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Russian hockey authorities decide on penalty over Canadian anthem walkout incident

June 09, 2015, 19:43 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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
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© EPA/TASS/FILIP SINGER

MOSCOW, June 9. /TASS/. The Executive Committee of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation (FHR) has made a decision on the administrative penalty over the national squad’s walkout last month on the Canadian national anthem, Andrey Safronov, the general manager of the national team, said on Tuesday.

"The incident was discussed and an administrative decision was made," Safronov told journalists. "This is not a financial penalty. The details will be most probably announced by the members of the [FHR] executive committee."

Safronov did not specify the nature of the administrative decision made by the Russian ice hockey governing body in regard to 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 national team’s Head Coach Oleg Znarok and General Manager Safronov would 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."

Znarok told journalists earlier in the day that the Russian side was not responsible for the incident at the O2 Arena in Prague last month.

"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.

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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