Belarusian club end negotiations to hire new marketing director after fans’ homophobic outcry

Belarusian Premier League club Dinamo Minsk have called off a deal to hire Valentin Sereda, an openly gay radio producer and TV presenter in Belarus, as the club’s next marketing director after the news caused an outcry among fans over his sexuality.

On Thursday (22 January), a club statement announcing the decision mentioned Sereda’s “unprofessional actions” as the reason to end the deal and not his sexual orientation.

It read: “The candidate for the marketing director position at FC Dynamo Minsk, Valentin Sereda, has caused substantial damage to the club’s image and reputation through his unprofessional actions.

“Therefore, the club has made the decision to terminate the negotiations with Sereda and end the discussions of a future cooperation with him.”

The club statement came as a response to a fans’ appeal made on social media a day before. On Wednesday 21 January, after Belarusian media reported Sereda’s appointment, Dinamo Minsk fans expressed their indignation and asked the club not to hire the Belarusian showman.

Interviewed by the European radio channel Euradio, the club press officer Vasiliy Kniaziuk said: “Neither religion, nor skin colour, nor sexual orientation are relevant to the situation. Look at our squad in the recent years. We don’t care about anyone’s personal life as long as they do their work and bring revenue to the club.

“With regards to this situation, we do not accept when a person makes statements in the name of the club before he is actually a club’s employee. What exactly happened, we cannot disclose."

On the Russian social media platform VK, the fans of the club wrote: “This is the vision and values we developed in countless away matches and kilometres made for our club – we will not accept under any circumstances a faggot at our club!

“We appeal to the club to manage in accordance to the traditional values. We are against a faggot to work at our club!”

Moments after the fans’ appeal, the 40 year-old presenter wrote in one of his social media profiles: “My move to Dinamo has nothing to do with my personal life, it is about work. I am deleting my profile because I don’t want to agitate anyone but, at the same time, I want to make a note that such intolerance looks awful to me.

“Throughout the civilised world such things are normal. Do not be savages.”


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