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POLITICAL FOOTBALL

Legendary Argentinian midget coke-head and one time cheating football genius Diego Maradona just popped up in Chechnya of all places. He was there to captain a team of ex-international footballers in an exhibition match against a team lead by Chechen president, Ramzan Kadyrov.

Kadyrov has been ruling the Russian republic as an Islamic dictatorship, with the backing of the Kremlin, since 2007. His father Akhmad Kadyrov was also president until he was assassinated by his former rebel comrades in 2004. Although violence is much lower than during the Chechen Wars it has come at a price - civil rights activists are routinely “disappeared” and strict Islamic laws imposed on its populace.

Some of the posters of Kadyrov which swamp Grozny display the slogan, “Sport is our Power, Victory is our aim” - yet the visiting superstars somehow seemed blissfully unaware of their role, with (despite being a broadsheet journo) non-too-bright ex-England winger Steve McManamanaman saying “We’re just here to play football... It’s not a piece of propaganda for us.”- er no, but it is for them Steve!

In case you wondered, the home side won 5-2 - helped by a surely unscripted hero’s hat-trick by President Kadyrov himself. Fancy footwork. No word on how much Maradona & Co. were paid, or where the money came from though.



 

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