Football team loses as some players refuse to play over COVID-19 scare

Dzmitry Abakumau, the head coach of the FC Ivatsevichi playing in the second league of Belarus told how the coronavirus epidemic affected the football championship.

On May 2, FC Ivatsevichi lost to FC Baranavichi 1:9 in an away match. Dzmitry Abakumau, the head coach of the FC Ivatsevichi explained the defeat by the fact that his team was unable to bring the strongest players to Baranavichi.

“The majority of the players did not go to the game, as the coach of FC Baranovichi had tested positive for the virus. That`s all. That is, the people who had been training, they could not go,” he said.

Mr Abakumau stressed that there was a coronavirus outbreak in Baranavichy and many players knew about it. “How can they be forced to go if many of them have families, grandparents?” he added. As a result, the players refused to go to Baranavichy. “We wanted to postpone the match at the last minute, but it was kind of late, so… If you don`t come, there`s a fine. We had to go with the players we could get,” stated the coach.

Abakumau added that he also was afraid to go to Baranavichy.

According to Abakumau, the football championship in Belarus should be stopped, as people now think not about sports, but about health.

“I think it should be stopped, because now it’s getting worse and worse every time. In the first round FC Baranavichi play all matches at home, and now everyone will go there. But how? This, I think, is not an isolated case, because some teams will refuse to go,” he said.