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International Ice Hockey Federation likely to ban Russia, Belarus from tournaments for duration of war

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 17, 2023 2:41 PM 2 min read
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Russian and Belarusian players will likely be banned from participating in International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) tournaments for the duration of the war, ESPN reported on April 16.

According to ESPN, Russia and Belarus have already been banned from tournaments through 2024. An official decision will be made on extending the ban to 2025.

"I hope Russia and Belarus will come back as soon as possible, because it will mean the war is over," Luc Tardif, the IIHF president said during a press conference on April 16, as quoted by ESPN.

Tardif went on to say that it was a "question of security" for both hockey fans and teams and that "nobody knows how long it's going to take" for the situation to return to as it was before.

The Russian Hockey Federation called Tardif's comment about security concerns a "contrived reason" to keep their players out of IIHF competitions, ESPN wrote.

Tardif's decision stands in contrast with that of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) which recommended in late March to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to take part in international sporting events.

Ukraine’s sports minister: As Russia kills our athletes, it’s not the time to allow Russians back to international sports
Editor’s Note: This interview was recorded before the International Olympics Committee’s announcement on allowing some Russian and Belarusian athletes to take part in Olympic qualification tournaments. Following the executive board meeting on March 28, the International Olympics Committee (IOC) rec…

Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee, defended the IOC’s plan.

"We must be politically neutral but not apolitical. We know well that politics rules the world. We know well that our decisions have political implications and we have to include that in our thinking," Back said at a political forum, as quoted by Reuters.

"But we should not make the mistake to raise ourselves to referees of political disputes because we will be crushed by these political powers."

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