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IIHF ANNOUNCES REMOVAL OF CO-HOST FOR 2021 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

On Monday, the IIHF announced that they will be removing co-hosting duties from Belarus due to ongoing socio-political issues in the country.

Back in November in the midst of the protests against the government, a protestor by the name of Raman Bandarenka was killed and his death was linked to the president of the Belarus Ice Hockey Federation, Dzmitry Baskau. Since that moment, there have been calls to have the tournament moved away from Belarus, and now those calls have been heard.

"It is a very regrettable thing to have to remove the Minsk/Riga co-hosting bid," said IIHF President René Fasel. "During this process, we had tried to promote that the World Championship could be used as a tool for reconciliation to help calm the socio-political issues happening in the Belarus and find a positive way forward."

"And while the Council feels that the World Championship should not be used for political promotion by any side, it has acknowledged that hosting this event in Minsk would not be appropriate when there are bigger issues to deal with and the safety and security of teams, spectators, and officials to prioritize."

While Riga, Latvia has been removed as a co-host as well, it's believed they will remain as one of the hosts, along with another country. Other possibilities for co-hosts are, Herning, Denmark (2018 co-hosts), and Bratislava, Slovakia (2019 co-hosts).

The tournament is still scheduled to get underway on May 21st, a couple weeks later than it's usually held, with the Gold Medal Game set to be played on June 6th.

With no word on who the hosts will be as of yet, the groups are expected to stay the same.

Group A: Russia, Sweden, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Slovakia, Denmark, Belarus and Great Britain.

Group B: Canada, Finland, United States, Germany, Latvia, Norway, Italy, and Kazakhstan.





Source: IIHF
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JANUARY 18, 2021  (11H46)
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