Latvia cannot host next year's World Hockey Championships together with Belarus. This is what the Prime Minister of Latvia Krisjanis Karins says he is experiencing on the Latvian TV channel LTV7.
- I have already asked the Ministry responsible for sports to take contact with the International Association of Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), so that a solution is found, Karins said.
The Prime Minister appealed to the current political situation in Belarus.
Karins' statement was reported by the Russian news agency TASS, among others.
The World Championships are scheduled to take place next spring in Minsk, Belarus, and in Riga, Latvia.
Minsk's contribution to the organization of the Games has been a cause for concern, as Belarus has had fierce clashes between police and pro-opposition protesters since President Alexander Lukashenko was elected for his sixth term on Sunday with an 80 per cent vote. The opposition accuses the election of fraud.
In addition, criticism has been leveled at Lukashenko’s downplaying of the corona pandemic and opposition to austerity measures.
Earlier this week, IIHF Vice President Kalervo Kummola addressed the political and epidemiological situation in Belarus at the IIHF meeting of the International Hockey Federation.
- There was no discussion there other than me and the representative of Belarus. We talked to each other. We didn't have exactly the same views on the matter, Kummola told IS on Wednesday.
Read more: Kalervo Kummola challenged the Belarusian representative at the World Cup in the spring - "We didn't have exactly the same views"
According to Kummola, René Fasel, President of the IIHF, announced that the matter would be re-examined in two weeks.