Founded In
Almatı (Almaty), Kazakhstan


About Kairat

Football Club Kairat Almaty, sometimes known more simply as Kairat, was founded in 1954 as Lokomotiv Almaty. The team first adopted its current name in 1956 and have held onto it ever since. Throughout the years, Kairat have competed in the league systems of both the USSR and Kazakhstan, experiencing some degree of success in both. In addition to the football team, the club also operates a highly successful futsal team.

During the Soviet era, Kairat were by far the most successful Kazakh team. Indeed, they were the only Kazakh side to win the Soviet First League, the country's second tier, and were also the only Kazakh team to ever reach the country's higest level, the Soviet Top League. In total, they completed 24 seasons in the top division, which was a record for any Central Asian club. Their highest league finish came in 1986, when they ended the campaign in seventh place. In 1988, they lifted the USSR Federation Cup.

Since the formation of the Kazakhstan Premier League, the team have added more major honours to their collection. They were crowned as the country's first ever league champions in 1992 and then added a second league title in 2004. Kairat have also won the Kazakhstan Cup five times, with those wins coming in 1992, 1996, 1999, 2001 and 2003. 

However, in addition to their successes, the team have also experienced their share of tribulations. At the end of the 2006 season, Kazakhstan Temir Zholy withdrew their sponsorship from the club, causing a financial crisis which culminated in Kairat declaring bankruptcy in 2009. As a result, they were relegated to the second tier for the 2009 season. Fortunately they were able to bounce back to the Premier League at the first attempt.

Kairat's home matches are held at Almaty Central Stadium, which opened in 1958 and previously housed the Kazakhstan national football team. It is currently able to hold a maximum of 23,804 supporters.