Exclusion of Russia and Belarus from the Hockey World Championship


Sanctions against Russia and Belarus in hockey

For the first time, two nations are excluded from the Hockey World Cup – but they lack the courage to take the 2023 World Cup away from the Russians.

Russia and Belarus are excluded from all tournaments in 2022. As requested by the Swiss Ice Hockey Federation (SIHF). Who will replace the two countries at the various tournaments and especially at the World Cup in Finland (9th to 21st May) is still open. The nomination of Austria and France is planned. For the time being, Switzerland does not have an opponent for the World Cup game on May 22 against Russia. It will probably be Austria. The IIHF Sports Committee decides on the matter. Several title tournaments for juniors are also affected. The sanctions are initially limited to 2022.

Filip Singer / EPA (Bratislava, May 13, 2011)

In the entire history of the International Ice Hockey Federation (since 1908) – apart from Germany’s absence from international sports in the first years after the Second World War – no hockey nation has ever been excluded from the World Cup for political reasons. It is still unclear whether the Russians will be deprived of the 2023 World Cup in St. Petersburg after the U20 World Cup. The hesitation is understandable. Because the price for taking away this World Cup is high.

The marketing agency Infront pays the international association a good 20 million a year for the TV and advertising rights. Infront, owned by Chinese investors, refinances this sum by selling the TV and advertising rights. The most important advertiser is the Russian energy company Gazprom. The 2023 World Cup will only be withdrawn from Russia if Infront gives the green light. Sanctions are all well and good – but when it comes to your own wallet, enthusiasm flags.

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