Ex-Everton star drafted into Russian Army despite not meeting stated criteria

Former Everton star Diniyar Bilyaletdinov has been drafted into the Russian Army – despite not meeting the stated criteria.

The 37-year-old midfielder spent three years at Goodison Park and hung up his boots back in 2019, although he currently appears in Russia's Medialiga, made up of teams of pundits and journalists. However, his father has now announced the former international has been drafted by the military as the conflict in Ukraine rumbles on following Russia's invasion back in February.

That is despite Bilyaletdinov being protected by a law that states the Russian Army can only draft individuals aged 35 and under.

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Per Sports.ru, Rinat Bilyaletdinov confirmed: “Diniyar really received a summons. It is difficult to talk about emotions, because he did not serve, although he did military service, but it was specific, with a sports bias. It was 19 years ago.

"That is, yes, he took the oath, but served in the sports line. The law still says – to call people up to 35 years old, and he is 37, so there is some kind of inconsistency here.

"Now he will find out whether this agenda is correct or whether it was sent early. Anything can happen.

"If there was a general mobilization, then there is no need to ask questions. In the meantime, the president has established a partial one, everything should be according to the law."

Bilyaletdinov joined Everton from Lokomotiv Moscow for £9million in the summer of 2009 and went on to score nine goals in 77 appearances for the Toffees.

He returned to Russia in 2012 and went on to have spells with Spartak Moscow, Anzhi Makhachkala, Torpedo Moscow and Rubin Kazan before retiring in 2019 after three years playing for Lithuanian side Riteriai.

Prior to his move to Everton, Bilyaletdinov won three major trophies with Lokomotiv and made his senior international debut aged 20, eventually going on to score six times in his 46 caps for Russia.

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