Belarus is not giving up hosting the Men's World Hockey Championships.
The World Cup is scheduled to take place next spring in Minsk, Belarus, and Riga, Latvia, but the unstable situation in Belarus, which has been going on for weeks, may deprive it of the right to organize.
Last week, the Latvian government wrote to the International Hockey Federation IIHF stating that the umbrella organization of the sport would deprive Belarus of the right to host the World Championships for men due to the turbulent political situation in the country.
Earlier, Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins said in a TV interview that in the current situation it is impossible for Latvia to hold joint competitions with Belarus.
Latvia has therefore threatened to withdraw its responsibility for the arrangement altogether.
- The Belarusian Hockey Association has done a huge amount of work with Latvia to get the Games organized.
Now, however, Latvia is trying to politicize sport.
We have good connections with the Latvian Hockey Federation and the International Hockey Federation, Dmitry Baskov, chairman of the Belarusian Hockey Federation, told the country's news agency Belta.
- At the moment, there is no reason not to hold one of the best world championships.
However, Baskov said that Belarus would not consider hosting the World Cup alone, even though it said it had all the skills to do so.
- We held the World Cup in 2014, so we have enough capacity and infrastructure to host the Games again alone, Baskov said.
The IIHF board is scheduled to meet on Thursday to discuss the possibility of Belarus remaining the host of the World Championships for men.
Finland is playing in Group B of the World Cup in Riga.
Group A and the medal matches of the competition are to be played in Minsk.