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Belarus Premier League forced to axe match due to COVID-19 outbreak in Minsk’s first-team squad


Belarus Premier League forced to axe top flight match due to COVID-19 outbreak in FC Minsk’s first-team squad… despite being the only country in Europe to keep playing football after president called the virus a ‘psychosis’

  • FC Minsk vs Neman Grodno has been postponed in Belarus due to COVID-19 
  • The top-flight match is off but they remain the only country still playing football
  • Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko once called the virus a ‘psychosis’  
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

One Belarusian Premier League match and one second division game were postponed due to suspected COVID-19 cases, the domestic football federation revealed on Monday.

Belarus has been the only country in Europe playing football amid the coronavirus pandemic, making it an unlikely draw for fans overseas where matches have been cancelled.

There are almost 24,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in Belarus, with more than 130 deaths.

A match in the Belarus Premier League has been axed due to a squad breakout of coronavirus

A match in the Belarus Premier League has been axed due to a squad breakout of coronavirus

Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko has been publicly critical of the novel coronavirus during the global pandemic as he previously called the COVID-19 virus a 'psychosis'

Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko has been publicly critical of the novel coronavirus during the global pandemic as he previously called the COVID-19 virus a ‘psychosis’

The federation said that the top flight game between FC Minsk and Neman Grodno, scheduled to take place on May 15, has been called off due to suspected COVID-19 cases among the home team’s players.

The first division’s match between Arsenal Dzerzhinsk and leaders Lokomotiv Gomel, scheduled for May 16, was postponed because of suspected cases among Lokomotiv players.

New dates for the games were not announced.

The whole country has taken an incredibly relaxed approach to the virus and Jonas Baer-Hoffmann, secretary for FIFPro, said the league’s refusal to put matches on hold is ‘frankly not comprehendible’, Sportsmail revealed.  

FC Neman Grodno (pictured) were due to play FC Minsk before the latter saw a virus outbreak

FC Neman Grodno (pictured) were due to play FC Minsk before the latter saw a virus outbreak

‘It is insane that we are the only ones who are playing,’ FC Minsk forward Ognjen Rolovic told Sportsmail last month. 

‘They are acting here like it is not a big deal, that we should not be afraid. There is a strange mentality that if you are scared of the situation then you are not a man.’ 

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, in power since 1994, has been publicly sceptical about the need for strong action to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

He has called fears over the virus a ‘psychosis’ and variously suggested drinking vodka, visiting saunas or playing ice hockey to beat the disease.

On Saturday, thousands of soldiers marched in Belarus to celebrate the Soviet victory in World War Two.

Belarus has been the only European country still holding professional football matches during the coronavirus pandemic as fans wearing masks were tested for temperature before games

Belarus has been the only European country still holding professional football matches during the coronavirus pandemic as fans wearing masks were tested for temperature before games

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