The International Ice Hockey Federation will not allow the national teams of Russia and Belarus to compete until the end of the war in Ukraine

The president of the organization said this at the IIHF Women’s World Championship.

Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times

The national teams of Russia and Belarus will not be allowed to compete under the auspices of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) as long as the war in Ukraine continues. This was stated by the president of the organization, Luc Tardif, in a commentary to ESPN.

The International Ice Hockey Federation has suspended Russia and Belarus from its competitions since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The federation also took away the right to host the 2023 IIHF Men’s World Championship from St. Petersburg, Russia. In March 2023, the IIHF decided to extend the disqualification of Russians and Belarusians from international hockey for the 2023/24 season.

The decision on the next season will be made by the IIHF at a scheduled meeting of the Federation Council in March 2024. The decision could affect the potential participation of the Belarusian national team in the Olympics after the International Olympic Committee recommended that the federations reinstate Russian and Belarusian athletes in the competition. With the suspension, the IIHF downgraded the Belarusian team, while the Russian team retained its rating points despite the disqualification.

However, the decision to reinstate the Russians and Belarusians in international hockey depends on the end of Russia’s war in Ukraine. According to the President of the International Ice Hockey Federation, he expects the Russians and Belarusians to return to competition as soon as possible.

“I hope Russia and Belarus will come back as soon as possible, because it will mean the war is over. It’s a matter of security for fans, our teams. Anyway, no visa, cannot travel.
I understand that sometimes there is a political approach. As a human being, I’ve got my own understanding of the situation. But with my IIHF cap, I have to take the decision following our executive and to protect our competition.”
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