RIGA - Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) said in a press conference today that he does not see it possible for Minsk to host 2021 Hockey World Championship because of violent suppression of peaceful protests.
The prime minister said that the Latvian government is still expecting the decision of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) on organization of the championship.
"I want to say clearly that, seeing what is happening in Belarus, where peaceful protesters have been demanding fair and open elections, but the only reaction of the authorities is brutal repressions, I do not see it possible for Minsk to host the championship," said Karins.
Karins voiced hopes that the IIHF will make a responsible decision on the championship.
As reported the IIHF plans to make the decision on the 2021 championship by the end of January, IIHF President Rene Fasel said earlier.
As reported, the 2021 Ice Hockey World Championships is scheduled to take place in Riga and the Belarusian capital Minsk from May 21 to June 6 of next year, but the Latvian government has 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.