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National associations

Developing football in Belarus

Belarus's independent football development started only after the collapse of the USSR in 1991.

Belarus line up for a women's qualifier in 2021
Belarus line up for a women's qualifier in 2021 ©UEFA

The Football Federation of Belarus (ABFF) is working hard to improve conditions in the former Soviet republic, and challenging the men’s and women’s national teams to raise their game.

The ABFF is striving to reach the following strategic goals for the period 2021-28:

  • Development of infrastructure (full size and mini artificial pitches) across the country
  • Improving the youth football system, through coaching courses and change of approach towards youth development
  • Improving the results and standard of the national football teams.

The ABFF has been putting a lot of effort into nurturing women’s football; the standard and organisation of the Belarusian women’s league and senior national team fixtures has increased significantly, while the girls’ #Woooow league – launched by the ABFF for Under-13 teams – is one of the most successful grassroots projects in Belarus.

UEFA assistance

UEFA HatTrick funding is helping the drive to improve local facilities; with the help of UEFA and the local authorities, the ABFF is installing new full-sized artificial pitches in different parts of Belarus, as well as mini-pitches. UEFA funding also helped in the construction of the BFF Technical Centre in Pobeditelei, Minsk, which has full-sized pitches and accommodation for youth and senior national teams, as well as training and medical facilities.


Association history

1910 The country's first club, the appropriately named First Gymnasium Football Team, were formed in the south-eastern city of Gomel; the game soon catches on in the capital Minsk, and in provincial centres such as Borisov and Mogilev. 1922 A Belarusian championship is inaugurated in the year Belarus becomes part of the USSR. 1923 Dinamo Minsk, soon to be the nation's leading club, are established; Dinamo begin to participate in the Soviet football system in 1936. 1982 Dinamo Minsk reach their pinnacle, becoming the only Belarusian side to win the Soviet Top League. The Minsk outfit also make a European impact, reaching the quarter-finals of the European Champion Clubs' Cup (1983/84), UEFA Cup (1984/85) and European Cup Winners' Cup (1987/88). 1989 The Football Federation of Belarus (ABFF or Belorusskaja Federacija Futbola) is founded on 21 November; the country’s independent football development begins after the break-up of the USSR in 1991. 1992 The ABFF is admitted to FIFA on 3 July, before becoming a UEFA member on 20 June 1993. 2008 BATE Borisov make the first of three appearances in the UEFA Champions League group stage. 2009 Belarus hosts the eight-nation final round of the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship. 2011 Belarus's men are semi-finalists at the UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Denmark, winning the right to play at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. 2016 Belarus are proud hosts of another European tournament - the final round of the UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship. Present day

National team history

1992 The national side makes its official debut in Minsk on 28 October with a 1-1 draw against Ukraine. 1995 Sergei Gerasimets scores the only goal as Belarus record a shock 1-0 home win against the Netherlands in a EURO ’96 qualifier. 2000 Eduard Malofeev begins a three-year spell as Belarus coach; a member of the USSR squad that came fourth at the 1966 FIFA World Cup, he also guided Dinamo Minsk to the 1982 Soviet crown. 2001 Belarus finish third in their FIFA World Cup qualifying group, losing 1-0 to Wales in their final game; had they won, they would have qualified for the play-offs. 2002 A first trophy at national-team level arrives when Belarus win a Moscow tournament contested by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Ukraine and Russia. 2010 Belarus pull of perhaps their most famous result in September, beating Les Bleus 1-0 at the Stade de France, Sergei Kislyak scoring the only goal. They follow up by holding Les Bleus to a 1-1 in Minsk in June 2011. Present day


Nikolai Sherstnev

Nationality: Belarusian
Date of birth: 9 December 1960
Association president since: 2023

Nikolai Sherstnev
Nikolai SherstnevABFF

General secretary

Sergei Zhardetski

Nationality: Belarusian
Date of birth: 6 February 1984
Association general secretary since: 2019

Sergei Zhardetski
Sergei Zhardetski©ABFF

Football Federation of Belarus website