The confusion of the International Hockey Federation IIHF, and in particular its chairman René Fasel, with the World Cup to be played in Belarus is only continuing - even surpassing.
Kalervo Kummola, the Finnish vice-president of the IIHF, recently told Ilta-Sanomat that Fasel is leaving for Belarus to meet the country's authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko.
According to Kummola, at the meeting, Fasel should tell Lukashenko that the Games will be taken out of Belarus.
Now the opposite is happening in Russia.
According to the news published by the news agency Ria Novost, Fasel is traveling to meet Lukashenka, but in completely different characters than Kummola thought.
- I will travel to Belarus after Christmas.
It takes place after January 7 (the old Christmas of the Orthodox).
Travel has been prepared and it is realized, I am 100-percent sure Fasel told Ria Novosti by telephone sports site.
- I will meet Alexander Lukashenko and discuss the current situation.
We will do everything possible to hold the World Championships in Minsk.
We will make every effort to do so, Fasel assured, according to Ria Novost.
Read more: Kalervo Kummola is convinced that the World Cup will be taken out of Belarus - “I started talking about it on the board alone”
According to the news site belarusfeed.com, Fasel has also responded in a similar way to basketball player Jelena Leutshanka, who wrote a letter to Fasel on behalf of the Free Federation of Athletes of Belarus (SOS BY).
Leutshanka appealed to Fasel to move the Games away from Belarus.
- We are ready to discuss constructive means and solutions to move the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships from Minsk, as well as to provide related assistance, Leutshanka wrote on Facebook.
René Fasel's maps seem badly messed up. Photo: Denis Balibouse / Reuters
In his reply to Leutshanka, Fasel circulated his familiar phraseology.
Fasel stressed that the IIHF always tries to provide the best possible conditions for athletes, spectators and the media, and that during the Games, the IIHF never takes into account attempts at political influence - neither by the country’s leadership nor by these political opponents.
Fasel also wrote that he was open to discussions and suggestions, but hoped that politics would be moved aside from the discussions.
"The chances of achieving fundamental change in Belarus are very small," Fasel explained.
According to Belarusfeed, the IIHF leadership has issued an invitation to the various parties, namely the Belarussian regime and the opposition, at the same negotiating table.