Football welcoming spring

Belarusian national football team prepares to open new season

By Vladimir Dmitriev

German Bernd Stange has been replaced as coach by Belarusian Georgy Kondratiev, whose debut is to be a friendly match against Moldova, hosted by Mаrdan Stadium in Turkey on February 29th. Recently, he announced the names of those being played this season — including forward Renan Bressan, from Brazil. The BATE Borisov player changed his citizenship five years ago, so should qualify to join the national team just before the match against Moldavia.

“I cannot yet say for sure that Renan Bressan will play for the national squad immediately,” he comments. “We still need to check with FIFA and gain their approval but, of course, will try to settle everything as soon as possible. Bressan concluded his first contract in Belarus with Gomel team in February 2007, so has ‘served’ five years, as needed. In any case, he’ll join us for training in Turkey and will attend theory classes, to tune in.”

The Belarusian national squad is starting the new season in 67th place in the international FIFA rankings. Since the last rating was released, Belarus hasn’t played a single match but has fallen from 65th place (with 494 points). Belarus’ rivals in the 2014 World Championship are: Spain — ranked 1st by FIFA (1566 points), France — 17th (930), Georgia — 81st (436), and Finland — 79th (439). February’s ratings included 208 national teams.

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