Ex-Dundee United striker Darko Bodul admits he can’t believe he’s still having to play football in Belarus during the coronavirus crisis.
The former Soviet state is the only country in Europe and one of the very few in the world still playing the game and ignoring the pandemic that’s swept the planet.
One-time Croatian U-21 international Bodul was a high-profile signing for United five years ago, with the ex-Ajax hitman insisting he chose to sign for the Tannadice club after consulting with Old Firm stars Sasa Papac and Georgios Samaras.
But after signing a two-year deal, he failed to impress under manager Jackie McNamara and was told he could leave in the next transfer window, although he eventually stayed for the season until he was released by mutual consent after 12 appearances and no goals.
He’s now playing his football in Belarus for Shakhtyor Soligorsk and the 31-year-old is astonished football is continuing there.
Bodul said: “When I was told we were going to be starting the league, it was a massive blow to me. It was shocking to be honest.
“Everyone here in Belarus has been watching the news, we know what has been happening in the rest of Europe and yet we are still playing.
“But there’s nothing we can do about it. The rest of the country knows it’s madness too and are reacting in the right way.
“The problem is the president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, rules the country with an iron fist. He’s described the coronavirus as a psychosis. He likes to play the big boss act.
“Fortunately, no one takes him seriously here and even without official Government measures, there are far fewer people out on the streets and older people have stayed in.
“But I’m stuck here and have a wife and a son who live in Amsterdam, who are unable to travel at the moment. I doubt I’ll be able to see them for a very long time so it’s a very tough time for me.”