All football championships in the world have been suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, Belarus remains the only place where one can play football.
This became known after Australia’s A-League was suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus. Australia’s various football leagues were among the few remaining professional sports playing on across the globe.
“Mission complicated became mission impossible,” said James Johnson, the head of the local football federation.
The Belarusian Premier League kicked off a new season on Thursday. About 730 fans watched Energetik-BGU’s 3-1 win over former Champions League participant BATE Borisov.
The game was in pride of place on international gambling websites. The second round of the championship of Belarus is scheduled for 27-29 March.
Former Arsenal and Barcelona star Alexander Hleb from Belarus commented on the situation: “All the world now watches the Belarusian league.
Everybody should go to their television and see us. (…) Maybe Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo might come to the Belarus league to continue. You know?”
Note that the country also hosts hockey matches of the Extraleague playoffs. Thus, Belarus is the only country in the world where one can play football and hockey.
Next up from the heaven sent paradise that is the Belarus PL! Some betting sites have the games live too here in the UK (mainly as it’s the only football on)…. https://t.co/oN8CtdS43N
— Gandermonium (@Gandermonium) March 19, 2020
The Belarus league started off with a shock result today – Bate Borisov suffered a surprising 3-1 defeat against BGU Minsk.
— kop (@Kop202) March 19, 2020
The Belarusian Premier League is back! Where else would you see this sort of entertainment… pic.twitter.com/VbWNnHN0vM
— Seb Sternik (@seb_sternik) March 19, 2020
— Zach Saunders (@zsaunders_iw) March 19, 2020
Today I should have been heading to Spurs v West Ham, instead I’ll be looking for a stream as Dynamo Brest take on Smolevichy pic.twitter.com/7wCloXJcBq
— Smiv (@smivadee) March 20, 2020
The rights to broadcast the Belarusian football championship have been bought by Ukraine’s Sport 1 and Russia’s Match TV. Belarusian TV channels offer live broadcasting of all the matches of the national championship.
As other neighbouring countries have closed their borders and shut down public events, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko refuses to panic and advises to calm down in the fields.
As of Monday, Belarus had 81 confirmed cases of the virus. There are currently 386,406 confirmed cases in the world, 16,747 deaths from the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak and over 102,000 people recovered as of 24 March.