Former Arsenal star Alexander Hleb slams chiefs over coronavirus decision


Former Arsenal star Alexander Hleb has hit out at the footballing authorities in his native Belarus for failing to suspend football.

The coronavirus has become a global issue with sport grinding to a halt in an effort to prevent the spread.

But football in Belarus has continued as normal with President Alexander Lukashenko asserting his authority.

The leader is thought to rule in a very authoritarian manner and claimed that that Belarusians “do not suffer the same psychosis as those in Western Europe.”

Belarus has recorded 51 cases of coronavirus but Hleb is not impressed with the decisions that have been taken.

He said: “The coronavirus has closed the Champions League and the Europa League. This is good, because you have to try and stop it. Uefa have done the right thing.

“But in Belarus, it’s like no one cares. It’s incredible. Maybe in one week or two weeks we will stop here. Maybe our President is just waiting to see what happens with the virus.

“Everybody here knows what’s happened to Italy and Spain. It doesn’t look good.

“But in our country, people in the presidential administration believe it’s not as extreme as the news says.

“A lot of young people and students here think like this. I’m keeping at home with my family. But when I go out, the streets and restaurants are still busy.”

Belarus were due to face Georgia in a Euro 2020 qualifying play-off next week.

It is the closest the former Soviet state has been to qualifying for an international tournament with players training as normal – something that has baffled Hleb.

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