev, an outspoken critic of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, was recently barred from visiting Russia for five years. Vladimir Pozner is known as a spokesperson for the Soviet Union during the First Cold War.

The media forum is the brainchild of Dariga Nazarbayeva, eldest daughter of President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Nazarbayeva recently hit the headlines for making disparaging remarks about disabled people in Kazakhstan, labelling them as ‘freaks’. The forum brings together a range of figures from across the globe and is now in its eighth incarnation.

Dariga Nazarbayeva – Queen of the Freaks

13 Dec

Whoops – President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s eldest daughter, Dariga, put her foot in it in a spectacular fashion on 11 December when she described disabled children as “freaks”.

Nazarbayeva suggested that teenage pregnancies could be discouraged by arranging school visits to orphanages for children with disabilities – in her strange world these “freaks”, as she refers to the unfortunate inhabitants of the orphanages, are linked to ” an unreasoned, premature sex life”.

Dariga – Queen of the Freaks?

Maybe compulsory viewing in schools of Kazakhstan’s Queen of the Freaks in action would be enough to put people off ever having kids. Dariga would be well-advised to watch Tod Browning’s 1932 classic “Freaks” to see what fate could await her if she continues to make disparaging comments about others.