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12 March 2024, 16:40

Minister: Belarusian beach soccer team will prove its worth

MINSK, 12 March (BelTA) – Belarusian Sports and Tourism Minister Sergei Kovalchuk has congratulated the Belarusian national beach soccer team on its successful performance at the 2024 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, BelTA has learned.

The National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Belarus played host to a ceremony to honor the Belarusian national beach soccer team who returned from the UAE where it placed fourth at 2024 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. Belarus defeated Senegal, Japan, Colombia and Portugal, but lost to Italy and Iran in the semifinal and bronze medal match respectively.

“This is a success for the whole Belarusian sport. We rarely achieve such results in team sports. Belarusian beach soccer reaching the world level became possible thanks to athletes’ love for the country and its people. This triumphant performance is the result of many years of work. I have seen how the team was developing, what difficult times it has gone through in its history. Team sport is much harder than individual sport. It is very difficult to combine all the efforts into one. This takes a team of like-minded people to strive for a common goal,” Sergei Kovalchuk said. “It is a pity we were a little unlucky in the semifinal against Italy, a small step short of the deciding game. I am sure the players and coaches drew conclusions from those frustrating defeats. The national team has a lot of potential. It have every opportunity to prove its worth and represent our country with dignity. The main thing is to keep the team spirit.”

The minister also expressed his gratitude to the coaching staff. “I want to say many thanks to the players for the emotions we got during the World Cup. Special thanks to head coach Nicolas Alvarado. We are landlocked, we have no beaches. We do not have the opportunities France, Spain or others have. I remember how the Portuguese cried after losing to us in the quarterfinal. Portugal is a very strong team, a three-time world champion. I can imagine how frustrating it was for them to watch our country win, a country that does not have the same resources to develop beach soccer,” he added.
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