The players of the national team of Belarus on August 28 will begin preparations for a friendly match against Norway and the opening match of the 2018 World Cup qualifying against France.
The coaching staff of the Belarusian team led by Alexander Khatskevich named an long list of candidates, which includes 30 players:
Goalkeepers - Andrei Gorbunov (Atromitos, Athens, Greece), Sergey Chernik (Nancy, France), Andrei Klimovich (Minsk), Aleksandr Gutor (Orenburg, Russia);
defenders - Denis Polyakov. Maksim Volodko (both - BATE Borisov), Igor Shitov (Astana, Kazakhstan), Aleksandr Martynovich (Krasnodar, Russia), Sergey Politevich (Genclerbirligi, Ankara, Turkey), Roman Begunov (Dinamo, Minsk), Yegor Filipenko (Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Israel), Mikhail Sivakov (Zarya, Lugansk, Ukraine), Maksim Bordachev (Tom, Tomsk, Russia);
midfielders - Sergei Kislyak (Gaziantepspor, Turkey), Stanislaw Drahun (Dinamo, Moscow, Russia), Igor Stasevich, Mikhail Gordeychuk, Alexander Hleb, Alex Rios (all - BATE Borisov), Pavel Nekhaychik (Orenburg, Russia), Sergei Krivets (Wisla, Plock, Poland), Sergey Balanovich (Amkar, Perm, Russia), Ivan Mayewski (Anzhi Makhachkala, Russia), Nikita Korzun (Dynamo Kyiv, Ukraine), Renan Bressan (APOEL Nicosia, Cyprus), Timofey Kalachev (Rostov, Russia);
forwards - Sergei Kornilenko (Krylia Sovetov, Samara, Russia), Nikolay Yanush (Shahktyor, Soligorsk), Nikolai Signevich (BATE Borisov), Vitali Rodionov (BATE Borisov).
By August 22, coaches will name 23 players who from 28 August will be training in Minsk at the Belarusian football federation complex and then go to Oslo to hold a friendly on the last day of summer. Back home, the Belarusian football players will continue preparations for the first qualifying match of the FIFA World Cup 2018 against the French team, which will take place at Borisov Arena on 6 September.
Besides France, Belarusians' rivals in qualifying Group A are the Netherlands, Sweden, Bulgaria and Luxemburg.
In 2016, Belarus will also play against the Netherlands away on October 7, then hosts Luxemburg on October 10 and finally travels to Bulgaria on November 13. The other World Cup 2018 qualifiers will take place in 2017.