Football: Belarus captain slams fans over Putin chant

Belarus skipper Tsimafei Kalachou who plays for the Russian side Rostov shared with Euroradio his opinion about the performance actions by fans during the Euro 2016 qualifier between Belarus and Ukraine at Barysau Arena on October 9.

Tsimafei Kalachou: I think the behavior of the fans was wrong. Actually, they were not fans - just a group of people… In my opinion, to chant political slogans was not right. As for Belarus fans, if you come to watch football, you need to support your team to push it forward. Perhaps, we would not have lost it in the end. But again chanting insulting slogans against Russia is stupidity and wrong behavior...

Euroradio: How should it be so that players get motivated?

Tsimafei Kalachou: I am not going to lecture anyonoe. Since we lack fans support culture, we get what we get. What can be done? At Dynamo [stadium], fans used to push us forward all the time. That gave us extra strength. But when the audience watches football as if it is theater... If you come at the stadium, you need to express emotions, support your team.

Euroradio: Fans were detained after the match on charges of being under influence in a public place. According to Ukrainian fans, they were detained for wearing T-shirts with white-red-white Belarusian national flags. The situation is that we have the state and the national flags in Belarus. There is a trend that many fans like white-red colors. The police do not like it. Do you think detentions of fans do harm to football or perhaps the police do the right thing?

Tsimafei Kalachou: Fans' behavior may do harm to football clubs sometimes like the situation with CSKA which incurred huge losses. Obviously, it is wrong to detain as well. But when people chant political slogans instead of cheering their team… I guess they do not get detained for no reason. Yet, in our country one can get punished for various wrongdoings. This is an indicator that people should behave with caution.

On October 9, Belarus was defeated by Ukraine at Barysau Arena in the second group stage match of the Euro 2016 qualification campaign. During the game, Belarus and Russian fans cooperated throughout the whole match to sing songs together and chant a well-known slogan that insults the Russian president.