Nail Nurov has been appointed as directory of Almaty 2017 ©FISU

Almaty 2017 have made a crucial appointment in the build-up to next year’s Winter Universiade as Nail Nurov has been selected as the director of the Organising Directorate.

Nurov joins from his previous role as Head of the Physical Culture and Sport Department in Almaty.

The 49-year-old, a graduate of Kazakhstan Institute of Physical Culture in Almaty, will have a key role to play ahead of the event as preparations enter a critical stage.

Nurov will be tasked with leading the Organising Directorate, including overseeing construction progress at venues for the Universiade, which runs from January 29 to February 8.

He has held numerous roles within sport, such as the head of the Organising Committee for the Asian Games in 2011, which were jointly hosted by Almaty and Kazakh capital Astana.

The law specialist will be hoping to use his extensive experience to help the city in hosting the International University Sports Federation (FISU) Winter Universiade.

Nurov will work alongside the existing members of the Organising Directorate, including Abilkhaiyr Nurzhan, deputy director on sports and deputy director for finance Bakytzhan Sadykov.

Nail Nurov will be tasked with overseeing preparations as the build-up to the event reaches their critical stage
Nail Nurov will be tasked with overseeing preparations as the build-up to the event reaches its critical stage ©Almaty 2017

Almaty 2017 have endured a difficult time of late after their budget was slashed by nearly 50 per cent in January.

The reduction has raised concern about completing construction at competition venues on time for the event as it has forced tender processes to be delayed, according to FISU secretary general Eric Saintrond.

The decision was taken to slash costs surrounding the 2017 Winter Universiade from 32 billion tenge (£66 million/$94 million/€83 million) to 17 billion tenge (£35 million/$50 million/€44 million) due to fears over Kazkahstan’s economy.

Economy analysts at the turn of the year predicted the country will suffer its first negative growth in nearly two decades in 2016.

Almaty 2017 had remained confident preparations would be unaffected, despite the cutbacks, and promised venues would be finished by August 30, prior to their opening next year as part of Almaty’s millennial anniversary.