Belarusian football is not the most popular and colourful spectacle on the continent. Judge for yourself: in the table of UEFA coefficients, this country occupies the 25th place out of 55 possible, being between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. In recently updated FIFA ranking Belarus is only 87 minutes, behind Haiti, Benin, Curacao, Uganda and several other no less exotic teams. At the same time, never in the history of the national team of Belarus is not selected in the finals of the world Championships or European Championships.
However, news of the biggest football websites in the world, the Belarusian football sometimes still goes. It happens mostly after some sensational results, which sometimes are able to present to their opponents from Belarus. For example, in September 2016 in the qualifiers for the 2018 world Cup Belarusians in his field to the surprise of many they took points against future world champion team of France (0:0), and in June 2011 in qualification for Euro 2012 against the same “tri-color” in native walls defended already in a draw (1:1).
The national team is not the only news provider on the Belarusian football in top European publications. For example, in 2012, when “Liverpool” Brendan Rodgers went to visit the “Gomel” in the match of the 3rd qualifying round of the Europa League, players, staff and fans of “red” it was recommended to refrain from drinking tap water in the Belarusian city. The recommendations of the club, who first widely disseminated by the British, and her famously picked up the European press, it was noted that Gomel is 100 kilometers from the Chernobyl zone, and therefore ecologically unsafe to drink untreated water in the region.
It is impossible not to recall the widely discussed during the leadership of the Brest “Dynamo”, which in 2018, announced the appointment to the post of Chairman of the Board of the club known in the past, the Argentinian top football player Diego Maradona. To represent the legend of the “Dynamo” has decided at the home stadium, where Maradona entered a huge military vehicle, causing the ecstasy of the multitude of fans gathered in the stands.
Now, however, the championship of Belarus is the center of attention of many media for one simple reason – the country remains one of the few in the world and the only one on the European continent, where, despite the pandemic coronavirus, continue to play football, and do it with spectators in the stands. Why? The answer is obvious – the local authorities do not see in the fashion industry, some serious problems, which would be forced to radically change the everyday life of the country and its citizens. In particular, the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko at a recent briefing, said that the coronavirus is nothing more than “another psychosis, which will benefit some people and harm others.” The head of the neighboring state noted that “the civilized world is going crazy” and “panic can hurt us more than the virus itself”.
In addition, Lukashenko has shared methods that in his opinion, is able to help the Belarusian people to overcome the coronavirus. “I’m not a drinking man, but lately jokingly say that vodka should not only hand washed, but probably at day 40-50 grams in terms of pure alcohol, the poison of this virus,” said the President of Belarus and added: “it’s Nice to watch on TV: people on the tractor are open, no one is talking about viruses… the tractor is in the cure all. Field of all heals!”.
See also: Meet Burundi – a country where playing football, despite the coronavirus
Just immediately repeat the head of state began, and officials from various spheres of activities, including football. Who would not say that, but football is a pretty powerful weapon to promote one or another position, especially if he is not distanced from the public authorities. In particular, the General Secretary of the Belarusian football Federation Sergei Gardecki said that any reason to stop the draw of the championship of the country does not exist.
“We have been monitoring the situation daily and fully trust our health care system. Currently, there is no reason to stop the Championships. Know that the situation in some countries is very serious, but after consulting with the relevant authorities in Belarus, we understand that our League can continue to function at the moment. The situation in Belarus is actually not so critical to close the tournament. Furthermore, additional promotion is useful for Belarusian football,” said Gardecki.
Further Janeckova went football agent Valery Isaev. He is in communication with reporters, said that trusts the Belarusian health care system, and “much more than systems of neighboring countries, including Russia and Ukraine.” Also, this agent said – say, he, like the rest of the people, “assured that there is a critical situation and there is no emergency in Belarus”, and therefore “one should trust this information.”
