MOSCOW, September 8. /TASS/. Latvia’s government has submitted a letter to the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) requesting to hold the 2021 ice hockey world championship with another country instead of Belarus, Latvian portal Skaties reported, citing the letter.
In August, Latvian Prime Minister Arturs Karins announced that the republic would launch talks with the IIHF on possibly holding the championship with another country amid the tense political situation in Belarus after the presidential election.
"The Latvian government calls to hand over the status of the 2021 ice hockey world champion’s host to another country. If the situation in Belarus remains unchanged and the IIHF does not take the respective decisions, the Latvian government asks to revoke the guarantees on organizing the 2021 world hockey championship," the letter said.
Meanwhile, the Latvian Hockey Federation is calling not to link politics to sport. The organization’s President Aigars Kalvitis believes that the refusal to hold the championship will lead to the loss of the IIHF’s trust. According to him, the IIHF is not expected to come up with a quick response since it is due to make a final decision on holding the world championship in late January.
The Belarusian hockey federation said in late August that it could host the championship alone if needed.
The world championship is due to be held in Riga and Minsk on May 21-June 6. The Russian team is scheduled to conduct all matches of the preliminary stage in the Belarusian capital.