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Kazakhstan FA vice-president Aisultan Nazarbayev admits battle with drugs

One of Kazakhstan's top football officials has admitted he had been in a battle with drug addiction.

Aisultan Nazarbayev, who is vice-president of the football federation, has shocked the country by posting the confession on his Facebook page.

Nazarbayev -- the 27-year-old grandson of the country's president, Nursultan Nazarbayev -- has attracted a large following over his views on developing football in Kazakhstan in the last few years.

"My experience of the horrible mistake I made, before realising and managing to conquer it, could not stay as my private secret," he told ESPN FC. "I know how much people who gave up on drugs are afraid to stay in isolation. They need a helping hand. I've had my rehab by going through the 12 Steps program of Narcotics Anonymous and have got plenty ideas of how to help people out.

"I'm sure it is football that can play a fantastic role in a social adaptation of former drug addicts. Football is the biggest family in the world -- it can unite those who are in need of it and I know that it can save so many people not just in Kazakhstan but all over the planet."

Nazarbayev was on trial at Chelsea in the summer of 2006 and spent the 2006-07 season with Portsmouth's youth side before switching to education and graduating from the Sandhurst Royal Military Academy in 2010.

Upon returning to Kazakhstan, he started his career as a football official and is now serving as vice-president at the FA and a member of the UEFA's HatTrick Committee.

Artur Petrosyan is a Russian journalist based in Moscow. Twitter: @arturpetrosyan

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