Thursday, April 26, 2012 -
The son of the Tajik president is thought to be the force behind sanctions placed on a popular Tajik football team, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported on Thursday.
Five players from Ravshan Kulob have received penalties on Sunday following the team’s victory over Istiqlol Dushanbe on April 19. Istiqlol Dushanbe was founded by Tajik President Emomali Rahmon’s son, Rustam, who is also heads the Football Federation of Tajikistan (FFT).
Ravshan Kulob defeated Istiqlol Dushanbe by a score of 1-0, but players and the chairman of Ravshan Kulob cried foul on the referring almost immediately.
“In the first half [of the match], Istiqlol players also played violently but the referee did not punish them,” team chairman Bahrom Rustamov said at a press conference.
“The federation punished our coach because he touched the hand of the referee, but Istiqlol players did worse things and nobody penalized them.”
Ravshan captain Safarali Karimov received the toughest punishment after being given a red card on the pitch.
“I played for five years in Regar Tadaz and never received a red card,” he said. “They should check the history of a player when they want to punish him.”
Karimov will also have to pay over $1,000 in fines. Four other players also received penalties of $100 each.