Hockey is a show glass of the Belarusian dictatorship.
The national team of Belarus lost to Austria (0: 4) in the group stage of the World Championship in Denmark. Thus, for the first time in 15 years, the Belarusian team left the elite division.
Charter97.org asked European Belarus civil campaign coordinator Zmitser Bandarenka, a graduate of the Belarusian Institute of Physical Culture, to comment on this event.
– We can say that this is a naturally-determined result of one not very adequate person’s painful obsession with hockey. Initially, the fixation on hockey as a sport No. 1 in Belarus was akin to growing melons and watermelons in Drazdy fields. Lukashenka's whims "I want it!" have not been working for a long time. No matter how much money is injected into hockey, it is impossible for the Belarusians to become a world leader in this sport with no scientific base and coaching traditions.
Hockey is a very expensive toy. Millions of pensioners, workers, farmers were robbed and their money went to the construction of unnecessary and inefficient hockey palaces. The dictator also robbed the Belarusian hockey players. His so-called amateur hockey tournaments required huge funds, because, to delight the ruler, hockey players from all over the world were paid a lot of money. And schoolchildren, students and soldiers have recently been driven to the hockey arenas for matches not only with the participation of Lukashenka senior, but also for the games of the growing offspring. If only a small part of these funds had gone to the national team, then at least it would have been able to survive in the elite division.
Hockey is a show glass of the Belarusian dictatorship, and the majority of the country's residents cheered the news on the sports "top manager’s" failure.
– How may Lukashenka react? Should the Belarusian team immediately apply for political asylum in Denmark?
– Obviously, this is not just about putting Lukashenka's nose out of joint. This is a radical blow for his already unstable state of mind. I do not exclude reprisals against both the hockey players and coaches and sports officials. Remember the case of Uladzimir Berazhkou, Dynama Minsk general manager.
But Lukashenka must put the cuffs on himself. As his incompetent interference in all the spheres of life, the manner to appoint KGB and police officers to senior positions, have pushed both hockey and the country’s economy over the edge.