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Kazakh Lawmakers Pass Bill Obliging Athletes To Learn National Anthem

The upper chamber of Kazakhstan's parliament, the Senate, has approved a wide-ranging bill on physical culture and sports that, among other provisions, requires Kazakh athletes to learn the country’s national anthem.

The issue of the Kazakh national anthem has been discussed by lawmakers for some time after outdated or even fake anthems were played to represent Kazakh athletes at international and domestic sporting events.

The most scandalous case was in March 2012, when a spoof of the Kazakh national anthem from the 2006 satiric film "Borat" was played while Kazakh champion Maria Dmitrienko received a gold medal in the Amir of Kuwait International Shooting Grand Prix in Kuwait.

Dmitrienko did not appear to realize the anthem was not authentic.

The Kuwaiti organizers of the ceremony had to issue an official apology after Kazakh authorities protested the blunder.

Based on reporting by AKIpress and Interfax