MINSK, 14 August (BelTA) – Head of the International Ice Hockey Federation Rene Fasel denied allegations of possible relocation of the 2021 IIHF World Championship from Minsk, BelTA learned from TASS.
Our federation is apolitical. The issue of the tournament was discussed very briefly. Kalervo Kummola's interview with a Finnish newspaper, as it often happens, made a lot of noise. However, we have never discussed any possible cancellation of the championship. We are following the situation. We are seeing protests following the election of Aleksandr Lukashenko president, but it is not up for the international sports federation to make any political statements at this time. The 2014 IIHF World Championship in Belarus was a huge success. The attendance was over 600,000. The organization of the tournament was great. We have no grounds to make a political statement on this subject. As we have decided, the tournament will be held from 21 May. Our position is quite clear. We are ready to go to Belarus, said the IIHF head.
The IIHF World Championship is scheduled to be co-hosted by Minsk and Riga on 21 May-6 June 2021. Belarus will face Russia, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Slovakia, Denmark, and the UK in Group A. Group B will feature Canada, Finland, the United States, Germany, Latvia, Norway, Italy, and Kazakhstan. The final will be played at Minsk Arena on 6 June.