Thursday, 28 June 2007

Footie authoritarianism alert: Belarus

We all know Belarus for its fine babka, as well as its current crop of distinguished footballers, like Denis Kovba and the silky smooth Timofei Kalachev. But what we don't know could imperil our very lives, or, if the goons of Alexander Lukashenko are in a more forgiving mood, our flowing locks of humble hair.

HumbleFootball warns you: When attending football matches in the Belarus, don't carry anything red and white, or white-red-white, or white-and-red-all-over (like a dead baby). If you do, you'll get a beating, as happened to these kids in Homel today:

As the BelaPAN agency was told by a student Ihar Sluchak, at about 9 p.m. he and
his friends returned from the stadium. “Suddenly riot policemen came up to us
and started insulting us. They sneered at a young man, who looked as an adherent
of nonconformist youth subculture. Then they dragged us to the police bus.
Policemen were swearing, and threatened to cut long hair of one of the guys. We
haven’t been told the reason of our detention; the policemen hadn’t told their
names. They just swore and sneered at us. The most likely reason of detention
was white-red-white symbols at our clothes and bags,” Ihar Slutchak said.

Cut our nonconformist youth subculture hair! And then send it to Dalston wig-dealers!

The problem with white-red-white is that apart from being River Plate colours , it's also the old Belarussian flag, that was chucked out by our friend Lukashenko in 1995 for this beauty. So when footballing in Belarus, dress like a Christmas tree.

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