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Chechen Team Terek Grozny Wins Football Cup Final

Published: June 1, 2004 (Issue # 973)


MOSCOW - There can have been few sports occasions in Moscow as dramatic, politically charged or surreal as Saturday's Russian Cup soccer final.

Chechen club Terek Grozny joined the likes of Newcastle, Millwall and Monaco in Europe club competition after a last-minute goal snatched a stunning 1-0 victory over Krylia Sovietov Samara.

More than just a sports upset - the first division club beating the premier league side - Terek's win was also a political event, featuring the tears of a son for a slain father and Chechens dancing and cheering on the streets of Moscow.

Twenty days after a bomb explosion killed Akhmad Kadyrov, the president of Chechnya and also of Terek Grozny, during Victory Day commemorations at Dynamo stadium in Grozny, a 90th-minute goal from Terek's top scorer Andrei Fedkov gave his side an unlikely win.

"This is for the late president," said Terek coach Vait Talgaev after the game. "He did everything for the club."

Terek's win was an amazing result for a team that did not exist four years ago - and a huge propaganda coup for the Kremlin, which has masterminded the return of the club as part of its attempts to restore normality to Chechnya.

About 17,000 fans watched the match at Lokomotiv stadium, with more than 1,000 Chechen fans chanting and cheering their side on.

Many of Terek's supporters had traveled about 1,500 kilometers from Chechnya, passing through numerous military and police checkpoints and running the gauntlet of antagonistic Moscow authorities and the public.

As well as ordinary fans, watching from the most expensive seat in the ground was Ramzan Kadyrov, the 27-year-old son of the assassinated president, vice president of the club and first deputy prime minister of the republic.

Sitting nearby were Chechen Prime Minister Sergei Abramov and controversial Moscow businessman Umar Dzhabrailov, the current Chechen representative in the Federation Council. All three are powerful players in Chechnya.

Before the match, a minute's silence was held for Kadyrov, then the Russian national anthem blared out. Chechens, with a few exceptions, and Russians stood up throughout. A huge poster of the late Chechen leader, with the words, "We Remember You," was spread over the seats in one section of the stadium.

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Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at today’s Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nation’s premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the city’s elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s latest film “Mommy” at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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