Belarus is the only country where football continues to be played normally despite the health situation linked to the coronavirus. A star in his country, Aleksandr Hleb, a former resident of Arsenal and FC Barcelona in particular, launched a cry of alert.
The health crisis in Europe has forced football to stop. The majority of the countries of the Old Continent suspended their competitions for many weeks. But this is not the case everywhere. In Belarus (51 cases of Covid-19 have been identified there), a country ruled by dictator Alexander Lukashenko since 1994, football continues. It is the last European territory where football has not stopped. The Premier League even resumed this Thursday, March 19, during a meeting between the Energetik-BDU Minsk and Bate Borisov (3-1) which took place in front of 750 spectators, in a half-filled stadium.
Nothing extravagant for Lukashenko. ” Wash your hands ! Eat at regular hours. I don’t drink alcohol, but vodka is not just for washing your hands, you should also drink at least 100 ml a day to kill the virus, if you don’t work of course. I wish you to be healthy, don’t let go. And go to the sauna two or three times a week. The Chinese tell us that the virus dies at 60 degrees, ” he said recently in an address to the population. Football, like the whole country therefore, continues as if nothing had happened.
Hleb’s warning cry
Something that deplored Alexander Hleb, the former player of Arsenal and FC Barcelona. “The coronavirus has suspended the Champions League and the Europa League. It is a good decision because you have to try to stop the virus. UEFA did the right thing. But in Belarus, it’s as if everyone doesn’t care. It’s incredible. Maybe in a week or two we will stop playing football. Maybe our president is waiting to see what will happen with the virus. Everyone here sees the situation in Italy and Spain. This is not good, ” the former Belarusian international told the Sun before continuing.
“But in our country, the leaders think that this (the Covid-19) is not as extreme as that. Many young people and students think the same. I stay at home with my family. But when I go out, the streets and restaurants are crowded. All clubs train normally for the new season. They do not care. I care about my health and that of my family, I am in contact with a minimum of people. It is very hard to explain what is going on in my country. All the championships are suspended but we don’t think this is a problem. Why ? I don’t know , ”he regretted.
Still active, therefore, Denis Duarte, Portuguese defender of Dinamo Brest, does not understand him either this detachment from local authorities in the face of the gravity of the situation all over the world. “It doesn’t make any sense, it looks like a joke … The situation is very worrying, but there is nothing we can do. We, the players, have no power over the situation … We train and we play …. “, he said to the Portuguese sports daily A Bola, ensuring that, for his part, he “Avoided going out on the street”. How long will this inextricable situation last? As long as there is vodka if you believe Lukashenko …