The world of hockey was swirled by news last night that there is a chance that Belarus might lose their right to host the 2021 World Championships due to the protests in Belarus.
There’s a rumor swirling across European media that the IIHF could review Belarus and their fit to host the event next year. It’s important to note that Minsk Arena is the main venue and will host semi-finals and the gold medal game.
”To be fair, we don’t know yet. It’s too early to say what could happen” a source familiar with the situation told FPC. ”We have to take this step by step. There is still time to determine the situation in Belarus. By the time May rolls around the situation might be deescalated.”
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2021 World Championships are being hosted by two countries – Belarus and Latvia. IIHF has assured that the Latvian side is one hundred percent safe and no matter what will host their part of the event.
”If we are looking at the contractual side, we have a contract with IIHF that states that we are responsible only for organizing the Riga group. Whatever happens in Minsk will be up to the IIHF and their decision” Edgars Buncis, head of organizing committee in Latvia told Latvian State Radio.
The Belorussian side is yet to make a statement.
While there are currently no indications that there could be changes in regards to the event there for sure is a reason to be worried and follow along for further developments.
Belarus and Latvia were awarded the right to co-host the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship at the IIHF Annual Congress in May 2017.