The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in Japan. UEFA Euro 2020 in Europe. The NBA in the United States. The Premier League in England. The list goes on and on. What do they all have in common? If you said that they’re all remnants of artificial social constructs that were originally created to enhance the already existing tribal like tendencies to which homo sapiens are predisposed to fall into due to the the slow evolution of their Palaeolithic brains, and were more recently co-opted by the vampire squids of the failed capitalist system in order to extract yet more wealth from the working classes and redistribute it amongst the wealthy elite, then, well, yes, you are indeed 100% correct. But this is a travel blog, so we’ll go ahead and leave the heavy philosophising to the heavyweights of contemporary philosophy like Chomsky, Žižek and Harari.
No, the commonality we had in mind was that all of these major sporting events and sports leagues have been cancelled or had their seasons postponed due to the global Coronavirus pandemic. In fact, virtually every single sports league in the entire world has been put on hold for the time being, except for one brave association that soldiers on in order to bring entertainment and mental diversion to its tens of millions of newly acquired fans (and presumably hundreds of millions of degenerate gamblers, who are one of the least talked about groups of victims from this whole crisis): the Belarusian Premier League!
Now, if you haven’t read our Ultimate Guide Global Pandemic Quarantine Guide 2020, first of all, you are really missing out, because it’s excellent, informative and highly entertaining (here’s another link just in case you missed that previous one). And secondly, you also might also be asking yourself why on Earth is the Belarusian Premier League still being played when the rest of the world has gone on lock down? And with fans even in the stands no less? That’s a very fine question. We’ll let ourselves explain:
“Why on Earth is professional football still being played in Belarus you ask? We’re no experts, but we’d guess that it has something to do with the fact that the country is run by a batsh*t crazy dictator who says things like ‘vodka and saunas can ward off Covid-19‘.” – In Your Pocket Travel Blog
The batsh*t crazy dictator in question is of course the endlessly fascinating Alexander Lukashenko, who is probably most known for being ‘Europe’s Last Dictator’ and best buddies with 1990s B-movie action star Steven Seagal, who he sometimes even invites over to snack on carrots in his garden while discussing current affairs. Our legal department has advised us not to mention the unproven yet widely believed rumour that Lukashenko’s mother was a prostitute and his real father was an itinerant gypsy, so we definitely won’t be doing that. However, if that last sentence piqued your interest, you can read a full 30-page academic article by Anastasiya Astapova in the University of Indiana Press’ Journal of Folklore Research here.
Don’t lose sight of the most important thing though, namely, that you can watch (and gamble) the Belarusian Premier League from now until December 2020! We’d also like to point out that Belarus in general and Minsk in particular are incredible destinations for tourists, and most people don’t even need visas to enter when flying into Minsk International Airport. While our local Minsk In Your Pocket office unfortunately closed its doors a few years ago, we had the pleasure of visiting last year, and spent eight incredible days exploring the city, and drinking more vodka than would seem humanly possible. Does that mean we’re now immune to the Coronavirus? We sure hope so!
And now, without further adieu, it’s what you’ve scrolled all this way for: 1990s action star Steven Seagal wearing a giant kurtas and awkwardly munching on a carrot freshly peeled by Europe’s Last Dictator:
In Your Pocket in no way endorses or is responsible for the views and opinions expressed herein, which are solely those of In Your Pocket’s former editor-in-chief and current editor-at-large Yuri Barron. These days he can be found on the 30th floor of a condominium in Kuala Lumpur, where he was planning to ride out the global quarantine by finishing his memoirs, Thirty-Cent Life: A Decade of Moderately Irresponsible Travel in Dodgy Countries, but hasn’t managed to get round to starting yet. More of his somewhat travel-related work can be found here.