The International Ice Hockey Federation has stripped Russia of the rights to host the 2023 IIHF World Ice Hockey Championship.
The news was announced after the last IIHF Board meeting on Tuesday. The tournament was scheduled to take place from May 5 to 21 in Saint Petersburg, with a new arena set up to be the highlight of the parade.
This is the second IIHF event to be removed from Russia since that country invaded Ukraine earlier this year. Russia had previously been preparing to host the 2023 World Junior Championships as well, and in February both Russia and Belarus were banned from international play until further notice due to the invasion.
“The decision to move the event was taken in the first place out of concern for the safety and well-being of all participating players, officials, media and fans,” FIFA said in its statement on Tuesday. “As was the case with the Board’s previous decision to withdraw the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championships that were to be held in Omsk and Novosibirsk, Russia, the Board expressed significant concerns about the safe and free movement of players and officials to, from and within Russia.”
An alternate host for the 2023 Championship will be revealed at the IIHF Annual Conference in Tampere, Finland, during the final week of the 2022 World Championships, which runs from May 13 to May 29.
“Award-winning social media nerd. Food specialist. Amateur entrepreneur. Pop culture maven. Subtly charming explorer.”