Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko are known to be big ice hockey fans. But they will most likely not see their teams at the World Cup in Finland (May 13-29).
The Finnish Ice Hockey Federation announced that they do not want to let either Russia or Belarus participate in the World Championship. “We had intensive negotiations over the weekend and met with the President of the International Ice Hockey Federation, Luc Tardif. On behalf of the Finnish Ice Hockey Federation, we demand the exclusion of Belarus and Russia from all ice hockey competitions. We refuse to play against Russia and Belarus,” was quoted as saying by the head of the association, Hari Nummela.
He also announced that it was impossible for Finland and Belarus to start at the Ice Hockey World Championship. Negotiations are currently being made with the Czech and Swedish associations about an exclusion from the Euro Hockey Tour (a tournament involving the top teams from Europe, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Finland and Russia). The President of the Czech Ice Hockey Association Tomas Kral has already announced that the “Sbornaja” will probably not take part in the Czech Hockey Games (a four-country tournament). The Czech Hockey Games will take place from April 21st to May 1st. On Monday afternoon, the International Ice Hockey Association wants to discuss the next steps. Also of particular interest is the fact that the Ice Hockey World Championship 2023 will be held in Russia. Here, too, the last word has not yet been spoken….