Fans of Azerbaijan club beat journalist to death over player criticism

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According to a report by BBC World News, a journalist in Azerbaijan has died of injuries suffered when fans lured him into a false meeting and beat him for criticizing a popular player.

Rasim Aliyev, a writer for ann.az, criticized Gabala FC winger Javid Huseynov (pictured, left) for making rude gestures during a Europa League qualifier between Gabala and Cypriot club Apollon Limassol. Huseynov apparently made an inappropriate gesture at a Cypriot journalist before waving a Turkish flag at opposing fans.

The club released a statement after the incident, condemning the actions of the fans andsaying they will remove Husenyov from the squad until further notice.

“SC Gabala is deeply saddened by the death of journalist Rasim Aliyev,” the statement reads. “We are against all aggression of anyone both on the pitch and off. Our club always stayed tolerant of all criticism by media. We are disappointed that our player Javid Huseynov is mentioned in the case.”

“[Following the criticism] They [the player and journalist] had a calm telephone talk and left with no problems. But after all this, the incident happened anyways. Now we believe the perpetrators will be brought the justice they deserve soon. SC Gabala will keep captain Javid Huseynov out of the first team until the issue is cleared up.”

Aliyev was reportedly beaten after being lured into a meeting supposedly with relatives of Huseynov, and was attacked by the supporters. He later died of internal bleeding.