Tajiks riot in football match with president`s son

At least 12 people were injured when Tajik football fans clashed in the southeast of the country.

Dushanbe: At least 12 people were injured when Tajik football fans clashed in the southeast of the country following a match involving the president`s son, officials said on Wednesday.

Fans of the two clubs clashed after local team Ravshan lost 1-0 to Istiklol of the Tajik capital Dushanbe where Rustami Emomali, the eldest son of Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, plays as a striker.

"Twelve people were wounded, and 20 more of the most active hooligans have been detained," ministry spokesman Makhmadullo Asadulloyev said after the disturbances in the town of Kulyab following the match Tuesday evening.
Emomali, who is one of the club`s creators and sponsors, played in the match but was not harmed, police said. Reports said he was whisked away as the violence broke out.

The 23-year-old is also the head of the anti-smuggling department at the Tajik customs.

Ravshan fans threw "rocks, bricks, and plastic benches" from the seats in protest after they considered the winning goal to be have been scored from offside, Asadulloyev said.

"Police forces used tear gas as well as stun grenades," said Asadulloyev. "Hundreds of fans threw rocks at the guests` expensive cars, breaking several windows."

Police ended up escorting the visitors back to Dushanbe, about 200 kilometers away.

The clash between football fans was the first of its kind in Tajikistan, the poorest of the former Soviet republics, is a mostly mountainous nation of seven million people on the border with Afghanistan and western China.

Bureau Report

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