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Global players' union FIFPro blasts Belarus as play rages on

Gab Marcotti explains why the Belarusian league, including the Minsk derby, were still playing this weekend.
Bayern Munich's Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka start initiative for fight against coronavirus.

Players in Belarus are worried about playing games in the only European top-tier league still in action during the coronavirus pandemic, their global union (FIFPro) said on Tuesday.

"Frankly, it's not comprehendible how this can be going on," Jonas Baer-Hoffmann, general secretary of the FIFPro players' union, told reporters in a conference call.

"Yes, there are players who are reaching out concerned," Baer-Hoffmann said, noting there are union members in Belarus though the FIFPro network does...

Belarus derby goes ahead in front of full stadium despite pandemic

Gab Marcotti explains why the Belarusian league, including the Minsk derby, were still playing this weekend.

A capacity crowd turned out to watch FC Minsk beat derby rivals Dynamo Minsk 3-2 in Belarus' Vysheyshaya Liga on Saturday, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Belarus is the only country in Europe which has not suspended or cancelled its main league due to the virus' spread.

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 Belarus fight coronavirus with vodka, football

Fans had their temperatures screened on their way into the game and some...

How Belarus is fighting the coronavirus: vodka first, football second

Gab Marcotti explains why the Belarusian league, including the Minsk derby, were still playing this weekend.

Belarusian football is not something even the most fanatical game lovers across the globe have been following over the years. Belarus is ranked 32nd out of 56 UEFA member associations, between Liechtenstein and Israel, while the national team -- ranked 87th, between Haiti and Zambia, in the FIFA World Ranking -- has never qualified for any major tournaments. (The best effort: finishing third in their World Cup qualifying group, two points shy of reaching the playoffs... in 2002.)

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Belarus defiant amid coronavirus crisis as season kicks off with fans

Zlatan Ibrahimovic launches a fundraiser to "kick coronavirus away" in typical Zlatan fashion.
Botafogo players become the latest to wear masks in protest, unveiling a "coronavirus: Protect yourself" banner.

As football around the world shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic, defiant Belarus kicked off its new season on Thursday and said it would even allow spectators to watch the games.

Energetik BGU got the Belarus Premier League underway with a 3-1 win over BATE Borisov and a live stream of the game showed at least several hundred fans watching in the main stand.

Earlier, Vladimir Bazanov, the head of the Belarus Football Federation, said on its official website that only 51 cases of coronavirus...