Minsk – The European Olympic Committees (EOC) today welcomed the signing of a decree that will allow foreign visitors planning to attend the 2nd European Games in Minsk, Belarus from 21-30 June 2019 to enter and stay in the country without a visa for up to 30 days.
Belarus President, Alexander Lukashenko, recently signed the decree enabling visa-free entry and temporary stay in Belarus for foreign nationals from 10 June to 10 July 2019.
Requirements for visa-free entry include a passport valid at least 90 days beyond the intended date of departure from the country, an original or electronic ticket for one of the events of the European Games Minsk 2019 (including Opening and Closing ceremonies), a medical-insurance certificate with coverage of at least 10,000 euros valid in Belarus during the entire duration of stay and proof of financial means to adequately cover the daily cost of living.
The new visa-free entry procedure applies to foreign citizens of 74 countries.
The decree also states that participants of the 2nd European Games, official representatives and other specialists involved in the preparation of the event, will be granted visa-free entry for the period of 20 May to 10 July 2019.
Organisers expect that a significant number of overseas sports fans will attend the Games in Minskvia Russia. To this effect, Belarus and Russiasigned an intergovernmental agreement on 30 May under which Russia will provide visa-free transit and stay in its territory for foreign fans travelling to Minsk for the 2nd European Games.
Ticket sales for Minsk 2019 will begin on 1 December 2018.
In total, 4,082 athletes from all 50 European National Olympic Committees will compete in 15 sports at the European Games: 3×3 basketball, archery, athletics, badminton, beach soccer, boxing, canoe sprint, cycling, gymnastics, judo, karate, sambo, shooting, table tennis andwrestling. Ten of the 15 sports will act as qualifiers for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, with the European Games also counting as the official European championships for four sports.
There will be 91 men’s events, 89 women’s events and 21 mixed events in total, with 115 universality spots available.
Belarus to suspend road tolls during 2nd European Games
Travellers on toll roads in Belarus will be exempt from paying during the 2nd European Games Minsk 2019, scheduled for 21-30 June 2019.
According to Presidential Decree No 292, tolls will be suspended for all vehicles (and their trailers) not exceeding 3.5 tonnes from 10 June until 20 July 2019.
An electronic toll collection system (BelToll) has been operating in the Republic of Belarus since 1 July 2013. According to the new legislation, tolls will still be applied to all vehicles over 3.5 tonnes and passenger vehicles 3.5 tonnes and under that are not registered in a Eurasian Economic Union (EAEC) country. There are currently 1,613.5 kilometres of toll roads in Belarus.
National beach soccer stadium opens in Minsk
The national beach soccer stadium to be used at next year’s European Games Minsk 2019 was officially opened today in the Belarusian capital.
Construction of the stadium, the only non-existing venue to be used at Minsk 2019, took only two months. In compliance with international standards, the capacity of the new arena is 1,300 spectators. The venue joins beach soccer arenas in the Belarus cities of Borisov, Vitebsk, Kirovsk, Mozyr, Molodechno, Minsk, Slonim, and Shchuchin. One thing that differentiates the new Minsk stadium is the spectator seats, which are very close to the field of play.
The opening ceremony was attended by Deputy Minister of Sports and Tourism, Alexander Baraulya, sports director of the Minsk European Games Organising Committee (MEGOC) Sergei Shablyko, general secretary of the Belarusian Football Federation, Yuri Vergeichik, chairman of the Beach Soccer Federation, Alexei Sychev and the Director of the Olympic Sports Complex, Andrei Nesterovich.
The venue will host the first test event for the European Games Minsk 2019: Stage 4 of the Euro Beach Soccer League from 3-5 August 2018. Four teams will compete – Belarus, Italy, Poland, and Turkey.
Deputy Minister Baraulya said: “The upcoming 2nd European Games is a chance for beach soccer to show all that it has to offer. In 2018, a national beach soccer team was officially created in Belarus. The new stadium is one of the forms of state support for the preparation for the multi-sport event next year. The traditions created here will have great importance in the future.”
MEGOC sports director Shablyko believes that the beach soccer tournament at the European Games will be popular among local and international fans, especially since the stadium is located in the Olympic Sports Complex next to the park zone.
Shablyko said: “It’s not a secret that Belarus loves sports, so we hope that the spectator seats at the national beach soccer stadium will be full during the 2nd European Games. I would like to praise the activities of the federation to develop the sport in the country, including in preparation for the European Games. I hope there will be an opportunity for as many children and youth sports schools to open as possible. It is my wish that beach soccer will eventually become an Olympic sport.”
The Euro Beach Soccer League is a continental championship featuring the best men’s national teams. It will be the first time a stage of the competition will be held in Minsk. Belarus Beach Soccer Federation Chairman Sychev urged fans to come out and support the home team, as a good showing in the Euroleague will be important in preparations for the European Games, scheduled for 21-30 June 2019.
Sychev said: “I think that the number of competitions and finances that we have planned for next year will allow the team to prepare well for the European Games. The goal is to finish among the winning teams of the event.”
Head coach of the Belarus national beach soccer team, Spanish specialist Nicolas Alvarado, said he wants his players to achieve the maximum results during the Euroleague. “The main thing is to win and show all your skills to the audience,” he said.
This Euroleage is part of Division A, where 12 teams compete over 5 stages. Each team will perform in two stages. The seven best teams in the standings will join the Italian team in the Superfinal (September 6-9), which Italy will host. The Belarusian team is currently in 6th place
with 6 points. Their closest rivals, Italy and Poland, have 3 points each while Turkey has none. The table is led by Ukraine and Portugal, with 12 points each after six games.
The Euroleague games in Minsk will be free of charge for spectators.
Euroleague 2018 is qualifying competition for the 2nd European Games. In addition to the host country Belarus, the 6 best Superfinal teams will take part in the Games, as well as the winner of the Promofinal (from Division B). If the Belarusian team finishes in the top 6 of the Superfinal the seventh-place team will also earn a berth to the European Games.