MINSK, January 12. /TASS/. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko commented on his talks with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) President Rene Fazel regarding the 2021 World Cup that is supposed to take place in Minsk, accusing the Belarusian opposition of non-constructive behavior.
"It is impossible not to comment on the recent talks with the IIHF head. As soon as they ended, our fugitive ones came down on our best friends. Not on the Belarusians, but on our foreign friends, who have always supported us. I am sorry there are such people among us, too," Lukashenko said, according to BelTA.
The President confirmed Belarus’s readiness to host any international competitions, including sports and cultural ones.
"As for the  hockey World Cup, which we won in fair competition, I stated our readiness to host it even tomorrow. But there is a lot to be done for that. And, unfortunately, we will now have to prove that we are people and we are called people," he noted.
On January 11, Lukashenko and Fazel discussed the 2021 hockey World Cup that is supposed to take place in Minsk. Previously, various European public organizations called on the IIHF to move the championship from Minsk due to tense political situation in the country. Meanwhile, the Belarusian leader noted that he sees no reason to move the championship. After Fazel’s visit, former Presidential Candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya called on national hockey federations to boycott the competition. She noted that "Rene Fazel’s visit to Minsk displayed inconsistency that could harm the reputation of the IIHF itself."
The World Cup is scheduled to take place in Minsk and Riga in May-June this year.