Kazakhstan enjoy cultural learnings

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Kazakhstan coach Bernd Storck has let his players shop at Harrods and go sight-seeing this week - but he has warned them not to treat the clash at Wembley as a day out.

Storck has made wholesale changes to his squad to face England and has told his players not to be overawed by Fabio Capello's stars, to such an extent that he does not want them swapping shirts on the pitch with the likes of Wayne Rooney and David Beckham at the end of the World Cup qualifier.

"If they look to change shirts straight away I will be upset," he said. "The players that go to Rooney or Beckham straight after the final whistle would never play again."

Nothing is expected other than an England win but the Kazakhstan Football Federation have a long-term plan to reach the 2016 European Championships and Storck is blooding youngsters to give them experience.

The hope is that the country can shake off its association with Borat - the role played by Sacha Baron Cohen as a Kazakh travelling through America.

"The Borat film is nonsense, it is not like Kazakhstan," Storck said. "This is not the character of Kazakhstan's people. We are a serious country and are not to be compared with the film.

"Kazakhstan is a very big country with very nice people. It's a rich country with oil and gas, we have 15.5million people there."

Storck is in charge on an interim basis following Arno Pijpers' dismissal, and the German-born former Borussia Dortmund player admits it is the biggest game of his career.

He also described the clash as the biggest game for the country, as their home matches normally draw crowds of 1,000 in Almaty. There is limited coverage of football in Kazakhstan - but the clash against England will be televised.

"We have only two or three newspapers in the week, people don't hear about football, the game against Croatia wasn't even shown on TV," he said. "Even if we pulled off a big result not many people in Kazakhstan would know about it, I hope people will wake up after the match and it will bring more people into the stadiums."

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