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Alexander Lukashenko: There's too much politics in sport these days

There should not be so much politics in sport as today, said President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko meeting with the head of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Sebastian Coe.

The Belarusian leader is categorically against any private issues in sport, including doping.

In addition, Alexander Lukashenko noted that from 2017, Belarus is ready to host any international competitions, including athletics events. In turn, the European colleagues voiced the idea to hold in Minsk an athletics competition between the United States and Europe.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
We are specifically modernizing our central (national) stadium, the central stadium. It will be first of all for athletics, not football. Yes, it will be possible to play football there, but it will be first of all an athletics stadium, created using cutting-edge technologies, with a training ground and all the attributes for the athlete. You can be sure that we are ready to host any competition, but especially an athletics event. And we would be very grateful to you if we could host such a competition. And if a match between the US and Europe took place on the day of the opening of our athletics stadium, it would be a good gift for all of Belarus.

Sports celebrity and double Olympic champion in the past, Sebastian Coe is now a politician. The foreign guest said that his organization would support Belarus' bids for hosting athletic competitions. For example, this applies to the European Championship 2019. The final decision on that matter will be taken by the European Athletic Association, which chairman was also in Minsk.

Svein Arne Hansen, President of European Athletics Association:
There will be held a big event in Europe in October and September 2019 - the International Athletics Competitions. My idea was to come to Minsk. Of course, we need to get consent from America and Europe.  But it is very encouraging that your President supports this idea. As soon as I agree this matter with Americans and Europeans, I will come back to Belarus to continue the talks.

Alexander Lukashenko and Sebastian Coe