MOSCOW, January 26. /TASS/. The Egyptian capital of Cairo was selected to host the 2021 Modern Pentathlon World Championship after the tournament was announced to be relocated from Belarus, the press service of the International Union of Modern Pentathlon (UIPM) said in a statement on Tuesday.
Last Friday, the UIPM announced its decision to relocate the world championship from the Belarusian capital of Minsk to another venue citing instability in the country. Minsk was scheduled to host the championship, which had the status of the Olympic qualifying tournament for the Olympics in Japan, between June 7 and 13.
"The capital city of Egypt, Cairo, will stage the UIPM 2021 Pentathlon and Laser Run World Championships from June 7-13," the statement from the UIPM reads. "The city hosted the UIPM 2017 Pentathlon World Championships and has become a regular UIPM Pentathlon World Cup venue."
"The move to Cairo for the flagship competition of the 2021 season comes less than a week after the UIPM Executive Board (EB) voted that Minsk (BLR) could no longer stage the combined World Championships in 2021 due to instability in Belarus," according to the statement.
Early last week, Belarus also lost its right to host matches of the 2021 Ice Hockey World Championship. Matches of the 2021 IIHF World Championship in the Latvian capital of Riga and the Belarusian capital of Minsk were scheduled to be played between May 21 and June 6, 2021. However, various European public organizations called on the IIHF to relocate championship’s matches from Minsk due to a tense political situation in Belarus. Tournament’s sponsors also threatened to leave in case Belarus hosted the championship.
Protests in Belarus
Nationwide demonstrations have engulfed Belarus following the August 9, 2020 presidential election. According to the Central Election Commission’s official results, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko won by a landslide, garnering 80.10% of the vote. His closest rival in the race, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, came in second, with 10.12% of the ballot.
However, she refused to recognize the election’s outcome, and left Belarus for Lithuania. After the results of the exit polls were announced late on August 9, mass protests erupted in downtown Minsk and other Belarusian cities. During the early post-election period, the rallies snowballed into fierce clashes between the protesters and police.