The Council of the International Ice Hockey Federation has deprived Russia of the host rights to the IIHF World Ice Hockey Championship in 2023.
The news was announced after the most recent IIHF council meeting on Tuesday. The tournament was scheduled to take place on the 5th-21st. May in St. Petersburg, where a new arena was built as the centerpiece of the tent showcase.
This is the second IIHF event to be removed from Russia since the country invaded Ukraine earlier this year. Russia had previously also hosted the Junior World Cup in 2023, and both Russia and Belarus were excluded from international play in February so far due to the invasion.
“The decision to relocate the event was made primarily out of concern for the safety and well-being of all participating players, officials, media and fans,” the IIHF said Tuesday in its statement. “As was the case with the Council’s previous decision to withdraw the IIHF World Junior Championship 2023 to be held in Omsk and Novosibirsk, Russia, the Council expressed significant concerns about the safe freedom of movement of players and officials to, from and within Russia.”
An alternative host of the 2023 Championship will be unveiled at the IIHF’s annual congress in Tampere, Finland, in the final week of the 2022 World Cup, which runs from 13 May to 29 May.