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 state news agency RIA Novosti. 

Bilyaletdinov, who made 59 appearances for English club Everton, is a Russian national and member of the country’s Tatar ethnic minority group.

“Diniyar really received a summons. It’s hard to talk about emotions, because he didn’t serve, although he did military service, but it was specific, with a sports bias. That was 19 years ago,” the player’s father said. 

Rinat Bilyaletdinov argued that his son was incorrectly summoned as he is older than the cutoff age.

“The law still says – to call people up to 35 years old, and he is 37, so there is some kind of inconsistency. Now it will be found out whether this agenda is correct or it was sent early. Anything can happen. If there was a general mobilization, then ask questions. In the meantime, the president has established a partial one, everything should be in accordance with the law,” he said.  

Some background: Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the immediate “partial mobilization” of Russian citizens, in an effort to bolster the Kremlin’s faltering invasion, following Ukraine’s gains in an ongoing counteroffensive. 

As part of the mobilization efforts, Russia will call up 300,000 reservists, according to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. 

Putin moved to amend the country’s Criminal Code over the weekend and strengthen punishments relating to military service during times of mobilization, martial law or wartime, with Russians who fail to report for duty now facing up 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 matches for the Russian national team, scoring six goals and helping them win the bronze medal in the Euro championship in 2008.


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