KULOB, June 25, 2011, Asia-Plus -- The Kulob city court has issued arrest warrants for three instigators of a soccer fans riot that broke out in Kulob on June 14 after the top soccer league match between Ravshan from Kulob and Istiqlol from Dushanbe.

The source at the Kulob police department says the law enforcement authorities established the main instigators through watching videos from the scene of action and questioning hundreds of witnesses.  “May be the court will confine itself to imposing administrative action upon them or putting them on probation, but the main objective is to show that any act of hooliganism will not go unpunished,” the source said.

According to him, the riot left at least 27 persons, including 9 law enforcement officers, injured; four of them were hospitalized. 

Istiqlol won 1-0 and some of Ravshan fans believed the referees in the match were biased.  The winning strike came in the final minutes of the game and some Ravshan fans claimed offside should have been whistled and the goal should not have counted.  As the game ended, Ravshan fans poured into the streets, fighting with Istiqlol supporters and local police officers and damaging cars.  Police used tear gas and percussion grenades to disperse the crowd.

The disciplinary committee of the Tajik Football Federation fined the Ravshan club for Kulob riot some 3,000 somoni and disqualified the team from playing its next five home games, instead playing in a stadium some 100 kilometers outside of Kulob.

We will recall that violence involving Ravshan fans, took in Dushanbe on June 22.  Some 40 fans of the Ravshan soccer club were reportedly detained after their team defeated CSKA-Pamir from Dushanbe 3-2.  Tohir Normatov, chief of the Interior Ministry staff, told Asia-Plus that hundreds of Ravshan fans went into the streets of Dushanbe shouting slogans and throwing stones at police and parked cars.  According to him, nobody was injured in the rampage and the damage was limited, with some car windows being smashed.