Show Goes on in Belarus as Football Continues

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A single fan sits amid rows of empty seats at a football stadium in Belarus

Despite football around the world being suspended for an indefinite period of time, life continues as normal for the footballers in Belarus.

The season, which started in the middle of March, hasn’t had any cancellations and there are no plans for any future games to be postponed.

Belarus currently has 4,779 cases of coronavirus with 47 deaths.

With the Belarus Premier Division being the only competitive league in Europe going ahead, the league has enjoyed an unusual amount of attention.

The Belarus Football Federation has secured broadcasting deals with 10 countries where fans have been needing to get their football fix.

The hope is that this will continue even when football across the rest of Europe resumes.

Belarus Football Season so far

Players from the Dinamo Brest football team in Belarus

Last season came as a shock to all supporters of Belarusian football as Dinamo Brest won their first ever league title ahead of BATE Borisov.

Previously, BATE Borisov had won the league every year since 2006, a 13-year streak which came to an end.

Five games into the current season and both teams find themselves stuck in mid-table.

Despite this, they remain only three points off the top spot although their starts to the season have been disappointing.

FK Slutsk, who were only four points off a relegation play-off last season, currently top the table on goal difference with 10 points.

Torpedo Zhodino and FK Vitebsk, who also only narrowly avoided a relegation play-off last season, also sit on 10 points after impressive starts.

Occupying the bottom two are recently promoted teams in Belshina Bobruisk and Smolevichy, who are yet to secure their first win of the season.

Shakhtyor Soligorsk qualified for the Europa League last season, however are fourth bottom having only picked up one win so far.

Big results in Belarus Football

Dynamo Minsk player in Belarus prepares to strike the ball

The second round of fixtures saw the Belarus Derby come around early, as FC Minsk took on Dinamo Minsk in front of a sold-out crowd.

FC Minsk came out 3-2 winners, having taken the lead in the first minute before going 3-0 up before half-time.

Dinamo Minsk were reduced to 10 men in the second half and managed to fight back despite the disadvantage but couldn’t find an equaliser.

Many of the 3,000 in attendance didn’t take any precautions despite the pandemic but fans did have their temperatures screened before being allowed to take their seats.

Other surprising results include Slavia Mozyr who have only won twice this season, against last season’s champions Dinamo Brest and runners-up BATE Borisov.

Despite their opposing starts to the season, FC Slutsk’s victory away to Shakhtyor Soligorsk was still a surprise and reinforced their place at the top.

Future fixtures

A player makes a tackle during a Belarus football match

As there are no plans to cancel the season, fans can look forward to a future consisting of plenty of fixtures in the Belarus Premier League.

Slutsk can stretch their lead at the top as they host bottom of the table Belshina Bobruisk. If you fancy a punt on the outsiders they are currently* available at 16/5.

However, Torpedo Zhodino are also at home, and will be hoping to prevent a three-point gap opening up.

Vitebsk can also put pressure on Slutsk however they face a trick away day to Isloch.

Dinamo Brest and BATE Borisov will want to put their poor starts behind them.

The champions will play Soligorsk in what would have been a top-of-the-table clash last season.

BATE will travel to FC Gorodeya who have won three on the bounce and can pile on the misery for the league’s most successful club. BATE are still favourites to win at odds of 10/21, but you could have a bet on in-form Gorodeya to win at 5/1.

When it comes to winning the league outright, BATE are still clear favourites at a price of 6/5. Shakhtyor Soligorsk are available at 6/1, while if you think last year’s champions Dinamo Brest can repeat the trick, you can get them at odds of 19/10 to win the Belarus Premier League again.

*All odds correct at time of writing

Jordan is a journalism graduate with a background in sports journalism covering football across a number of online publications, who now works in Gibraltar producing content for Mansion.
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