President Sauli Niinistö recommends overtime before decisions are made to hold the World Hockey Championships in Belarus. The Games moved forward a year due to the corona pandemic, but due to the political turmoil in Belarus, their relocation has been called for in public.
- If we look at the current situation in the country, then of course the situation in the country is unclear. However, it might be worth waiting a while before going to draw far-reaching conclusions about that race or contact with Belarus in general, Niinistö said on Yle's TV Ykkösaamu.
- What if someone could be found there - maybe a little far away - do we think it's a good solution? After all, such a country should be encouraged, and it would be good if those games were there. But if the situation turns out to be bad, which we may see in the near future, then I think it is quite obvious that the international community will not even go in for sports, Niinistö continued.
Rene Fasel, President of the International Hockey Federation, has said the federation is looking forward to at least the next meeting of its board in September. Niinistö was on the same lines.
- It may be that a rude attitude is a rude attitude to something other than what it seems at the moment, Niinistö said.
The IIHF may revoke a tournament if there is "cause for concern that the well-being or safe movement of players, officials, spectators traveling to the venue and the media is uncertain". In 1969, the World Championships were moved to Sweden due to the occupation of Czechoslovakia.
The World Championships are scheduled to take place next spring in Minsk, Belarus, and in Riga, Latvia. Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins commented last week that he felt that Latvia could not hold the Games together with Belarus. He appealed to the current political situation in Belarus.
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Rene Fasel, President of the International Hockey Federation, has previously stated that with these prospects, Belarus will remain the host of the competition.
- The 2014 World Cup in Belarus was a huge success. We have no reason to take a position politically, so the tournament starts on May 21st. We are ready to go to Belarus, Fasel said last week.
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