European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen travelled to Minsk on Saturday (4) for a press conference where some key details about the first edition of 'The Match Europe v USA Minsk 2019' were announced.
President Hansen was joined at the press conference by the President of the Belarus Athletic Federation Vadim Devyatovskiy, Deputy Minister for Sport and Tourism Alexander Baraulya and leading Belarusian athletes Nastassia Mironchyk-Ivanova and Maksim Nedasekau who are both expected to represent Team Europe in their respective events later this year.
Tickets for The Match which takes place on 9-10 September were officially launched and the official parade uniform which will be worn by around 170 European athletes for functions such as the official opening and prize-giving ceremonies and the pre-event press conference was also unveiled. Tickets for the event can be purchased here.
Prices range in price from 12 to 25 Belarusian rubles (5 to 10.5 EUR) and the organisers have also offered promotional packages to incentivise spectators, including two day tickets from 22 to 45 Belarusian rubles (9 to 19 EUR). The event takes place inside the recently refurbished Dinamo Stadium and President Hansen is confident the first edition of The Match will set a very high standard for future editions to follow.
“This is the largest athletics event in Europe this year and the most important. European Athletics is proud the event will be held in Minsk. I attended the opening of the Dinamo Stadium and I believe this is the most beautiful athletics stadium in Europe. This arena is very suitable for this format, and I am sure the event will be successful. And it is also very important that 10 Belarusians will perform at the tournament,” said Hansen.
Team Europe will be announced in its entirety shortly after the European Athletics Team Championships with the four divisions taking place between 9-11 August. Not only will there be strong home representation in Minsk, reigning world and European champions Mariya Lasitskene, Ekaterini Stefanidi and Ramil Guliyev are some of the high-profile athletes already confirmed for team duties in The Match later this year.
The first part of the official team uniform was also unveiled and both Nedasekau and Mironchyk-Ivanova wore the parade items to the press conference. “It’s a good colour and it feels comfortable so I really like it,” said Mironchyk-Ivanova. “And I would like to emphasise that it was made in Belarus.”
Devyatovskiy also briefed the press about some of the initial broadcasting intentions for the event before praising President Hansen for his ongoing support and counsel as preparations gather pace for the inaugural staging of The Match.
“This is a great chance for Belarus to declare itself to the whole world. However, without the participation of the President Hansen, all of this could not happen. He gave us great confidence,” said Devyatovskiy.
“I think the fact that we are always serious about organising competitions has played a role here. For example, the European 10,000m Cup once again confirmed that we can conduct sporting events at the highest level.”
The Dinamo Stadium has a capacity of 22,000 and reopened last year ahead of a four-way international match featuring teams from Belarus, Ukraine as well as select teams from the Baltics and the Balkans.