As professional football has come to a halt around the world, there is one very noticeable expectation – the Belarussian Premier League.
The league, which rarely sees its teams qualify for the European Champions League, kicked off its season earlier this month in front of packed attendances inside the stadiums across the country.
The decision to proceed with the football season has led to the league signing 10 new broadcasting deals as fans craving football tune in with little other sport available.
Within the stadiums, there was little social distancing practiced as fans crammed together in sold-out stands. Few were wearing face masks.
Belarus currently has 94 cases of coronavirus but is practicing a lax attitude towards the outbreak. President, Alexander Lukashenko said:
“It’s better to die standing than to live on your knees.”
He also suggested Belarussians should drink 50ml of vodka every day to keep the virus at bay – a view that is obviously at odds with what the World Health Organization (WHO) is telling people.
The Belarussian FA has reflected the President’s thoughts, saying they have no intention of canceling or postponing football.