Like all different fanatics interviewed via AFP, none of whom wore mask, Murad, a 60-year-old Kopetdag fan, stated he had no concern of the coronavirus pandemic and deliberate to proceed attending video games.
“Recreation kills all viruses,” he joked. “When your favorite workforce wins, it lifts your immunity!”
He was hoping his workforce may keep the tempo on the best of the department.
“This membership is a mythical membership,” Murad stated.
Ringing the adjustments
The deeply authoritarian Central Asian state adopted different international locations around the globe when it suspended its eight-team league in March simply 3 video games into the season.
The nationwide soccer federation cited suggestions via the well being ministry and the Global Well being Organisation for combating the unfold of the sickness.
However a month later, and regardless of world issues that Turkmen government are underplaying the specter of the virus, soccer made a go back to the gas-rich nation.
“Pleasure boosts our immunity,” joked Ashir Yusupov, a 34-year-old entrepreneur and fanatics stated ahead of the sport.
“We haven’t any coronavirus, so why now not restart our league?”
3 ex-Soviet states have bucked the worldwide pattern for postponing skilled leagues: Belarus, Tajikistan and now, Turkmenistan.
World passion within the Belarusian league has surged at the again of its determination, whilst the Tajikistan’s Tremendous Cup ultimate previous this month attracted a curious multi-lingual on-line following.
However Belarus, which has showed 4,779 coronavirus circumstances, has been strongly criticised for permitting fanatics to wait video games.
Tajikistan has begun its season with suits held in the back of closed doorways, whilst its authoritarian executive, like that of Turkmenistan, continues to insist there aren’t any circumstances within the nation.
‘Impregnable citadel of the motherland’
Turkmenistan hasn’t ever been referred to as a footballing powerhouse and the rustic’s primary sports activities channel selected to turn handball over Sunday’s sport.
Neither is football a few of the sports activities promoted via sport-mad president Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov.
On Global Well being Day on April 7, the president used to be proven on state tv driving a horse and a bicycle as state staff engaged in mass workout periods around the nation.
Such huge public occasions have precipitated observers to query how critically the federal government is taking the pandemic.
Since then, Berdymukhamedov has ordered officers to ramp up efforts to locate any circumstances and save you the virus spreading.
The president is referred to as the country’s Arkadag, or “Protector.”
State media have wired the significance of his management within the pandemic.
In a poem printed in state newspapers on Friday, the president’s favorite poet Gozel Shagulyyeva praised him as “the impregnable citadel of the motherland.”
“Protector, you might be gazing over (our) well being,” Shagulyyeva wrote.