Accessibility links

Breaking News

Tajik Soccer Fans Detained After Rioting In Dushanbe

DUSHANBE -- Some 40 fans of the Ravshan soccer club have been detained in Dushanbe for rioting after their team's victory in the country's top soccer league, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.
Game referee Rahmon Murtazoev said the rioting started after fans left the capital city's Politekhnicum Stadium where Ravshan -- which is in second place in Tajikistan's Premier League -- defeated CSKA Pamir 3-2.
Tohir Normatov, the Interior Ministry's chief of staff, told RFE/RL on June 23 that hundreds of Ravshan fans went into the streets of Dushanbe shouting slogans and throwing rocks at police and parked cars.
Normatov said nobody was injured in the rampage and the damage was limited, with some car windows being smashed.
The violence involving fans from Ravshan, based in the southern city of Kulob, is the second such incident in the past 10 days.
On June 14, Ravshan supporters in Kulob were involved in a unruly behavior when their team lost to first place Istiqlol Dushanbe, the team upon which Tajik President Emomali Rahmon's son -- Rustam Emomali -- is the team captain and co-owner.
Riots broke out after angry fans accused the referees of favoring Istiqlol Dushanbe and allowing a questionable late goal that gave Istiqlol Dushanbe the important win over its second-place rivals. Ravshan fans attacked the police guarding the field and threw stones and other objects at the game's referees.
Fans left the stadium and attacked the Istiqlol team bus, players' cars, and even firefighters and ambulances near the stadium.
The disciplinary committee of the Tajik Football Federation fined the Ravshan club for Kulob riot some 3,000 somonis ($550) and disqualified the team from playing its next five home games, instead playing in a stadium some 100 kilometers outside of Kulob.
Tajik military analyst Abdullo Habibov told RFE/RL today it is possible that some political forces want to use the energy of soccer fans for their own benefit against Rahmon's regime.
But another Tajikistan analyst, Sayfullo Safarov, said young fans are simply showing their happiness in the rowdy celebration. He added it is unfortunately true of soccer fans all around the world.