Former Premier League star Diniyar Bilyaletdinov has been called up by Vladimir Putin to fight as part of the Russian army in the war against Ukraine.
It comes as Putin scrambled to recruit an additional 300,000 troops to his army, with staff from Russia’s football national team refusing to return home after their match in Kyrgyzstan.
Bilyaletdinov's dad, Rinat confirmed to sports.ru, that his former Everton-playing star was one of the men called up to fight in the war.
He says the former Russian international received a summons from the military registration and enlistment office but claimed there was an inconsistency with the notice.
He said: "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."
He added: "If there was a general mobilisation, 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 in 2009 and played 59 times over his three seasons at the club, however, fell out with the club after losing his first-team spot toward the end of his tenure there.
He scored eight goals during his time at the Toffees including one against Manchester United.
He played prominently in Russia for Lokomotiv Moscow and Spartak Moscow and finished his career at Lithuanian club Trakai.
The 37-year-old was a prominent part of the Russian side for many years, earning himself 46 caps over his career.
He was an integral part of the Russian squad that made it all the way to the semi-finals of Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland.
According to The Sun, many Russian men are attempting to find ways to avoid being drafted into Putin’s war.
Five staff members from the Russian Football Union have reportedly been called up to fight in the war, but are refusing to return to their home nation following the team’s victory against the Kyrgyz squad.
Featured Image Credit: Agencja Fotograficzna Caro / Alamy. PA Images / Alamy.
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