Russia and Belarus are thrown out of another tournament.
The International Ice Hockey Federation has thrown Russia and Belarus out of the 2023 World Championships because of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine. Additionally, the IIHF has decided that Tampere, Finland and Riga, Latvia will jointly host the 2023 Ice Hockey World Championships that were originally slated for St. Petersburg, Russia. The IIHF earlier this spring stripped the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship from two Russian cities because of the Russia invasion. There is a sign up in the hockey world. Russians not welcome. The National Hockey League is not doing business with the Russia-based Kontinental Hockey League.
Russian and Belarusian players are ineligible for the 2022 Canadian Hockey League import draft on July 1st. Belarus, which has acted as a staging area for Russian troops invading Ukraine, is furious with the IIHF. In a statement, the Belarus hockey federation said, “The Ice Hockey Federation of Belarus is convinced that this decision of the International Ice Hockey Federation has become another in the list of decisions taken under the influence and pressure of individual National Federations, which have become virtually hostages of Western politicians. We can simply state the fact that once again, under the guise of concern about our own safety, the IIHF violated all the principles of Olympism. If desired, one could find options, as is done in other sports, but hockey functionaries, representing, first of all, the countries of the Western bloc, do not even want to do this and only hear themselves.” The Russian response was quite muted. But the Russians did release a statement which read, “does not agree with the decision to freeze the participation of the senior Russian national team at the 2023 World Championship. There are no legal grounds for this decision to be made.” The hockey world is saying nyet.
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