Tag Archives: football

Football Game in Tajikistan Ends in Massive Brawl

A football match in the northern Tajik town of Istaravshan had to be abandoned after a massive brawl broke out on the pitch. This post rounds up netizen reactions to the incident. Read on Global Voices Online >>

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Filed under Sports, Tajikistan

President’s Son Named Tajikistan Football Chief

The eldest son of Tajik President Emomali Rahmon keeps trying on new hats. A panel tasked with selecting a president for Tajikistan’s Football (soccer) Federation (FFT) voted unanimously today for Rustam Emomali. This seems to be a great birthday present for Rustam, who turned 24 on December 19. Rustam previously served as vice-president of the FFT and oversaw the national football team.

Well, football is actually something that Rustam Emomali has to understand very well. He is the founder of the football club Istiqlol Dushanbe, and has both played for the team as striker and served as its captain. The club won the national championship twice over the last two years (with some fans suggesting that part of the club’s success had to do with favorable refereeing).

Hopefully, the responsibilities that come with the new post will not add too much load on Rustam, who is already pretty busy. The Tajik president’s son is in charge of fighting illegal activity as part of the Customs Service. He is also head of Tajikistan’s Youth Union and a member of the Olympic Council of Asia’s International Relations committee. In the past, Rustam headed a department at the State Committee for Investments and State Property Management and held a seat in the Dushanbe City Council.
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Filed under Authoritarianism, Nepotism, Sports, Tajikistan

Tajik President’s Son to Oversee the National Football Team

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon’s oldest son, Rustam Emomali, has been appointed to supervise the national football (soccer) team ahead of the qualifying tournament for the 2014 World Cup. Tajikistan will play in the second round of qualifiers despite losing 6-1 on aggregate to Syria earlier in the year. Following the defeat, Tajikistan wrote to FIFA requesting an investigation into whether Syria’s striker George Mourad, who had played and scored in both games against Tajikistan, was eligible to play for Syria.  Mourad had previously played for Sweden’s Under-21 team in 2003 and the national team in 2005. On August 19, FIFA ruled to disqualify Syria from the 2014 World Cup and reinstate Tajikistan into the competition. Tajikistan has replaced Syria in Group C of Asia, which Tajik commentators have already dubbed ‘The Group of Death,’ qualifying along with Japan, Uzbekistan and North Korea.

Rustam’s appointment is hardly surprising given the 23-year-old’s passion for football. The Tajik leader’s son owns a football club, which won the national championship in 2010 and appears set to repeat its success this year, and has long played for the club as a striker. As Emomali Rahmon began speeding up Rustam’s political career, allegedly in a bid to prepare him to succeed his father in office, Rustam stopped playing football professionally but was appointed as Vice-President of the country’s Football Federation in late 2010. Anyways, this appointment is much less controversial than Rustam’s previous promotions as head of department in the State Committee for Investments and State Property Management, deputy chief of Youth Movement, member of Dushanbe City Legislature and, most recently, head of the Customs Service’s department to fight illegal activity (a job that comes with the rank of a major).

Rustam has already appointed Istiqlol’s coach, Alimjon Rafiqov, as acting national coach. The Tajik national team’s former manager, Pulod Qodirov, resigned in August after his team was defeated by Syria.

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Filed under Political succession, Sports, Tajikistan