Barely a month ago, the Latvian government announced that it was refusing to host next year's World Cup with Belarus, following the huge wave of protests in the country following the presidential election in which controversial Alexander Lukashenko won again.

But Belarus does not intend to release the host voluntarily.

The union's newly elected chairman Dmitriy Baskov told Belarusian media, quoted by several international sites.

- Latvia is trying to make sport a sport, he says, and then states that the championship in Belarus (if it happens) will be high-class:

- Today there is nothing that can stop us from not holding one of the best world championships that have been arranged.

"Good contacts"

The World Cup is scheduled to be decided in Riga and Minsk between May 21 and June 6.

- We have good contacts with the Latvian Ice Hockey Association and the International Ice Hockey Association, says Baskov.