A plaque laid to mark the construction of the venue ©Minsk 2019

Construction work has begun at the National Stadium for Beach Soccer which will be used at the Minsk 2019 European Games.

A commemorative plaque was laid to mark the occasion in the Belarus capital with the second edition of the Games due to run between June 21 and 30 next year.

Guests included Sports and Tourism Minister Sergei Kovalchuk and first vice president of the National Olympic Committee of Belarus, Andrei Astashevich.

They were joined by George Katulin, chief executive of the Minsk 2019 Organising Committee, Andrei Shorets, chairman of the Minsk City Executive Committee and Belarus Beach Soccer Federation President Alexei Sychev.

The 1,500-seat stadium is being built at the Olympic Sports Complex in Minsk where archery will also take place.

Ground was broken as Belarus held its International Olympic Day celebrations around the country.

"Beach soccer has recently become one of the most dynamic sports," said Katulin. 

"The national team of Belarus is among the European leaders and competes with such teams as Spain, Portugal, Italy, Russia and others.

Officials attend the start of construction work at the beach soccer venue ©Minsk 2019
Officials attend the start of construction work at the beach soccer venue ©Minsk 2019

"The stadium itself will be a good promotion for this sport."

A men's beach soccer tournament was held at the inaugural European Games in Baku in 2015, with Russia winning gold.

Minsk 2019 will again only feature male players.

Organisers will be staging a leg of the Euro Beach Soccer League to serve as a test event.

"The requirements towards the future stadium were agreed with the International Beach Soccer Federation," said Sychev.

"All their suggestions were taken into account. 

"The arena will have an original look in the form of a horseshoe, which will allow sports fans to truly enjoy the game. 

"In my opinion, the sports venue should positively influence the results of our team's performance."