- The match is scheduled for August 27. Meanwhile, protests after the presidential elections are ongoing in Belarus, as a result of which Piast would like to play a match on a neutral ground
- Belarusians assure the club from Gliwice that it is safe in Minsk and that a match can be played, but today Piast will send a letter to UEFA asking it to consider the change of the meeting location
- – We do not want a situation that we will be preparing for the match, or God forbid we play in high risk conditions. The stadium and hotels meeting the standards are located in the center of Minsk – Paweł Żelem, the president of Piast, tells Onet Sport
Protests in Belarus
Belarusians took to the streets in protest against electoral fraud. According to official results, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, who has been ruling the country for 26 years, won with the result of 80.23 percent. votes. His opponent, Swiatlana Cichanouska, left Belarus – all indications are that she was persuaded to leave by the authorities.
About 700 people were detained for participating in illegal actions in Belarus on August 12 – it was handed over by the local interior ministry. Some of the detainees were released from detention on Wednesday night. Meanwhile, there was information about protests at the Biełaz, Grodno-Azot, Grodnozilstroy, Terrazit and other plants. Many people were arrested as a result of random round-ups.
Piast’s letter to UEFA
Meanwhile, on August 27, Piast Gliwice is to play the 1st round of the Europa League qualifying round in Minsk against the local Dynamo. As Onet Sport managed to find out, the Polish club would like the meeting to be held in a different location. Today, he sends a letter to UEFA asking it to consider a similar scenario. Club representatives are in constant contact with the Polish embassy in Minsk. They are preparing for the match as if it were to be played in Minsk and they even booked the plane, but at the same time they think about plan B.
– Belarusians have assured us that it is safe in Minsk and that nothing big is happening. A Dynamo Brest-Astana match is scheduled for next week and UEFA will be monitoring whether the match can take place. Our game is a week later. I think you have to wait. We are guided by the safety of the team and the desire to play a match under normal conditions. The Dynamo Stadium is right in the center of Minsk, and so are the hotels that meet the standards. We do not want a situation where we will be preparing for the game, or, God forbid, playing the game in high risk conditions. We are monitoring the situation in Belarus on an ongoing basis in order to be able to react quickly, says Paweł Żelem, president of Piast Gliwice, onet.
The game played in … Poland?
What if UEFA actually thinks that the match should be played elsewhere? Due to the pandemic, the football headquarters decided that if a Europa League qualifying match cannot be played in a given country, it is to be played in Cyprus, Hungary, Greece or Poland. Among the recommended stadiums is the arena in Lublin, located 500 km from Minsk.
If playing a match in Minsk proves to be impossible, Piast activists will poll whether the match cannot be moved to Lublin. This is against the regulations, but the heads of the club from Gliwice assume that if Dynamo agreed, UEFA would allow such a solution.