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Finland does not rule out that it may host the 2021 Ice Hockey World Cup instead of Belarus — Ukrainian News

Finland does not rule out that the country may host the 2021 World Hockey Championship if the political crisis in Belarus drags on.

As Ukrinform reports, this was reported by the portal Pressball.

«Of course, we will consider the possibility of holding the World Cup if the IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation — ed.) Concludes that we should look for a new venue for the championship,» said the president of the Finnish Hockey Association Harry Numele.

Formerly the Prime Minister Latvia Krishjanis Karins announced his intention to start negotiations with the International Ice Hockey Federation on holding a joint championship not with Belarus, but with an «alternative» country. According to the Latvian side, if the political crisis in Belarus drags on, the idea of ​​postponing the competition will be supported.

Read also: Finlandsupports the EU’s personal sanctions against the current Belarusian government

As reported, the World Hockey Championship is to be held in Minsk (main matches, including the final) and Riga from May 21 to June 6, 2021.

The International Ice Hockey Federation has not yet made political statements about the situation in Belarus. The head of the organization, Rene Fazel, is a longtime supporter of Lukashenko and defended Minsk’s bid when the idea of ​​boycotting the 2014 World Cup arose.

Meanwhile, mass protests against the falsification of the results of the August 9 presidential election have been going on in Belarus for two weeks now. According to official data, Alexander Lukashenko, who has led the country since 1994, received 80.1% of the vote, while opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya received 10.1%.

Read also: Belarusian oppositionist Kovalkov transferred to a pre-trial detention center

Security forces brutally dispersed the protesters, using rubber bullets, stun grenades and water cannons. In total, more than 6.7 thousand were detained. man. At least 250 people were hospitalized. Belarusian human rights activists have reported at least five deaths during the protests.

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