Belarus 1 division
Belarus premier league
In Belarus, a country that gained independence in 1991, football is the most popular sport, followed closely by ice hockey. The National Federation participates in all senior and youth competitions organized by FIFA and UEFA. Dinamo Minsk used to be one of the major Soviet-style powerhouses and sometimes played in European club competitions. Some Belarusians such as Sergei Aleinikov, Sergei Borovsky, Sergei Gotsmanov, Ihar Hurynovich, Georgi Kondratiev, Aleksandr Prokopenko, Andrei Zygmantovich and Eduard Malofeyev (both as players and managers) represented the Soviet Union. The star of Belarusian football today is Alexander Hleb, currently playing for BATE Borisov.
The Belorussian national football team (Belorussian: Нацыянальная зборная Беларусі па футболе / Nacyjanalnaja zbornaja Biełarusi pa futbole) represents Belarus in international football and is controlled by the Belarusian Football Federation. The home of Belarus is the Borisov Arena in Borisov. Belarus have not yet qualified for a FIFA World Cup or a UEFA European Championship.
After the split of the Soviet Union, Belarus played their first game against Lithuania on July 20, 1992. Before that, several Belarusian players played for the Soviet Union national team. The first FIFA-recognized international was a friendly against Ukraine on 28 October 1992 and the first victory came in a game against Luxembourg on 12 October 1994.
Belarus has never qualified for the FIFA World Cup or the UEFA European Championship. Despite the lack of significant success in the 1990s, some noteworthy results were still achieved, such as a home victory against the Netherlands in qualifying for Euro 1996 and two draws against Italy during Euro 2000 qualifying.
Under coach Eduard Malofeyev, the team was in a play-off round just before the game against Germany to qualify for the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea. In the last group stage, she lost to Wales and missed the chance to overtake the Ukraine, who played their last game undecided and ended the group second behind Poland.
Her Euro 2004 qualifier was very unsuccessful as Belarus lost seven of their eight games. Around the same time, there was a generational change and a number of players from the U-21 team (who qualified for the 2004 European U-21 Championship) joined the senior team. For each of the following head coaches (Anatoly Baidachny, Yuri Puntus and Bernd Stange) the team improved their offensive abilities. As a result, Belarus scored more goals (total and average per game) in each subsequent qualifying tournament with the 2006 World Cup than in previous campaigns. However, defense issues and many missed goals prevented them from finishing higher than fourth in the group. Notable achievements in this period included a scoreless 3-4 away defeat by Italy in the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign (the first time Italy conceded three goals in a home game since 1983) and another home win over the Netherlands in Euro 2008 Qualifying games as well as an away win and a draw at home against France in Euro 2012 qualifying.
Belarusians scored some success in smaller tournaments. In 2002, the team defeated Russia and Ukraine to win the LG Cup. In 2004 and 2008 they won the 12th and 14th edition of the Malta International Tournament. The first with his Olympic squad and later with the first team (many appetizers were only available for the final game against Malta).
In August 2016, the Football Association announced that the national team's nickname would be "White Wings". The name was influenced by the book The Land Beneath White Wings (1977) by the famous Belarusian writer Uladzimir Karatkevich. The new marketing and communications director of the BFF, Uladzimir Berezhkov, said: "We are looking for different ways to connect with our literary heritage and our cultural traditions." in the book can be used as a hashtag! "
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