Football: Belarus' Dynamo Brest uses mannequins to replace fans during coronavirus pandemic

Belarusian football club Dynamo Brest have invented an ingenious idea to cope with the loss of supporters and revenue at their matches, due to the coronavirus, charging fans to have their faces put on mannequins in the stadium.

Belarus has the only professional league in Europe still playing, as authoritarian president Alexander Lukashenko shows little regard for the pandemic or the need for lockdowns to prevent it spreading.

The league is one of Europe's least glamorous and rarely gets a team into the latter stages of UEFA's continental competitions.

But its moment in the spotlight is filling the void for foreign fans starved of football at home and raking in a string of foreign broadcast deals.

Nevertheless, many local supporters, more worried about the pandemic than their president, have stopped going to matches.

The club found a creative answer by inviting fans from around the world to buy virtual tickets online, costing NZ$40. 

In return, the fans' photos are pasted onto the top half of a fashion dummy sitting inside the stadium and the fans themselves receive a matchday magazine sent to their home address.

The money raised will be donated towards fighting the coronavirus.

"Our fans from all over the world seem to be happy!" the club tweeted. "Thanks for your support, guys!"