Priti Patel cancels visas for Belarusian basketball team following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine


Belarus were due to play a World Cup qualifier against Great Britain at Newcastle tomorrow

Priti Patel has revoked the visas of the Belarusian men’s basketball team due to their country’s support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine,

The team were due to face Great Britain at Newcastle tomorrow night in a World Cup qualifier.

The Home Secretary said in a tweet: “The UK will not host national sports teams from countries which are complicit in (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s unprovoked and unlawful invasion of Ukraine. .”

On Thursday, the players observed a minute’s silence ahead of Spain’s qualifier against Ukraine in Cordoba.

And yesterday, Britain summoned the Belarusian ambassador, Maxim Yermalovich, to protest against Belarus aiding Russia in its invasion.

Eggs were thrown at the Russian Embassy in London earlier, during pro-Ukrainian protests outside the building.

Hundreds of people gathered to demand President Putin withdraw from Ukraine during protests outside the embassy in Kensington, west London, as well as Downing Street on Saturday afternoon.

Ukrainian and Spanish players during a minute’s silence before the game



Waving flags, banners and placards, protesters sang the Ukrainian anthem and chanted “Putin stop war”, “Putin go home” and “free Ukraine”.

The walls of the embassy in Kensington Palace Gardens were covered in chalked messages, drawings of Ukrainian flags, splattered eggs and fake blood.

Even the building itself seemed to have egg stains and cracked shells on it.

Dozens of people wore yellow and blue flags tied around their necks and held flowers.

Helena Kovalenko, 33, from northern Ukraine, said: “I am so angry with Putin for invading my Ukraine.

“I have family there, my mum and dad, and I’m so scared for them.”

Ms Kovalenko, who has lived in the UK for nine years, added: ‘I am here today to call on this country for help – Putin must go.

Another protester from Ukraine, named Andriy, 27, said he joined the protest to call on other countries to “do more”.

He said: “The world cannot watch my people suffer – Putin is a barbarian, he is an animal.

“If the sanctions don’t stop it, the UK, the US and Europe must be ready to do anything.”

Some in the crowd, which blocked a path outside the embassy, ​​held posters comparing the Russian leader to Hitler.

Others had tears in their eyes, while others were visibly angry as dozens of police watched.

A man singing and moving through the crowd was briefly detained by police.

Another protester said he was there to “show solidarity” with Ukraine.

A banner, held above the crowd, read “Stop bombing my family”.

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