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IIHF: Security key to deciding on Russia’s return to worlds

HELSINKI, Finland (AP) — The International Ice Hockey Federation said Tuesday it will prioritize safety concerns when deciding whether to allow Russian and Belarusian teams to take part in its competitions, following efforts from the International Olympic Committee to allow athletes from both countries to compete at next year’s Paris Games.The IIHF has ruled out

IIHF: Security key to deciding on Russia’s return to worlds

HELSINKI, Finland (AP) — The Worldwide Ice Hockey Federation mentioned Tuesday it would prioritize security considerations when deciding whether or not to permit Russian and Belarusian groups to participate in its competitions, following efforts from the Worldwide Olympic Committee to permit athletes from each nations to compete at subsequent yr’s Paris Video games.

The IIHF has dominated out Russia and its ally Belarus returning for this yr’s world championships however is about to resolve by the tip of Could on whether or not to readmit them for the 2023-24 season. A call on whether or not they can qualify for the 2026 Winter Olympics is anticipated subsequent yr.

The IOC’s proposal, strongly opposed by Ukraine and several other different European governments, permits every sport’s worldwide governing physique some leeway to resolve how and when to reintegrate Russia and Belarus.

Talking on a go to to males’s world championship co-host Finland, IIHF president Luc Tardif mentioned the governing physique would concentrate on the security of gamers — together with these from Russia and Belarus — and others at its occasions. That echoes language the IIHF utilized in its preliminary choice to exclude Russia and Belarus in Feb. 2022, shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“We’ve acquired the duty. We have now to ensure the security of all of the contributors — the employees, the gamers, the followers. That’s our duty, in order that’s our choice,” Tardif mentioned, drawing a distinction with what he known as a “little bit extra open” strategy from Summer time Olympic organizers in his house nation of France.

The IOC has signaled it favors permitting Russian and Belarusian athletes again into sports activities occasions below a impartial flag and needs to exclude particular person Russians and Belarusians deemed to help the struggle. Tardif mentioned he didn’t understand how that might work and plans to carry talks with Olympic officers subsequent month. Imposing that rule, he mentioned, “is not going to be a straightforward choice, however we’re not there solely to take simple choices.”

Russia was initially set to host the 2023 males’s world championship in St. Petersburg however the event was handed to Finland and Latvia as co-hosts as an alternative.


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