Russia has also not been allowed to participate in the World Cup in 2023. Match TV explains what the new reality of hockey looks like

Russia has also not been allowed to participate in the World Cup in 2023. Match TV explains what the new reality of hockey looks like

The question of Russia was not discussed separately

I watched the broadcast of the IIHF congress for two days and did not see that the International Ice Hockey Federation discussed the issue of Russia and Belarus separately.

No, there has been a breakdown of the tournaments where they will be held in 2023. The adult world championship has been removed from St. Petersburg. There was an option to organize it in Hungary and Slovenia. But the deadlines are tight, and it is better to hold it in Finland and Latvia, especially since Tampere and Riga have hosted or will host the championship finals in 2022 and 2021.

Or the host of the World Cup in 2026 had to be determined. Let’s give it to Switzerland, where the 2020 tournament did not take place due to the pandemic. The cities of Zurich and Friborg are ready to accept this competition, especially since new arenas will appear there.

Well, and so on. The IIHF Congress discussed where the women’s world championships will be held, where juniors and youth will play…

We’re just not in the IIHF plans

… And in the meantime, it was noticed at the very bottom of the message on the IIHF website: “There are adjustments in Division I and below. Since Russia and Belarus will not be able to participate in the program of the 2023 Ice Hockey World Championship, it was decided to fill the tournaments with the usual number of teams.

Thus, Italy, Great Britain, Lithuania, Korea, Poland and Romania will play in Group A of the first division at the 2023 Ice Hockey World Championship; in Group B – Japan, Ukraine, Estonia, China, Serbia and the Netherlands.

That’s all. The question of the exclusion of Russia and Belarus has not been raised, because we were excluded even earlier, having been left out of the 2022 World Cup. Nothing has changed since.

And this is just a statement of fact – Russia and Belarus were not in the IIHF hockey plans, and they are not.

If Russia is fired, it will be the first division

How to perceive this situation? I spoke with personalities from the Russian Ice Hockey Federation (FHR). Their opinion, expressed behind the scenes, looks like this: as soon as the military operation is over, in a week, Russia and Belarus can be returned to the IIHF family. Now, when the international situation looks like this, there is simply no point in talking back.

What exactly will the return look like? It is possible that when the ban is lifted in our countries, Russia and Belarus will start playing from the first division, which they plan to unite by 2024.

And it doesn’t look like a nightmare. World championships have become boring, their geography is the same – Finland, Sweden, Czech Republic, Latvia … And then Italy, Great Britain, even Japan appear on the map …

On the other hand, the IIHF faces a colossal challenge. How will they be able to unite Russia and Ukraine in the first division? How to send the Russian team to the tournament in Great Britain? How to support a match against Poland? In the current international situation, this is simply out of the question.

Therefore, the IIHF does not even consider the Russian and Belarusian teams in its plans. We simply do not exist.

It is easier to imagine that Ovechkin and Malkin will fly into space

In fact, when the 2023 World Cup was given to Finland and Latvia, everything became clear. Remember how the Latvians wanted to organize the World Cup in 2021 with the Minskers. But when opposition protests began in Belarus, suppressed by the authorities, Latvia immediately torpedoed the Belarusian bid – and staged the World Cup alone.

Now it is much harder to imagine that the Russian team will come to the tournament in Finland and Latvia in 2023 than to imagine that Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin will become cosmonauts and be sent into orbit this summer. Why not? Here Yulia Peresild flew. But with the current attitude towards Russia in the Baltic States and Finland, what kind of hockey can we talk about?

It’s impossible. And it’s not even worth discussing. What the IIHF did.

Nothing has changed. And it’s not a tragedy. We are waiting for what decisions on tournaments with the participation of the Russian team and KHL clubs will be made in the FHR.

As I heard, in the November window scheduled earlier for the Eurotour, the Russian team will be assembled, which will go to two matches – against Sibir and Avangard. And such matches against KHL clubs in different parts of Russia will become regular.

We are waiting for this to be officially announced.

Source : MatchTV

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