Latvia should host the World Hockey Championships next spring together with Belarus, but Latvia no longer wants to host the World Cup with Belarus.
Latvian breaking away from next spring’s World Hockey Championships with Belarus seems increasingly likely. On Monday, the Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs announced that the President of the Belarusian Hockey Association Dmitry Baskovilla this is not the case in Latvia.
He told about it, among other things Latvian broadcaster.
Rinkēvičs posted a decision on Twitter that Baskov and Belarusian kickboxer Dmitri Shakuta are on the Latvian blacklist.
The reason for this is that Baskov and Shakuta are suspected of involvement in a Belarusian opposition activist Roman Bondarenkon assault. Bondarenko died of his injuries.
Baskov’s case came to light just before the IIHF meeting of the International Hockey Federation, which at least deals with race hosting. The meeting is on Wednesday.
The IIHF and the Latvian authorities met last week. At least at that time, the chairman of the IIHF René Fasel did not want to rush the decision.
“We don’t have the pressure to make an immediate decision about the tournament,” Fasel said, reiterating that politics and hockey should not be confused.