Olympics in jeopardy: Russia's return to world hockey is over
The Russian and Belarusian national teams will not return to tournaments under the auspices of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) as long as Russia is waging a criminal war against Ukraine. At the same time, in March next year, the organisation will decide on the participation of representatives of the aggressor countries in the 2026 Olympic Games.
This was stated by IIHF President Luc Tardif in a commentary to Inside The Games. He expressed hope that Russia and Belarus would return to international tournaments as soon as possible, as this would mean that Russia's war against Ukraine is over.
"Firstly, I hope that Russia and Belarus will return to IIHF tournaments very soon because it will mean that the war is over. But we will make the final decision on these countries for the Milan Olympics in March 2024, because shortly after that we will start Olympic qualification and Belarus will have to take part in it. The safety of spectators and participating countries will be part of this decision," Tardif said.
It should be noted that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has recommended that Russian athletes not be allowed to compete in team sports. Earlier, the IIHF suspended the Russian and Belarusian teams from the 2024 World Championships.
As OBOZREVATEL previously reported, two-time Olympic hockey champion Alexander Kozhevnikov spoke insultingly about Ukraine and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy after he was sanctioned in our country.
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