— Published 1 March 2022

Russia will not see the Worlds

The decision was not long in coming. The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) announced on Monday 28 February, shortly after the publication of the IOC’s recommendation to ban Russia and Belarus from international competitions, its decision to exclude the two countries from the next men’s World Cup. It is due to be held in May 2022 in Finland. Russia and Belarus were among the 16 teams that qualified. Their exclusion therefore frees up two places. One of them could go to France, which plays in the lower echelon. “The IIHF is not a political entity and cannot influence the decisions being taken over the war in Ukraine, explained Luc Tardif, the IIHF president, in a press release. We nevertheless have a duty of care to all of our members and participants and must therefore do all we can to ensure that we are able to operate our events in a safe environment for all teams.” Russia is also excluded from the Women’s World Cup, which is due to be held in August and September 2022 in Denmark. It is also stripped of hosting the men’s world junior championship in 2023, which was to be held in Novosibirsk and Omsk.