The national football team of Belarus has gathered for the first time in 2016. The best players of the country are training under coach Alexander Khatskevich. The national team have already begun preparation for the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifying.
Khatskevich will face selection headache as Pavel Nekhaichik is injured; he has been replaced by FC Shakhter Soligorsk striker Nikolai Yanush. Maksim Bordachev and Igor Stasevich are also sidelined.
Alexander Khatskevich, Belarus manager:
Before I send a call to any player I talk to him. I have contact with each of them and the main criterion here is a player's desire to play for the national team. Not everyone of them has had a great matchday but we are now trying to focus on match preparation. So everything is going smoothly.
This time Belarus will play friendlies away. On March 25, Belarus face Armenia in Yerevan and then travel to Montenegro.
The FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifiers start in September 2016. Belarus is in Group A together with France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Bulgaria and Luxembourg. Belarus play their first game at Borisov Arena at home, against France, on September 6.
In May 2016, Belarus will play two other friendlies. One of the opponents will be Euro 2016 participants Northern Ireland. Talks on the other friendly are underway.