Georgian national football team loses to N. Macedonia, failing to qualify for European Championship
The Georgian national football team was unable to qualify for the European Championship after losing 0-1 in Tbilisi to North Macedonia on November 12.
After the match, the head coach of the Georgian national team, Slovak Vladimir Weiss, resigned.
“My job is done. My time is up. Thanks to the Georgian fans, players and journalists. It was a difficult time, but it was a very good five years in my life. We are saddened,” he said at a press conference after the game.
The match started at 21:00 Tbilisi time. Fans were not allowed into the Tbilisi Arena stadium due to the coronavirus epidemic.
An hour later, the curfew began, imposed in Georgia due to a strong increase in coronavirus infections. However, hundreds of spectators gathered outside the stadium and watched the game on a nearby screen.
After the match, reporters filmed one fan returning home, who was fined GEL 2,000 [about $700] by the police for violating the curfew.
At the same time, a photo was circulated on Facebook showing Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze, leaders of the ruling Georgian Dream party Irakli Kobakhidze, Levan Kobiashvili and senior officials of the Football Federation sitting in empty stands.
This photo caused a splash among fans and the general public. On social media and TV, viewers have published critical posts that the authorities are selective about laws and their application.
The European Football Championship will take place from 11 June to 11 July 2021. According to the preliminary plan of UEFA, 12 countries and 24 strongest teams of the continent will take part in the championship. They are already divided into four groups. The Georgian national team, in case of reaching the final, would get into Group C together with the national teams of the Netherlands, Ukraine and Austria.