This is the home stadium of Uzbekistan’s FK Dinamo Samarqand, the (now) all-seater 16,000 capacity Dinamo Stadium built in 1963. At the time of my visit in 2010 renovations had not yet taken place, as a result the pictures shown here are from a time when the stadium’s capacity was 13,820.

Like the stadiums of fellow “Dinamo” teams (supported by the secret police in Soviet times) across the former USSR this one also boasts the stylized “D” of Dinamo in the classic blue and white–Chisinau’s Stadionul Dinamo and Kiev’s Dinamo Stadium are a few other examples.

FC Dinamo Samarqand were founded in 1960 and have gone through an amazing twelve name changes. This is currently the team’s fourth incarnation as FC Dinamo. Despite being a relatively old team (for Uzbekistan) they have not achieved great success in the Uzbek leagues. They’ve been relegated twice from the country’s top league but have since achieved relative stability as a mid-table side in the country’s highest league, the Uzbekistan Professional Football League. The Arslonlar, or lions, have yet to win any silverware in Uzbekistan. As a fan of the fellow Aslanlar of Galatasaray I’m hoping this changes soon.

 

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Renovations were starting to get underway upon my visit.

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DИНАМО Written in Cyrillic Script in the Stands:

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A Classic Soviet-Era bowl, similar to the demolished Chisinau Republican Stadium, complete with running track.

 

Also, a few bonus shots of pick up soccer in the shadows of Samarkand’s old city and the Bibi Khanom Mosque, completed in 1404. It wasn’t the only pick up game I saw in my Central Asian Journey:

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The Beauties of Samarkand:

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Football in the Shadows of the Bibi Khanom in Normal Color and Sepia:

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A Believer Strolls Nonchalantly Through the Afternoon Match