Former Premier League soccer star Diniyar Bilyaletdinov has received a summons from Russia’s military registration and enlistment office, his father, Rinat Bilyaletdinov, told Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
Bilyaletdinov, who made 59 appearances for English club Everton, is a Russian national and a member of the country’s Tatar ethnic minority.
“Diniyar really received a summons. It’s hard to talk about emotions, because he didn’t serve, although he did his military service, but it was specific, with a sporting bias. It was 19 years ago,” the player’s father said.
Rinat Bilyaletdinov argued that her son was wrongly summoned because he was over the age limit.
“The law always says – call people up to 35, and he’s 37, so there’s kind of an inconsistency. Now it will be found out if this agenda is correct or if it was sent earlier. Everything can happen. If there was a general mobilization, then ask questions. In the meantime, the president has established a partial one, everything must be in accordance with the law,” he said.
A bit of context: Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the immediate “partial mobilization” of Russian citizens, in support of the faltering invasion of the Kremlin, following Ukraine’s gains in an ongoing counteroffensive.
As part of mobilization efforts, Russia will call up 300,000 reservists, according to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
Putin moved to change the country’s Penal Code over the weekend and toughen penalties for military service in times of mobilization, martial law or war, Russians who don’t show up for work now risk up to to 10 years in prison under the new regulations.
Diniyar Bilyaletdinov joined Everton in 2009 and played with the English Premier League side for three seasons. He played 46 games for the Russian national team, scoring six goals and helping them win the bronze medal at the European Championship in 2008.