Some Azerbaijanis demand lynching for the local wrestler who lost to an Armenian, Azerbaijani website Haqqin.az reports commenting on the defeat of the Azerbaijani Greco-Roman wrestlerRasulChunayev (66 kg) by the Armenian MihranHarutyunyanin the semi-finals of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Chunayev’s defeat by Harutyunyan became the main topic of discussion in Azerbaijan yesterday. According to the website, Azerbaijani social network users even suggested collecting signatures for a petition to deprive the wrestler of Azerbaijani citizenship. “There were also calls to lynch the sportsman right upon his arrival at the airport,” Haqqin.az writes.
According to the article, the call to separate sport from politics during bouts with Armenian sportsmen is “a bit doubtful.” Moreover, it is highlighted that in this case, the “wrestling mat turns into a political one,” and a considerable part of the Azerbaijani society “makes a sportsman a hero just for a triumph over an Armenian,” and “executes” him in case of defeat. Therefore, according to Haqqin.az, despite his numerous triumphs in the past, RasulChunayev faced a “riches-to-rags” situation.
Meanwhile, the website writes that Chunayev commented on his performance to the press-service of the Azerbaijani Ministry of Youth and Sports and attempted to justify himself saying that he had a “difficult fate.” He particularly stated that he understands people who criticize him. “After all, I was defeated by an Armenian,” the sportsman said. At the same time, according to SamaiMammadova – the head of the press-service of the Ministry of Youth and Sports — “there were tears in Rasul’s eyes when he spoke.”
Meanwhile, according to Azerbaijani website Oxu.az, Qafqazinfo reports that MihranHarutyunyan, the wrestler of the Armenian national team, who triumphed over Chunayev, hugged and congratulated him on his bronze medalduring the awards ceremony yesterday.
MihranHarutyunyan, member of the Armenian national team, won a silver medal during the 2015 Baku European Games. It was reported then that the Azerbaijani audience gave a hostile welcome to the Armenian delegation when it entered the Olympic stadium during the opening ceremony of the Games. Several spectators were chanting “Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan!” and waving the national flag during the Armenian delegation’s entry, which marched with its flag, while other Azerbaijanis were whistling at it. At that time, the silver medal winner Harutyunyan also stated that the audience had shouted and whistled during his fight in Baku putting psychological pressure on him.