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Russia not responsible for Canadian anthem walkout incident — Russian hockey coach

June 09, 2015, 16:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The head coach of the national squad urges to stop the talks on the incident without specifying who in his opinion should be responsible for it
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Russian national hockey team

Russian national hockey team

© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, June 9. /TASS/. The Russian part is not responsible for the incident concerning the national team’s walkout last month on the Canadian national anthem after the final match of the ice hockey world championship in the Czech Republic, Oleg Znarok, the head coach of the national squad, said on Tuesday.

"It is not us to blame for this mistake. And let us stop the talks on this incident," Znarok told journalists without specifying who in his opinion should be responsible for the incident.

The final match of the 2015 IIHF World Championship, which set the new attendance world record of over 741,600 spectators, was marred by the Russian team’s walkout from the ice before the Canadian anthem was played in honor of the new world champions.

Russia handed over its champion’s title at this year’s world championship in the Czech Republic to Canada after the crushing 1-6 defeat in the final match in Prague last month.

Arkady Rotenberg, a coordinator of the national team, told TASS last week that Znarok and national squad’s General Manager Andrey Safronov will be subjected to penalties for the Russian team’s walkout on the Canadian anthem and called the whole incident as "slovenliness."

"We will definitely resort to sanctions and impose penalties, first of all, in regard to the general manager and the head coach," Rotenberg said. "They should have remained on the ice until all anthems were played."

IIHF President Rene Fasel said the next day after the incident that 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.

The incident also took place before the organizers raised the national flags of Canada, Russia and the United States, who were the gold, silver and bronze winners of the championship respectively, and the Canadian anthem was played.

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 championship matches he attended.

Among the Russian players, who remained on the ice and did not walk away were Alexander Ovechkin, Yevgeny Malkin, Viktor Tikhonov and Dmitry Kulikov.

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