Stadiums are not ghost in Kazakhstan, neither are football fans
When Celtic was getting ready to go to Kazakhstan to play the first leg match against Shakhter FC the European media was writing about poor Celtic having to play at a ghost stadium, implying that there are no football fans in Kazakhstan or that football is underdeveloped in the country and stadiums are not getting enough audience during matches.
The 30-thouthand-people-long line for tickets to Aktobe vs. Dinamo football match in Aktobe city in western Kazakhstan should help disperse these misconceptions.
The Euro League final qualification match was held on August 22 and the Kazakhstan team unfortunately lost to their Ukrainian rival Dinamo. However the line does confirm that the stadium was far from being a “ghost” one (same as during the match between Celtic and Shakhter in Astana, by the way).
Shakhter’s 2:0 victory over Celtic in the first leg match should serve proof enough that Kazakhstan clubs can play football and score goals. Kazakhstan football clubs may not be as advanced as the European ones (Celtic is a Scottish club), but Karaganda city’s Shakhter was advanced enough to nail two goals, not one, into the Celtic’s goalposts and not miss any, so no one can say it was an accident.
Shakhter FC is a Karaganda city football club. Karaganda is considered the mining capital of Kazakhstan and Shakhter literary means “miner” in Russian.
Here is a short video of football fans in Almaty watching the second leg match between Shakhter and Celtic in a pub. To the disappointment of the fans the Kazakhstan football club lost to Scottish Celtic 2:3 by the total score of two matches.