Belarus FA: No Reason To Stop Playing Football Despite Coronavirus Pandemic

April 4, 2020
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Belarus FA (BFF) general secretary Sergei Zhardetski says there is no reason for the league to be suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The outbreak has put world football on hold for weeks and it remains unclear when, or even if, the season will resume.

Belarus has decided against taking such measures to tackle the spread of the virus, however, as the country’s Premier League is carrying on as normal.

Four people have died with the disease in Belarus and there have been 351 confirmed cases of Covid-19, but the government has avoided cancelling sporting events, closing businesses and urging people to stay inside, as many countries have done.

Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko has “mass psychosis” and urged citizens to drink vodka and wash their hands with it.

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He also said: “People are working in tractors, no one is talking about the virus. In the villages, the tractor will heal everyone. The fields heal everyone.”

And BFF general secretary Zhardetski says there are no plans to disrupt the 2020 campaign, which is just two weeks old, despite the rapid spread of the virus.

“We review the situation on a daily basis,” Zhardetski said in an interview with ESPN “We fully trust our health care system and there are currently no reasons for stopping the league.

“We understand that the situation in some countries is very serious but having consulted with the corresponding authorities in Belarus we have an understanding that our league can continue for the moment.”

He added to Marca: “The decision on whether or not to go to the matches must be made by the fans. For our part, we are taking all kinds of measures, such as disinfectant gel and doctors at the entrances to take the temperature of all attendees.”

As the only league in Europe to keep playing, there has been an increase in interest in the top-flight from abroad, with Russia , Israel and India the latest to start broadcasting it.

But Zhardetski says they are not thinking about the commercial aspect of the game at the moment.

“Additional popularisation is good for Belarusian football. Obviously, there is an interest in terms of TV rights and a number of countries are broadcasting,” he said. “But I think this is not the time to look at this from a commercial prospective.”

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