Coronavirus: Belarus Premier League attracts global attention as it plays on

/
/
19 Views

An FC Minsk fan watches his team play on Saturday

Football is suspended in the UK and across most of world because of the coronavirus pandemic – but the game rolls on in Belarus.

The Belarusian Premier League rarely gets a mention in normal circumstances yet it is attracting attention from foreign fans as one of the few places around the globe – and the only place in Europe – where football is still being played.

On Saturday, there were six top-flight games in the eastern European country including the derby between FC Minsk and Dinamo Minsk watched by a capacity 3,000 crowd in Belarus’ capital.

“It so happened that this derby was practically the only official football match on earth,” read Dinamo’s match report after their 3-2 defeat.

Fans watch the Minsk derby on Saturday
Some fans wore masks to the game

There have been fewer than 100 cases and no deaths from coronavirus in the former Soviet republic, which has a population of around 9.5m.

While most European countries are quarantining their citizens and shutting borders, the president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, is not worried and has even suggested citizens drink vodka to combat the disease.