Russia stripped of 2023 ice hockey showcase


Russia looses ice hockey world championship Image: MJR Group Ltd./Coliseum

Next year’s ice hockey world championship will be moved away from St. Petersburg in Russia, the governing body International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) said on April 26th due to concerns about the wellbeing of players and officials following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The ‘Reuters’ stated that the tournament was scheduled to take place in St. Petersburg from May 5th-21st, 2023. The federation said it will name an alternate host during the 2022 world championship, which will take place in Finland.

The 2023 IIHF World Championship is scheduled to be hosted from May 5th to May 21st and will be organized by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). The event was originally planned to be held in Russia, but in February 2022 the International Olympic Committee (IOC) called for Russia to be stripped of hosting rights to all international sporting events due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The 2022 IIHF World Championship will be hosted by Finland from May 13th to May 29th, 2022 as the International Ice Hockey Federation announced on May 19th, 2017. The Host Cities of the World Championships are Tampere and Helsinki, of which Tampere’s brand-new 13,455-capacity Nokia Arena will serve as the main venue of the games.

The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) is a worldwide governing body for ice hockey and in-line hockey. It is based in Zurich, Switzerland, and has 82 Member-Countries. The IIHF maintains the IIHF World Ranking based on international ice hockey tournaments.

The IIHF said in a statement, “The decision to relocate the event was taken primarily out of concern for the safety and well-being of all participating players, officials, media, and fans. The Council expressed significant concerns over the safe freedom of movement of players and officials to, from and within Russia.”

The ‘Reuters’ further stated that the Russian Hockey Federation will appeal the decision.

Earlier this year, the IIHF suspended Russian and Belarusian teams from its competitions until further notice and revoked Russia’s hosting rights for the 2023 World Junior Championships.

Moscow calls its actions in Ukraine a “special military operation”. Belarus is a key staging area for the invasion.

St. Petersburg and Moscow co-hosted the 2016 world championships, where Russia finished third.

This year’s edition in Finland will be held from May 13th to May 29th with Austria and France replacing Russia and Belarus.

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