Belarusian Premier League to include 16 clubs in next couple of years

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Belarusian Premier League to include 16 clubs in next couple of years

President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko supported the format of the Belarusian football championship with 16 clubs, said head coach of the U21 national team Lyudas Rumbutis. The question about the number of teams in the highest league was considered at yesterday's meeting with the participation of the head of state.

The chairman of the Belarusian Football Federation, Sergei Rumas, his deputy Yury Kurbyko, as well as the authoritative Belarusian coaches - Sergey Borovsky, Eduard Malofeev and Lyudas Rumbutis - were invited to meet with President Lukashenko. One of the issues discussed at the meeting was the number of teams in the top league of the national championship. The President supported the current format of the tournament.

"Among others at yesterday's meeting we discussed the optimal number of clubs in the highest league. The reduction of the elite division can seriously hurt youth and children's football. The head of state listened and supported our arguments, therefore in the near future the strongest football division will include 16 clubs," Rumbutis said.

The idea of ​​reducing the number of teams in the Premier League of Belarus was announced by the Ministry of Sports of Belarus, namely by its head Alexander Shamko. However, yesterday Shamko was fired from his post for insufficient efforts in combating corruption and returned to the Ministry of Emergency Situations.

The 28th Belarusian Championship in the top league will be held in the format of 16 teams for the 16th time. Seven times the highest league included 14 teams and five more times only 12 teams competed.

FC BATE Borisov won the last championship finishing equal on points with FC Dinamo Minsk but surpassing them in head-to-head matches. This will be changed, with the Golden Match rule to be introduced.