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.
Rustam is ninth on the list of the top 20 most influential people in Tajikistan, which was recently compiled by the country’s leading political newspaper Asia-Plus.
As the country’s new football chief, Rustam replaces civil war-era field commander Suhrob Kosimov (aka Suhrob Kamandir), who held the position since 2002. Kosimov, who did not run for the position (and against Rustam) this year, has been named an “honorary” president of the Federation.