Sports make political point for Belarus amid virus outbreak

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — With most sports around the world shutting down because of the coronavirus pandemic, longtime Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko is proudly keeping soccer and hockey arenas open.

The Eastern European nation of nearly 9.5 million even started a whole new soccer season this month as coronavirus cases rose.

The move has the full support of Lukashenko, who took to the ice in an amateur hockey tournament on Saturday with a few hundred spectators in the stands.

“It’s better to die standing that to live on your knees,” he said, defending Belarus’ refusal to introduce isolation measures and border restrictions like its neighbors, such as Russia.

With foreign sports networks having little to show and few other options for
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