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Russian visas for NHL players at 2016 IIHF World Championships to be issued at airports

September 29, 2015, 21:08 UTC+3

The matches of the 2016 IIHF World Championship will be held in Russia’s capital of Moscow and in the country's second largest city of St. Petersburg between May 6 and 22

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© ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

MOSCOW, September 29. /TASS/. NHL players playing for their national teams at the 2016 IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) World Championships, to be held in Russia’s two largest cities next May, will be granted Russian visas at the country’s airports, a senior Russia hockey official told TASS on Tuesday.

The matches of the 2016 IIHF World Championship will be held in the country’s capital of Moscow and in Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg between May 6 and 22.

"A simplified procedure for issuing visas to be launched," Dmitry Kurbatov, the executive director of the Russian Hockey Federation (RHF), said in an interview with TASS.

"The Organizing Committee [of the championship] works in collaboration with the Russian Foreign Ministry," Kurbatov said. "Russia’s Consulate Offices across the globe will launch a procedure for a simplified visas issuance, including for fans as well."

"NHL players, arriving in Russia [for the championship] at the very last moment, will be able to be granted visas at the Russian airports," he said.

The National Hockey League (NHL) is a professional ice hockey league in North America. It is headquartered in New York City and is composed of 30 member clubs: 23 in the United States and 7 in Canada.

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, which set the new attendance world record of over 741,600 spectators.

The 2010 and 2014 Olympic Champions Canada were indeed hungry for the world champion’s title, which they last held in 2007, and barraged into the final match against the reigning world champions Russia in a crushing winning spree boasting a record of 60-15 (goals scored and goals missed).

On the whole, the Canadians weighty 6-1 win is also proved by the statistics, which shows that the reigning Olympic champions outshot the Russian squad in the final match by the whopping 37-12 margin.

Russian squad’s Head Coach Oleg Znarok, who led the team to the world championship’s title last year in Belarus, praised his team’s game during the final match in Prague saying the players kept fighting team Canada until the very last minute.

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