Football is the most popular sport in Uzbekistan
, a country that gained independence in 1991. The national association takes part in all competitions organised by FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation. Uzbekistani football celebrated its greatest day in 1994, when the national team won the Asian Games at a time when the country was just finding its feet after gaining independence. But in 2003, the national association enjoyed more success: for the first time, the country's U-20 team qualified for the FIFA World Youth Championship, to be held in the UAE. Berador Abduraimov is the most famous Uzbekistani footballer. He played for Pakhtakor Tashkent and also represented the Soviet Union.