Kalervo Kummola spoke about the political and epidemiological situation in Belarus at the IIHF meeting of the International Hockey Federation yesterday Tuesday.
- I took up the matter the way I promised to take it. The chairman (René Fasel) said that in two weeks' time we would see what was happening in Belarus. Will the situation calm down or not, Kummola tells Ilta-Sanomat.
Kummola is the Vice President of the IIHF.
The World Hockey Championships are scheduled to take place next spring in Minsk, Belarus and Riga, Latvia. Kummola is concerned about Minsk's share.
Read more: The next World Hockey Championships have already been awarded to Belarus - Kalervo Kummola: “I will talk about it”
Belarus has been in the headlines of the international media a lot in the spring. President Alexander Lukashenko has downplayed the corona pandemic and opposed austerity measures. On Sunday, Lukashenko was elected in the presidential election for his sixth term with an 80 percent rollover.
The opposition accuses the election of fraud. In the capital, Minsk, and elsewhere in the country, there have been violent clashes between police and pro-opposition protesters. Opposition candidate Svetlana Tihanovskaya left the country quickly after the election results in Lithuania.
What did the IIHF government discuss about the situation in Belarus, Kalervo Kummola?
- There was no discussion there other than me and the representative of Belarus. We talked to each other. We did not have exactly the same views on the matter.
What did the representative of Belarus say?
- Officially, when we talk, he thinks everything is ok. I also think that we can not know, can we trust Belarus received koronalukemiin. That is another issue I raised.
After the meeting, do you think that politics or the corona situation could affect the organization of next spring’s World Cup?
- I'm pretty skeptical about the fact that something big decisions would be made. Belarus is a hard hockey country where a lot of money has been put into hockey. It raises the threshold. If it were a country with deplorable conditions, then decisions could be easier to make.
- Yesterday, the representative of Belarus emphasized that we have always believed that politics is not confused with sport. I don’t really know where the border is going now. After all, the idea already comes from the International Olympic Committee, which has never taken a position on political issues. If there have been boycotts at the Olympics, the perpetrators have been individual countries, but the IOC has not only boycotted South Africa in the past.
You have said before that René Fasel, President of the IIHF, also does not like talking about politics in government.
- No, but yesterday he said quite openly that we will look again in two weeks.
The board of the International Hockey Federation will meet remotely in two weeks. The next physical meeting should be in mid-September, but Kummola does not believe he will be able to attend due to the ever-changing mobility rules in Finland and the rest of Europe.