Belarus soccer match held as some fans boycott games over coronavirus

SHOWS: MINSK, BELARUS (APRIL 5, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

1. VARIOUS OF FAN'S TEMPERATURE BEING CHECKED BEFORE ENTERING STAND

2. VARIOUS OF ENTRANCE TO FOOTBALL STAND

3. SECURITY GUARDS WATCHING MATCH

4. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) FC ENERGETIK-BGU SUPPORTER, DMITRY, SAYING:

"The weather is fine; the football distracts you as they say. In general, we look at it all positively, it's absolutely fine. Yes, it's a difficult time, but in any case, even now, I sat for the first half, 45 minutes, and enjoyed the football. I forgot about my concerns and looked at everything positively in actual fact."

5. VARIOUS OF TEAMS TRAINING

6. STAND

7. BELARUS AND TEAM FLAGS FLAPPING

8. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) FOOTBALL FAN, ANTON, SAYING:

"The air is fresh here, there aren't that many people, we came in our own cars, we didn't use public transport. The weather is good. I think that there isn't such a big risk of getting infected in the stadium."

9. VARIOUS OF FANS IN STAND

10. VARIOUS OF PLAYERS WARMING UP

11. SCOREBOARD

12. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) FOOTBALL FAN, ANTON, SAYING:

"Of course, it's a very worrying situation. There are more and more rumours that this is the last football match, that everything will stop soon for months. So I basically came for the last time to watch a football match before isolating."

13. VARIOUS OF FANS WATCHING MATCH

14. SECURITY GUARD WATCHING MATCH

15. SECURITY GUARD WATCHING MATCH

16. MATCH IN PROGRESS

17. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) FC ENERGETIK-BGU SUPPORTER, IGOR, SAYING:

"I'm not really very scared at the moment. Sweden hasn't banned events with more than 50 people, there was not that many gathered here. I think that all these quarantines should be for the elderly and young people."

18. VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WATCHING FROM STAND

19. MAN WEARING SURGICAL MASK WATCHING MATCH

STORY: Belarusian football teams Energetik-BGU and Minsk clashed in Minsk on Sunday (April 5) as some fan clubs in the country decided to boycott games amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Energetik-BGU beat Minsk 2-0 as the Belarusian Premier League remains the only one in Europe to continue with its season.

Football fan club Neman, from the city of Grodno, recently announced their boycott of the Belarusian Premier League and called on other clubs to do the same, as well as the Belarusian Football Federation to halt the championship.

Despite this, a crowd estimated to be around 250 attended the match in Minsk.

Last weekend, Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko took part in an ice hockey match watched by a sizeable crowd, saying after the match that "It's better to die standing than to live on your knees".

Current figures estimate that Belarus has had 562 confirmed cases, a jump of 122 from Saturday (April 4) with eight deaths, three more than Saturday, from the coronavirus.

(Production: Vladimir Kostin, Peter Scott)