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Opinions & Interviews

18 Dec 2018

Lukashenko: Belarusian athletes lack fighting spirit

Lukashenko: Belarusian athletes lack fighting spirit

MINSK, 18 December (BelTA) - Belarus President, President of the National Olympic Committee Alexander Lukashenko said that Belarusian athletes often lack fighting spirit at the session held on 18 December to discuss the development of summer sports, BelTA informs.

“Sport is more than a fight, it is a war. Athletes should give them all at football stadiums and ice rinks. Only then they can win,” the president is convinced.

As an example the head of state mentioned his recent meeting with former president of Latvia Guntis Ulmanis who is the president of Riga’s ice hockey club Dinamo. Among other things, they discussed the development of ice hockey in Belarus and Latvia.

“Look at those players from Riga, look at their team. Look at their fighting spirit!” Alexander Lukashenko said. Guntis Ulmanis told him that Riga’s Dinamo was very lucky to find a good coach. He encourages the players to fight till the end. That is why they are always trying to do their best.

The president also spoke about the FIFA World Cup in Russia where favorites lost to weaker teams. “At the FIFA World Cup Russia was an underdog, but played really well,” the head of state said.

Alexander Lukashenko also mentioned certain short-sighted solutions of sports functionaries. For example, in his opinion, chief coach of the national ice hockey team Andrei Sidorenko was a bad choice for Dinamo Minsk. “I told you that you would not get anywhere. He got stuck in that club tournament, he has a lot of issues, and he does not pay enough attention to the national team,” the president said.

The head of state emphasized that he expects good results at all levels, from athletes and coaches, heads of federations and civil servants in charge of sport development.

He also pointed out the need to improve work with promising athletes, training of young athletes, especially in sports which are traditionally popular in Belarus. “Succession of generations should be imperceptible,” the Belarusian leader believes.

“We need results. You will not get more money,” Alexander Lukashenko said. “I do not expect that Belarusian athletes will immediately become world champions in all sports. But there should be no retrogression in sport in terms of results and medals.”

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