The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) will soon review a situation in Belarus in order to take a decision on whether to hold the 2021 World Championship in the country or not.
During a meeting in Zurich, the IIHF Council discussed the issues submitted by the government of Latvia regarding the status of the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. Recall that it was scheduled to be hosted by Minsk and Riga in May next year.
However, the Latvian Prime Minister has indicated that the country is unwilling to do so with Minsk as a co-host under the current circumstances. Arturs Kariņš has called on the IIHF to consider assigning the status of main host for the World Championship to another country.
“The IIHF is deeply concerned over the recent events unfolding in Minsk, but as sports federation the IIHF is not a political entity and cannot move a tournament for political reasons. Still, the IIHF is responsible for ensuring that each tournament host can guarantee the health and safety of the players, officials, and spectators,” said IIHF President René Fasel.
The IIHF Council will put together an expert group to conduct a full review of the tournament’s status in the financial, medical, event, marketing, sport, legal, and administrative areas of the event. By November, the experts should present a clear picture of the situation to the IIHF Council, so that it can take a decision.
Earlier, the European Parliament adopted a resolution, which, among other things, calls for not hosting the 2021 Ice Hockey World Championship in Belarus. The resolution calls on the national ice hockey federations of the EU countries and all democratic countries to appeal to the IIHF to revoke the decision to hold the championship in Belarus until the human rights situation in the country improves.