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Tajikistan: Labor Migrants Play for Pride in Own Football League

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A player with the Roof of the World team shakes off three players with Alamut during the final of the tournament in Moscow.

It’s not all work and no play for a group of Tajik labor migrants living in Moscow. Thanks to the efforts of an enterprising expat, labor migrants have their own thriving, 16-team football league.
 
The mastermind behind the league is Anzor Nazarkhudoev, who left Tajikistan’s Pamir region for Russia over a decade ago. He settled in Moscow, scratching out an existence as a laborer. Over time, however, he managed to save some money and open a small business that sells goods at a Moscow market. Throughout his time in Moscow he remained in close contact with other Tajiks from the Pamirs, so much so that he’s now considered the unofficial “mayor” of the Pamiri community in the Russian capital. The idea to form a football league comprising teams of mainly Pamiri Tajiks came to him five years ago.
 

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Konstantin Salomatin is a freelance photojournalist based in Moscow.

Tajikistan: Labor Migrants Play for Pride in Own Football League

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