By Kirill Pirogov
During the preliminary round, hosted by Turkish Antalya, our squad defeated Japan 20:0, Turkey 20:2, France 5:1, and England 6:1. In the semi-finals, they beat Spain 5:1 and, in the finals, crushed Ukraine 5:1. Belarus’ Andrey Knyazev was named best striker of the championship.
Following the event, the head coach of the Belarusian squad, Anatoly Usenko, could not hide his emotions, saying, “Our guys were excellent.They are in very high spirits. Few teams can boast of being five time world champion. We are especially happy to avenge our defeat by Ukraine, which went to penalty last time. In August, Belarusian football celebrates its 100th anniversary. We want to make it a bright event and bring more joy to all football fans.”
The Belarusian national mini football team for the visually challenged was formed in 1997 and has been successful at world and European events. It has won world events in 1998, 2002, 2004, 2007 and 2011; in 2008, it took silver. At European championships, Belarus has been unequalled in 2001, 2007 and 2009. In 1999, Belarus was second and in 1997 came third.