The Russian Ice Hockey Federation will be subjected to penalties for the disrespect displayed by the country’s national team in regard to the Canadian squad following Russia’s 1-6 defeat to Canada in the final match of the 2015 IIHF World Championship on Sunday night, IIHF President Rene Fasel said on Monday.
Before Fasel, the president of the International Ice Hockey Federation, took the final word to declare the winners, to thank hosts Czech Republic and announce the closing of the championship, most of the Russian players retreated to their locker rooms with only at least six of them staying on the ice.
The IIHF president said the Russian team left the hockey field before the national anthem of the winners was played and thus showed complete disrespect to their opponent.
In an interview with TASS, Fasel said he was deeply disappointed, when he witnessed the incident, and it was the first one of such nature over 29 years of ice hockey world championships he attended to.
He said it was totally unacceptable what the Russian team did as there could be fights and major brawls on the ice during the matches but never the lack of respect to the opponent in the past-game time.
Among the Russian players, who remained on the ice and did not walk away were Alexander Ovechkin, Yevgeny Malkin, Viktor Tikhonov and Dmitry Kulikov.
Fasel said he saw how Ovechkin and Malkin tried to stop the rest of the players rushing to the locker rooms and that is why the blame cannot be put on the players.
The Russian squad’s head coach and the general manager should have been present on the ice to stop the players from making such disrespectful move, he said.
Fasel added that after he returns from the Czech Republic, the IIHF will gather to review the incident and will get in touch with the Russian Hockey Federation on the issue of breaching the IIHF regulations.
Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov on Monday said the Kremlin does not know anything about the fact that the Russian hockey team left the ice while the Canadian national anthem was playing.
"The Kremlin does not know anything about it," Peskov said.
"The president watched the match, like all other fans," the press secretary said. Commenting on the result of the match, Peskov said that "the second place in the World Championships is also honorable."
"At the same time, I stress that I don’t know any assessments [of the president]," Peskov said. "I don’t think there can be any assessments in this case. This is the second strongest team in the world," he concluded.