The Ukrainian national hockey team won the selection stage for the Olympic Games 2026 and caused problems for the IIHF
For the first time in 12 years, the Ukrainian national ice hockey team has reached the decisive stage of the 2026 Olympic Games qualifying tournament. The team of the legendary Dmytro Khrystych sensationally won the pre-qualification in Poland the day before, ahead of the hosts and the national teams of South Korea and Estonia.
Now the Blue and Yellows will compete for a ticket to the 2026 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Milan. At the same time, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) may face serious difficulties in organizing the tournament. Our team will play against Slovakia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.
Ukrainian hockey players may refuse to play with representatives of a country that supports Russia's military aggression against Ukraine. At the same time, the admission of Belarusians is still preliminary.
The IIHF will approve the participants of the decisive stage of the 2026 Olympics selection in early February. The federation may have to change the format and send Ukrainians to one of the other two qualifying groups (Latvia, Austria, France, and Denmark, Slovenia, and Norway).
It should be noted that the Ukrainian national hockey team played for the first and only time at the Games in 2002, where it took tenth place. The decisive battles for qualification for the Olympics in Milan will take place on August 29-September 1 this year.