MINSK, 16 February (BelTA) – Representatives of the Event and Evaluation Committee of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Igor Nemecek and Peter Forsberg paid a visit to the Belarusian capital on 15 February to see the facilities which can be used if Belarus and Latvia win the bid to co-host the 2021 IIHF World Championship, BelTA has learned.
The IIHF officials have already been to Minsk and saw the country's main indoor arena. They took a look at all its facilities once again and hailed the readiness of the arena to host international competitions. “I last visited Minsk in September 2016 to attend the 2018 Winter Olympics qualifying games. Before the 2014 IIHF World Championship we could talk about possible problems in some areas. Today I can say that everything is fine. Of course, in 2021 the arena will not be as new as it was in 2014. Anyway, apart from possiblly needed minor improvements, the sports facility will not demand any serious modifications. The main advantage of Minsk Arena is the sufficient number of locker rooms for all the players. I would like to note that not all the places which hosted the sports forum after 2014 were able to provide enough room for the teams of one group under one roof. That is why the opportunity to accommodate all the participants of the tournament is a big advantage of Minsk Arena,” Igor Nemecek said.
The IIHF representatives were also shown the hotels which were built in Minsk after 2014.
The IIHF inspection team will go to Riga on 16 February. They also plan to visit Finland which bids to host the 2021 IIHF World Championship, too.
As BelTA reported earlier, Belarus and Latvia have submitted a joint bid to host the 2021 IIHF World Championship. If the bid is won, one of the major facilities to host the event will be Minsk Arena, which played host to the IIHF World Championship in 2014. The final decision on the host country will be made during the IIHF Congress in Cologne on 19 May 2017.