— Published 23 March 2023

Russia excluded at least until 2024

The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) decided on Wednesday, March 22, during a meeting of its Executive Committee to extend at least until next year the exclusion of Russia and Belarus from international competitions. Luc Tardif, the president of the IIHF, explained at the end of the meeting: “the next re-evaluation” of the situation of the two countries is scheduled for March 2024. Until then, the Russian and Belarusian teams will remain excluded from international competitions, as they are since March 2022. They could even attend the 2024 Worlds again from afar. And, more embarrassing, compromise their chances to qualify for the Winter Games of Milan-Cortina 2026. The qualification process has yet to be unveiled by the IIHF, but Luc Tardif hinted this week that a first round could take place as early as summer 2024. Russia is currently ranked third in the world in men’s hockey and fifth in women’s hockey. But its two national teams are expected to fall rapidly, failing to participate in the 2023 world championships.