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Spy chief to run Kyrgyzstan’s football body

Kyrgyzstan’s spy chief Kamchybek Tashiev is set to head the Central Asian country’s national football association, it said Thursday, after a request from the country’s ruler.

President Sadyr Japarov consolidated power in the ex-Soviet country after 2021 when supporters sprung him from prison where he was serving time on kidnapping charges.

The presumed appointment follows a trend in ex-Soviet Central Asia where intelligence chiefs and relatives of strongmen leaders run football bodies or top teams in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

The Kyrgyz Football Union (KFU) said Tashiev was the only candidate to run the group and his candidacy would be put to a formal vote on February 19.

The 55-year-old is a confidant of Japarov and apart from heading the ex-Soviet country’s intelligence service is vice president of Kyrgyzstan’s boxing association.

The post has been vacant since Kyrgyzstan, which is 98th in FIFA’s world rankings, was eliminated early from the Asian Cup last month.

Japarov in the wake of the defeat called on Tashiev, who enjoys wide-ranging powers, to “restore order” within the federation.

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