To trust or not – business of everyone, but not everyone in Belarus and beyond the official position of the local football left satisfied. In particular, the former striker of the national team of Belarus and “Milan” Vitaly Kutuzov, sleeps after finishing his playing career in Italy, said that “at first almost was proud of such a decision, but lately started to wonder.” Ex-footballer said that “it is impossible to think, like the whole world is stupid, and we are one of the most intelligent”.
Much further in their thinking and judgment entered famous Russian football commentator Vasily Utkin, who is not particularly choosing his words, abruptly walked across the Belarusian authorities, noting that “the promotion of this championship assures mad people conducting it, that they are doing everything right”.
Meanwhile, a Belarusian football, as said Sergei Gardecki already reaping the benefits of active promotion on the background of the continental ban on holding matches. Matches of the local championship broadcast of 12 countries, including Ukraine.
“The funny thing in all this is that our football started to watch the Belarus fans. Before this could freely include English Premier League or Spanish La Liga in Belarus it is free and publicly available, and do not pay much attention to local football, especially when the Belarusian matches superimposed on the European. Now things have changed and for our football, such a situation clearly winning,” says one of the leading football journalists in Belarus Yuri downar.
Senior coach of novice elite division of the championship of Belarus “movement” from Brest Andrei Ferapontov believes that the issue of the game of football in the country is decided at the highest level, and it tied many factors.
“There are many reasons why Belarus is still not stopped the championship. One of them is the political will of sports officials. At the moment the Belarusian championship began airing on many popular sports TV channels of the neighbouring countries – Russia, Ukraine. It also gives a reason to continue playing. In regard to the tournament, focused attention, the bookies need to make, and they further illuminate and announce a championship game in Belarus. In General, this situation popularitywith Belarusian football,” says Ferapontov.
However, he admits that the leadership of the Belarusian football under serious pressure from UEFA and the federations of other countries. In addition, according to Ferapontov, Belarusian doctors “also sounding the alarm”. For this reason, before the start of the third round in the championship of Belarus in the press beginning to leak out of the dissatisfaction of some players about the current situation. For example, the defender of the Soligorsk Shakhtar, who coached the Ukrainian Yuri Vernidub, Nikola antic said that in football and the fan environment there is an opinion that “only crazy people go to the stadium”. The goalkeeper of “Smolevichi” Alexander Filz said that “in the current situation is more important than the health of the people, but because the championship should be halted until such time when the situation will improve”.
But the third round was played, and immediately after its completion, the press got another series of rumors. This time the situation is “lit” showman Vadim Galygin, reported that it has information about the impending suspension of the championship of Belarus. Comedian predictedthat the League will suspend on Monday, April 6, but this did not happen, and on the eve of Belarus have successfully started the drawing already the fourth round of the season.
According to unofficial information, the total amount of bets placed on the championship of Belarus in bookmakers increased by 232%. At the same time, now the primacy of the neighboring to Ukraine countries among fans of the put is along with the volume of bets that before the suspension of the season in Europe existed in the Championships of Germany and France, and only slightly inferior to the Championships of Italy and Spain. The only competitor, which is still too tough for the championship of Belarus – the English Premier League, where the volume of bets the bookies are usually the highest in Europe.
How the situation will develop around the draw of the championship of Belarus in the future – it is now very difficult to predict. If the fans have the right to decide for themselves to go to the stadium or not, here’s the situation obliges clubs to play matches. To play in an empty stadium no one likes, because, for example, in “Dinamo-Brest” approached the issue creatively, by placing at the recent Cup match against Shakhtar from Soligorsk mannequins dressed in t-shirts of different colors and teams with attached images of people’s faces. Organizers called these characters “virtual fans” (I wonder what each of them are very real people from different parts of the world, who took advantage of the offer of the club and bought through the Internet, “virtual tickets” at prices ranging from 25 to 86 dollars), obviously implying that in this way we hope to brighten up the picture stands not only for players but for viewers. However, in a period when the entire football for many is only virtual, like the idea – not the worst thing you can think of, especially if key decisions are taken is still somewhere over…