Ice Hockey World Championship 2021 to not be held in Belarus, Swiss media report

The chairman of the organization, René Fasel, has not yet announced a decision regarding the Ice Hockey World Championship, just because he is down with COVID-19, writes the Swiss media outlet Watson.

The national ice hockey team of Belarus training in the Chyzhouka Arena. Photo: Andrey Lavanetski

According to the publication’s sources, the 2021 World Ice Hockey Championship will definitely not be held in Belarus. But another venue has not yet been determined — there is an active search for it. According to Watson, the most likely options are Riga, Prague, and Bratislava.

“Minsk is no longer an option. Even if Alyaksandr Lukashenka resigns, no political normality will be guaranteed, and even a Russian invasion cannot be ruled out,” the newspaper’s sources say.

René Fasel will soon fly to Minsk to personally and as gently as possible inform Alyaksandr Lukashenka of the cancellation of the World Cup. According to the sources of the publication, he has not done so until now only because of the COVID-19.

Belarus won the right to host the Ice Hockey World Championship together with Latvia. But due to the rigged elections and mass protests, a large international movement to deprive Belarus of this right gained pace.