ZURICH - On Monday, the Council of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) decided to to move the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship from Minsk, Belarus, IIHF reported today.
The 2021 championship had to be organized by Minsk and Riga, but the Latvian government indicated that it does not want to co-host the tournament with Belarus, as the regime of authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko has been conducting a violent crackdown on peaceful protesters in the country.
The IIHF Council in a remote meeting today discussed the issue of Belarus.
Now, the IIHF Council must consider the status of Latvia as a co-host, and will also evaluate the possibility of moving to a single-venue format to facilitate COVID-19 safety regulations and team travel.
The bid of Riga/Minsk in a vote in May 2017 won Finnish cities Helsinki and Tampere.