One of Russia’s more turbulent areas has reared its ugly head, as Russian team Anzhi Makhachkala confirmed that 20-year-old youth team product Gasan Magomedov was killed in a drive-by shooting last night.
Magomedov’s car was showered with machine gun fire while driving home from a game of soccer with his friends, and he was pronounced dead on his way to the hospital.
The club said no motive was immediately known and there are no known suspects.
“Our deepest condolences go out to Gasan’s family,” said Anzhi General Director Sergi Korbalev through the club statement. “ I hope the law enforcement members will quickly identify the murderers, who will receive just punishment. Despite their efforts to destabilize the club, we’ll keep on living and working for the only purpose – a peaceful Dagestan! In memory of Gasan.”
Dagestan is known for its heavy crime rate and instability. The region, located in southern Russia just east of former Soviet territory Georgia and north of Azerbaijan, it’s proximity to neighboring Chechnya has only added to the turmoil as Russia faces revolts and separatism.
The club said Magomedov was just 13 days from his 21st birthday, and called him a “well-bred, kind-hearted boy.” They said his playing style helped the midfielder “feed attacks aggressively, but never maliciously.” The club speculated that because of his personality, that “one thing can be said with confidence – Magomedov could not have provoked anything like this in any way.”
Anzhi has falled on tough times of late. Owner Suleyman Kerimov had high hopes for the club after pumping millions of dollars into the books following his acquisition of the team in 2011, and it resulted in the purchase of players like Samuel Eto’o, Roberto Carlos, Igor Denisov, and Chris Samba, along with Guus Hiddink as manager. But following the disgracing of Kerimov that resulted from the mismanagement of his mining company, he was forced to slash the budget and sell most of the high-profile players. As a direct result, the team finished at the bottom of the Russian Premier League table last season and Anzhi was relegated.