Lukashenko launches tirade against Belarus national team

President says players “shit themselves” as they took to the field against Spain

Agencies

The president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, took the country’s soccer team to task at a press conference in Minsk on Tuesday. Referring to Spain’s 4-0 win in the Minsk Dinamo Stadium last Friday, Lukashenko, who is also president of the country’s Olympic Committee, said: “I’ve never seen such a disgrace for our nation. Our national team, excuse my language, just shit themselves. They came out on to the pitch with their legs and arms shaking.”

Spain is the reigning world and European champion, having beaten Italy 4-0 in last summer’s Euro 2012 final in Kiev.

Entertaining a delegation of Russian media outlets, Lukashenko also took the time to describe himself as “well behind” Stalin and Lenin. “I have a long way to go to catch up with them. They confronted challenges of great importance. Lenin created a state and Stalin consolidated it.”

Considered to be Europe’s last dictator, Lukashenko also opined that he might be cast in a similar light to the Soviet leaders “in half a century’s time.”

“If the tendency driven by the West is born out, I will be worse than Stalin. They will say that I strolled through the streets, that I hunted people, that I ate them, especially women […] they will demonize me just like Stalin.”

Nonetheless, the Belarusian leader admitted that the support for the national team in Minsk had been encouraged to attend by the state. “I’ll tell you the truth: we had used the administrative levers to bring 40,000 people to fill the stands, and what did we get for it? Look at the Georgians, they fought against Spain to the last minute… Can you say that about our team?”

Belarus sits bottom of Group I in European qualifying for the 2014 World Cup with three losses from three games. Georgy Kondratiev’s side plays Georgia on Tuesday, again in Minsk.